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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation M-92-022
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 GLENEAGLE SHIP MANAGEMENT COMPANY: REVISE THE "KUWAIT OIL TANKER COMPANY SAFETY MANUAL" AND RELEVANT SAFETY PROCEDURES ON ALL YOUR TANK SHIPS TO EXPLICITLY REQUIRE THAT ALL BALLAST TANKS, COFFERDAMS, AND VOIDS LOCATED IN OR IMMEDIATELY ADJACENT TO THE CARGO BLOCK BE TESTED BEFORE TANK ENTRY FOR EXPLOSIVE LEVELS AND FOR OXYGEN LEVELS TO DETERMINE THE CONDITION OF THE TANK ATMOSPHERE AND PROCEDURES TO FOLLOW BEFORE VENTILATING THE TANK.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable 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: 6/10/1993
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: Gleneagle Ship Management Company, Inc. (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: Gleneagle Ship Management Company, Inc.
Date: 6/10/1993
Response: THE BOARD IS PLEASED TO LEARN THAT GLENEAGLE SHIP MANAGEMENT COMPANY HAS IMPLEMENTED THESE RECOMMENDATIONS. THEREFORE, M-92-22 THROUGH -24 HAVE BEEN CLASSIFIED "CLOSED--ACCEPTABLE ACTION."

From: Gleneagle Ship Management Company, Inc.
To: NTSB
Date: 3/31/1993
Response: THE KOTC MANUALS WERE SUPERSEDED BY THE DENHOLM/GLENEAGLE COMPANY OPERATING PROCEDURES MANUALS (COPM) PART I (SAFETY), PART II (NAVIGATION) AND PART III (FLEET CIRCULARES) WHICH WERE DISPATCHED TO THE VESSELS IN LATE 1989 AND REPORTED RECEIVED ON BOARD ON 18TH FEB 90. ALL CHESAPEAKE VESSELS HAVE BEEN OPERATING SINCE MAY 90 IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE FULL FOLIO OF APPLICABLE (COPM'S).

From: NTSB
To: Gleneagle Ship Management Company, Inc.
Date: 3/24/1993
Response: OUR RECORDS SHOW THAT WE HAVE NOT RECEIVED A RESPONSE FROM YOUR COMPANY REGARDING THESE RECOMMENDATIONS. WE WOULD APPRECIATE BEING INFORMED ABOUT EFFORTS THAT HAVE BEEN OR ARE BEING MADE TO IMPLEMENT THESE RECOMMENDATIONS.