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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation M-92-021
Details
Synopsis: ON FEBRUARY 20, 1990, THE REFLAGGED 760-FOOT-LONG U.S. TANK SHIP SURF CITY, LOADED WITH NAPHTHA AND AUTOMOTIVE DIESEL OIL, DEPARTED KUWAIT EN ROUTE TO DISCHARGE PORTS IN SOUTHERN EUROPE. AT 1012 ON FEBRUARY 22, THE MASTER AND THE CHIEF MATE WERE STANDING AT THE NO.4 STARBOARD WATER BALLAST TANK ACCESS TRUNK WHEN AN EXPLOSION OCCURRED IN THE TANK. THE TANK AND AREA AFT TO THE DECKHOUSE ON THE STARBOARD SIDE WERE IMMEDIATELY ENGULFED IN FLAMES. THE CREW ABANDONED SHIP IN THE PORT LIFEBOAT AND WERE RESCUED BY THE U.S. NAVY GUIDED MISSILE FRIGATE USS SIMPSON (FFG-56) AT 1053. U.S. NAVAL VESSELS RECOVERED THE MASTER'S REMAINS BUT THE CHIEF MATE IS MISSING AND PRESUMED DEAD. THE FIRE BURNED FOR 2 WEEKS AND 196,985 BARRELS OF THE 606,215 BARRELS OF CARGO WERE LOST. THE VALUE OF THE LOADED CARGO WAS $12.88 MILLION AND ITS SALVED VALUE WAS $6.5 MILLION. THE VESSEL, VALUED AT $30 MILLION BEFORE THE ACCIDENT WAS SOLD IN ITS DAMAGED CONDITION FOR $4.85 MILLION. THE DAMAGE LOSS RESULTING FROM THIS ACCIDENT TOTALED $31.53 MILLION.
Recommendation: THE NTSB RECOMMENDS THAT THE INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF CLASSIFICATION SOCIETITES: REVIEW THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THIS ACCIDENT AS IT RELATES TO STRESS AND ITS EFFECTS ON THE STRUCTURAL INTEGRITY OF THE CARGO BLOCK ON TANK VESSELS AND DISSEMINATE THIS INFORMATION TO YOUR MEMBER SOCIETIES.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Exceeds Recommended Action
Mode: Marine
Location: Other Seas and Gulfs, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: DCA90MM019
Accident Reports:
Explosion and Fire on the U.S. Tank Ship Surf City
Report #: MAR-92-02
Accident Date: 2/22/1990
Issue Date: 4/29/1992
Date Closed: 1/6/1993
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: International Association of Classification Societies (Closed - Exceeds Recommended Action)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: International Association of Classification Societies
Date: 1/6/1993
Response: THE SAFETY BOARD IS PLEASED THAT THE IACS REVIEWED THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THIS ACCIDENT AS REQUESTED AND THAT THE IACS HAS STANDING WORKING PARTIES ON STRENGTH AND ON FATIGUE, EACH EXAMINING HOW TO BETTER ASSESS THE STRUCTURAL ADEQUACY OF VESSELS. IN VIEW OF THE AVERAGE AGE OF THE WORLD TANK SHIP FLEET, WE AGREE THAT THIS WORK IS IMPORTANT. IN ADDITION, THE SAFETY BOARD COMMENDS THE IACS FOR SUBMITTING TO THE INTERNATIONAL MARITIME ORGANIZATION PROPOSED GUIDELINES FOR AN ENHANCED SURVEY PROGRAM APPLICABLE TO TANK SHIPS. THE SAFETY BOARD IS ALSO PLEASED THAT IACS MEMBERS WILL IMPLEMENT THIS SURVEY SYSTEM AS A UNIFIED REQUIREMENT IN JANUARY 1993. BECAUSE OF THESE IACS ACTIONS, SAFETY RECOMMENDATION M-92-21 HAS BEEN CLASSIFIED "CLOSED--EXCEEDS RECOMMENDED ACTION."

From: International Association of Classification Societies
To: NTSB
Date: 10/22/1992
Response: AS YOU MAY KNOW IACS HAS RECENTLY FORMED AN AD-HOC GROUP TO ADDRESS THE NEED FOR ENHANCED SURVEYS FOR TANKERS AS A MEANS OF FURTHER INSURING THE SATISFACTORY MATERIAL CONDITION OF THE AGING TANKER FLEET OPERATING WORLDWIDE. THIS GROUP HAS MADE A SUBMISSION TO THE IMO (MEPC-33) OUTLINING THE PROPOSED CONTENTS OF AN ENHANED SURVEY SYSTEM APPLICABLE TO TANKERS. THE MEMBERS OF ICAS HAVE AGREED TO IMPLEMENT THIS SURVEY SYSTEM AS A UNIFIED REQUIREMENT FROM 1/1/93. IN ADDITION TO THE WORK DONE BY THIS GROUP, IACS HAS STANDING WORKING PARTIES ON STRENGTH AND ON FATIGUE WHICH ARE EACH LOOKING AT WAYS TO BETTER ASSESS THE STRUCTURAL ADEQUACY OF VESSELS. THIS WORK IS PARTICULARLY IMPORTANT AT THIS TIME AS THE AVERAGE AGE OF THE WORLD TANKER FLEET INCREASES AND NEW AND BETTER TOOLS ARE REQUIRED TO ADDRESS THE ISSUE OF CONTINUED STRUCTURAL INTEGRITY.