HONOLULU – At 11 a.m. on a Tuesday in paradise the Coast Guard Marine Science Technicians (MST) are hard at work to ensure the safety of Hawaii’s ports.

Petty Officer Anderson and Chief Warrant Officer Michael Schweizer, along with two other members from Sector Honolulu’s Prevention Department, recently inspected the refueling tanker Hai Soon to ensure safety and well-being of the tanker’s crew and Barbers Point Harbor, approximately 30 miles from Honolulu on the island of Oahu. Long hours and attention to detail pay off to keep mariners safe, said Petty Officer Bryan Anderson.

A thorough inspection was completed throughout the tanker. “From living spaces to the engine room, the tanker was checked for safety, proper living conditions and overall condition of the vessel,” said Anderson.

The MSTs checked fire plans, emergency equipment, such as pumps and generators, and conducted emergency drills with the crew. The drills they conducted were for emergency situations such as fires or flooding. “It is important to have a crew that knows what to do during an emergency situation,” said Anderson. The Coast Guard recommends for any vessel large or small, commercial or private, that everyone knows what to do in an emergency situation, he added.

Well-being of the Hai Soon’s crew and any crew that works at sea is a must, said Schweizer, who is working on his inspection qualifications. Crews on these types of vessels can be at sea for up to 11 months before taking a break. Living conditions can turn unsettling if all members of the crew don’t keep up sanitation according to the International Maritime Organization regulations.

MSTs check berthing areas and bathrooms for proper working conditions and to ensure International Labor Organization regulations are met. For example, there is a regulation that there must be at least one bathroom for every eight crew members. Also the MSTs check the galley for food amounts, proper garbage recycling, potable water, cleanliness and proper food storage. The engine room is also inspected for hazards, oil and fuel leaks and overall condition.

If a vessel does not pass the inspection because of too many violations, a Coast Guard inspector can hold the vessel and crew in the port with a Captain of the Port Order until the vessel passes. It is important to hold high standards to ensure that our ports are safe because homeland security is one of the Coast Guard’s key missions, said Anderson.

If you see anything out of the ordinary on our waters you can help by reporting in on our toll free hotline at 1-877-24-watch.

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