Investigation of the MT Tecoil Polaris (RUS) environmental accident in the Port of Hamina on 25 November 2017 is complete

Published 30.8.2018

The investigation of the environmental accident involving the MT Tecoil Polaris (RUS) in the Port of Hamina on 25 November 2017 is complete During the accident, 500 litres of waste oil leaked from the tanker onto its deck, with some pouring into the sea.

The Safety Investigation Authority gives two safety recommendations in order to improve safety, prevent similar environmental accidents in the future and avoid damage.

Firstly, the Safety Investigation Authority recommends that, as Finland’s IMO agency, the Finnish Transport Safety Agency (Trafi) take action to fulfil international agreements in such a manner that the requirement for critical cargo handling systems, such as cargo level measurement systems, be extended to cover all oil and chemical tankers.

A cargo level measurement system is necessary to ensuring that cargo operations can be done safely, without opening the cargo tank hatches. Section “6. Cargo operations" of the expanded port state control check list does not distinguish between the sites to be inspected. In practice, the port state control inspector selects the subjects of the inspection on the basis of his or her professional expertise.

Secondly, the Safety Investigation Authority recommends that, alongside classification societies, the International Association of Classification Societies further specify the regulations governing cargo stack height measuring systems. Tankers must have the appropriate cargo stack height measuring systems before they are granted provisional certificates in order to be commissioned.

In practice, a vessel can obtain provisional certificates and be commissioned without a proper cargo level measurement system. Such systems are vital to the safe operation of tankers.

Further information:
Risto Haimila, Chief Marine Safety Investigator, tel. +358 295 150 730