USCG Detains Car Carrier in Tacoma

The U.S. Coast Guard detained the 1994-built car carrier Pegasus Highway in the Port of Tacoma on Wednesday, September 9, citing safety deficiencies as the cause.

A Port State Control exam team from Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound conducted a routine Port State and International Ship and Port Facility Security exam aboard the 590-foot, Panamanian-flagged Ro/Ro.

While aboard, the Coast Guard reported discovering multiple areas that did not meet regulations set forth in the Safety of Life at Sea Convention, including a fire detection system that was found to be inoperable. Without a properly functioning fire detection system, a fire on a deck carrying vehicles could have burned without the crew receiving an early warning.

“Through the Port State Control Program, the Coast Guard verifies that foreign vessels calling on U.S. ports meet applicable U.S. and International regulations to protect people, property, and the environment,” said Cmdr. Matt Edwards, chief of prevention at Sector Puget Sound.

“We will continue to work with the vessel’s crew to ensure the deficiencies are corrected and the vessel is safe to resume trade.”

During a Port State Control exam, the Coast Guard inspects fire protection, life saving, machinery, navigation, and pollution control systems as well as assesses the crew’s ability to respond to onboard emergencies.

A vessel that is determined to be substandard is subject to a detention and must remain in port until it can proceed to sea without presenting a danger to persons on board or without presenting an unreasonable threat of harm to the marine environment.