PORTS OF REFUGE AGAIN IN THE SPOTLIGHT

In another disappointing example of procrastination when it comes to nominating ports of refuge, Stolt Valor was left to its fate for three months before receiving clearance to enter a port in the Arabian Gulf following a fatal explosion and fire on March 15 this year.  Only on June 26 did Bahrain give the owners Stolt-Nielsen permission to bring the vessel to the Arab Shipbuilding and Repair Yard in Bahrain (ASRY). Prior to being allowed into port, contract salvors “Smit” were required to fully gas free the vessel, discharge all onboard oils and provide a structural assessment report. As the picture clearly illustrates, in open waters other than the Arabian Gulf, the vessel would have likely not survived.