March 9 2014 Latest news:
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Port authorities in Lowestoft are seeking permission to dispose of an impounded ship that has been moored in the town’s harbour for nearly four years without anyone claiming her.
The small tanker Cien Porciento was detained in Lowestoft in March 2010 after she failed a safety inspection by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) which found her main fire pump did not work, she had too few lifeboats on board, no fresh running water, and life jackets and distress flares were missing.
Since then, no one has come forward to claim the 106-ton vessel, which was built in 1913 and is not registered to any country or home port.
Associated British Ports is now seeking to dispose of the Cien Porciento under statutory powers and has launched a final bid to trace anyone who can lay claim to her.
Previously known as the Moa Af Harg, she arrived in Lowestoft in July 2009 with a crew of four or five but then remained in the harbour for nine months before the inspection.
Capt Richard Musgrove, harbourmaster, said: “It did nothing for nearly a year. It had been supposedly sold on to work on the Panama Canal as a water tanker.
“Then the MCA turned up for the inspection, The crew disappeared that day and nobody has seen them since.
“We’ve been pursuing her owners. We have been searching but have not found anything so far.
“We’ve got a duty to all the harbour users to dispose of her. We have to take action. There is still oil on board.”
Anyone with a claim on the ship has until March 17 to contact Capt Musgrove or the vessel will be disposed of in a sustainable way.
Capt Musgrove said she could be sold as scrap, or possibly put back into commercial use as she was in a reasonable condition for a ship of her age.
The MCA detained the Cien Porciento when she failed a port state control inspection which found 30 deficiencies seven of which were deemed “grounds for detention”.
Inspectors found there were no nautical publications on board and navigational charts were incomplete for the area in which she was operating.
The Cien Porciento is one of seven vessels currently detained in British ports after failing port state control inspections. MCA papers state her owner at the time of the inspection was Open Window Inc.