A cruise ship was stopped from sailing from Belfast by the Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) over safety measures. On June 2, the Italian-flagged passenger ship Vistamar, 7,478gt, had arrived at Belfast from Invergordon and that morning, she was boarded by MCA surveyors who detained the ship.
Later that day, the MCA explained: “The ship, built in 1989, was found to have two serious deficiencies that led to her detention. Fire doors were missing, broken, or latches were missing, and the ship did not meet ISM maintenance requirements. Further deficiencies included emergency lights for liferafts not working.”
“The inspection was suspended pending an audit by an ISM auditor. Once this has been satisfactorily completed, the MCA surveyors will once again board the ship and continue their inspection. If they feel that the deficiencies have been rectified the vessel will be allowed to carry on her passage.”
Bill Bennett, of the MCA’s Belfast Marine Office, added: “The MCA will not allow vessels to traverse our waters where clearly international standards of safety are being breached. We apologise to any passenger who may have been inconvenienced by this action, but we hope they understand this detention has been undertaken in their best interest.”
The Vistamar was allowed to sail from Belfast on June 5, by when many of the passengers on the ship had been flown home.
More on this and other news in Sea Breezes Magazine - August 2010 Issue
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