UK. MCA surveyors detain Vistamar passenger ship at Belfast Docks

Wednesday, 02 June 2010

Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) surveyors today detained the Italian flagged `Vistamar’ passenger ship at Belfast Docks after numerous faults were identified on board including broken or missing fire doors and failure to maintain the vessel in line with International Safety Management (ISM) code.

The passenger vessel had been en route from Invergordon when it docked in Belfast this morning and surveyors boarded the vessel to perform an inspection. The vessel, built in 1989, was found to have two serious deficiencies that led to its detention, which were that fire doors were found to be missing, broken, or with latches missing, and that the ship did not meet ISM maintenance requirements. In addition to these detainable deficiencies there were several further deficiencies including PA systems and emergency lights for liferafts not working.

The inspection has now been suspended pending an audit by an ISM auditor. Once this has been satisfactorily completed, 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 its passage.

Bill Bennett, Surveyor in Charge from the MCA’s Belfast Marine Office said:

“The MCA take passenger safety extremely seriously, and we 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.”

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 02 June 2010 )