Oil sprayed by refinery at Punta Cardon causing ship/cargo possible contamination


Despite the reason of the oil spillages is unknown to us (lack of maintenance on the refinery equipments and buildings is the most likely reason), we´ve noticed that when the spillage occurs at any building such as towers, chimneys and risers, etc, the high winds creates a sort of oil spray/showering effect that contaminates the port´s area, the sea and any vessel nearby the spray contaminating radio (depending on the wind direction). Unlikely oil spillages in the sea, the spray contaminates not only the hull, but also the deck, foremast, accomodations and any other exposed areas which creates various sort of risks including fire and slippery floors. The spillages are very hard to predict (including the exact concurrent circumstances of enough wind force and direction) and the crew should maintain monitoring any situation on shore in order make inmediate notification to the terminal representatives in case any oil spray is noticed. Furthermore is the vessel is loading cargo in bulk, the crew should close the holds hatch covers inmediately in order to avoid any cargo contamination or any other risk/hazard.
Given the difficulty for the crew to conduct the cleaning, the terminal must assist the vessel during the cleaning and cover all the associated expenses. Additionally, if the cleaning isnt arranged at an early stage it may cause relevant delays to the vessel considering that cleaning oil from all over a ship´s external structure may take several days to complete depending on the contamination. It´s recommended to the Master to request assistance on shore either by agency or P&I correspondents in order to be able to demand prompt and adeqate measures to the terminal.
Should you have any question about this or any other matter, please don’t hesitate on contacting us. In case you choose to share this information, please don’t forget to credit our company.
Carlos Carrasco
Operations Manager
Venepandi, C.A.

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