Update Aug 2002 A

ISM deficient partially discharged tanker ordered to depart US waters

We thought you might find this case highlighted in the London P&I club "Stoploss" bulletin no.26 very interesting.

A product tanker called the Alkyon, owned by Pride and managed by Ionia management, was ordered to depart while partially discharged until objective evidence was provided of the effective operation of the SMS system on March 19, 2002.

This was a day after an incident investigation of an oil leak from the stern tubes.

Here is the full text:

ISM Obligations

Members will be aware of the oblications places on them by the ISM code. But a report from the Kleberg Law Firm serves to highlight the potentially serious consequences, in the wake of a new US Coast Guard ISM enforcement initiative, of failing to implement and enforce the Code and to have an effectively operating Safety Management System when trading in the US.

In a recent incident, the US Coast Guard ordered a partially discharged tanker to immediately depart the US for a minimum of ninety days, until proof of ISM compliance was provided by objective evidence which demonstrated that the vessel's SMS had been operating for at least three months.

The order to depart was made despite an external audit concluding that the vessel's SMS paperwork was in order and there was no threat to the safety of the vessel, its crew or the environment.


And from the incident report:

The COTP Houston - Galveston questions the validity of the vessel's Safety Management System & compliance with the ISM Code (SOLAS 74/78 IX, Reg. 6): Conduct external ISM audit by the Recognized Organization (LR) with a CG marine inspector in attendance, & provide report for CG review & acceptance.

IAW external ISM audits conducted by RO (LR) on 08 & 26 Mar 02, conduct a 3 month probationary implementation period of SMS to test adequacy of implementation, & conduct full external audit at end of period. Vessel cannot operate in U.S. waters until above items are completed & evaluated by USCG.

The full report of the investigation by USCG can be found here: