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Coast Guard Detains Alaska State Ferry


April 26, 2004

Juneau, AK - The captain of the port of Prince William Sound issued a port order requiring the state ferry Tustumena to remain in port at Valdez while the Coast Guard conducts an marine safety investigation of the vessel's oily waste system. The investigation began Friday night after an anonymous caller alleged that the vessel's oily wastewater system was not operational. The Tustumena, an Alaska Marine Highways System vessel, typically operates between Dutch Harbor and Valdez, transporting passengers and cargo.

Following the call, two Coast Guard inspectors from Marine Safety Office Valdez boarded the ship in Cordova to investigate the system. An preliminary investigation revealed that the Tustumena carried no oil content meter for containment of oily wastewater. Based on the preliminary findings, the captain of the port (COTP) decided to detain the vessel and halt its transportation itinerary for safety and environmental reasons.

"I have detained the motor vessel Tustumena for an external audit of the ship's safety management certificate and verification that the oily waste piping is installed and operating correctly," said Cdr. Mark Swanson, Commanding Officer, Marine Safety Office Valdez and COTP Prince William Sound.


Source of News Release:

United States Coast Guard
Web Site



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