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SHIP NAME: San Marco KEY: NUM. ENTRIES: 4
source Ozcayir, The Impact of Caspian Oil on Turkey, 9 November 2001
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The clear example of failure of the flag states can be seen in the San Marco case. This case is the illustration of the deficiencies in the international safety net. The San Marco was a 1968 built panamax dry bulk carrier. In May 1993, it was detained by the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) for serious structural, fire fighting and live savings defects. Following this incident the vessels P&I club withdrew the cover. As the owner would not do the immediate repairs its classification society, Bureau Veritas (BV), withdrew class after an inspection. In May 1993 the vessel had been inspected by a Hellenic Register surveyor for a class transfer from BV and found to be in “good condition and well-maintained”. The vessel was issued with clean class certificates, without any repair recommendations. She had the BV certificates valid until 1995 and no recommendations. At the end of June, the same year, the CCG allowed the San Marco to depart from Vancouver under tow at the request of the ship owner. However, although the HRS issued a clean class certificate and the vessel had BV certificates valid until 1995 the CCG did only allow the vessel to be towed unmanned. The CCG had no legal power to compel the owner to do repairs locally. Soon after leaving Canadian waters, the tow to San Marco was cut and a crew was put on board by helicopter. From then on, the vessel continued to trade unrepaired with clean HRS certificates. Obviously, if the Canadian Coast Guard had the legal power to demand repairs before departure, the vessel would have been prevented from trading in a dangerous unseaworthy condition. In November 1993, while she was 150-200 miles off the South African coast on a voyage from Morocco to Indonesia, she lost some 14x7 meters of shell plating from both sides of her No 1 hold and all 5.000 tons of cargo in that hold. She was put into Cape Town as a port of refuge and quickly detained by the Department of Transport. As it was not possible to continue trading her without spending substantial amount of money on repairs, the vessel was sold for scrap at a public auction.

As illustrated in the San Marco case, ship owners, classification societies, flag states administrations, insurers have failed to do their job properly. If all parties concerned acted responsibly and prudently, port state control would not be necessary. The control mechansims applied by the falg states and classification socieities have proven not to be sufficient in eliminating all substandard vessels from the industry.


source CAPELAW
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Running a detention order, or failing to comply with it, remains a real possibility. The Cypriot panamax bulk carrier San Marco (355538 grt, blt 1968) was detained by Vancouver port authorities in1993 after which BV withdrew her class. She was allowed to proceed under tow, unmanned, for repairs in Mexico. But no repairs were undertaken, the vessel slipped her tow, took her crew back on board, and proceeded to load a full cargo of fertiliser. During this voyage, she hit heavy weather off Capetown and lost shell plating 14x7m in the way of No 1 cargo hold. That the vessel reacehd teh safety of Cape Town and did not sink with all hands is nothing short of a miracle. The San Marco was as substandard a ship as one could find, yet the Hellenic Register issued a full suite of classification certifcates after BV had withdrawn theirs.


source Japan FSA
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No 1 hold flooded and broken up. Phosphate loaded.


source CTX
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International Bulk Journal, 1994-04, has an article on this mess, but CTX has not yet seen.