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Precis File
SHIP NAME: Eastern Power KEY: NUM. ENTRIES: 5
source LMIU
type D
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Sustained crack in No.1 starboard cargo oil tank below waterline in bad weather off St.John's 06 Dec 2000 Some leakage Further heavy weather damage 14 Dec Ar off Cayman Brac 25 Dec for transhipment Docked Bahrain, where ar 28 Jan.


source GISIS
type D
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Hull failure off St. Johns, flag PA


source Transport Canada
type A
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S/S Eastern Power en route to Come by Chance with 2 million barrels of oil. Reported to TCMS inspectors: leak in No 1 cargo tank and oil leaking into ocean. TCMS inspector denied clearance and requested continuous reports regarding remedial action plan. V/L conducted internal cargo transfer: leakage stopped using hydrostatic balance loading. No distress declared by master. TCMS worked closely with the master, owner, consultants and class surveyor to ensure mitigation. TCMS held consultation with EC and DFO: v/l instructed to keep out of sensitive waters. Canadian authorities establish plan to escort, boom and monitor situation while the vessel will transit to destination. On Dec 12, 2001, due to inclement weather concerns, the owners decide to divert v/l to a Caribbean port where the cargo was transferred and damage repaired.


source Places of Refuge
type A
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In December, 2000, the 127,000 gross ton Panamanian flagged, 1976 built, tanker MT Eastern Power began leaking some of its 1.9 million barrels of crude oil, while en route to Come-by-Chance, Newfoundland from Egypt. Less than a week later after the tanker's hull developed a crack causing the initial leak, rough waters off Newfoundland damaged the ship again without affecting either the structural integrity of the vessel or its seaworthiness. The crude oil was contained on board by transferring thousands of barrels of the cargo from the damaged tank to another tank. Refuge in Canada was requested to discharge the cargo and effect repairs. Transport Canada instructed the vessel not to enter Canada's 200-nautical mile EEZ until the master could prove the ship was not leaking any more oil. Canadian authorities sent an aircraft to videotape the ship, and decided it was too dangerous to let the vessel come any closer to the coast as they were worried that seabirds and fish stocks would be put at risk. The ship was stranded [sic] about 500 kms southeast of Newfoundland for several days. Transport Canada later allowed the ship to enter Canadain waters under strict conditions. The crew agreed to transfer all remaining oil from the leaking tank into other storage tanks and assured the government no more oil would be spilled. Later the ship's manager (World Wide Shipping Agency of Singapore) instructed the captain to leave Canadian wateers and head south towqard the Caribbean, where the cargo was eventually discharged and sold at St. Eustatius, Netherland Antilles.


source CTX
type D
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The key issue here is: did the Canadians require that 1S be totally emptied of cargo? If they did, the ship was effectively refused refuge for it is highly unlikely that this was technically feasible. Such a requirement was also totally unnecessary. Once hydrostatic balance had been achieved, 1S was not going to leak any more, especially if the ship was listed and trimmed slightly toward the damage. CTX finds the Transport Canada claim that the ship diverted 3000 miles to the Caribbean due to inclement weather concerns highly implausible.

This could easily have been another Prestige, except this ship was a fully loaded VLCC. The Canadians took a big, unnecessary risk, but they got away with it.