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MSA Urges Marine Diesel Users To Be Cautious

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


MEDIA RELEASE Date: 28 May 2001

MSA Urges Marine Diesel Users To Be Cautious

The Maritime Safety Authority is advising all marine diesel users who are in port to consider waiting a few days to get uncontaminated fuel before returning to sea.

“The MSA fully supports the oil industry’s decision to urgently replace commercial diesel supplies at marinas and also to offer to remove contaminated fuel from commercial vessels,” said the Director of Maritime Safety, Russell Kilvington.

“This shows the seriousness with which the oil industry views the matter, and it would seem prudent, to say the least, to take note of this level of concern.”

“The loss of engine power at sea raises immediate and major safety issues. Being adrift without power many miles from land or close to a hazardous coastline puts crew and passengers’ lives at risk.”

“Those already at sea who may be experiencing fuel-related engine problems should consider returning to port,” says Mr Kilvington.

“In the meantime, skippers are encouraged to maintain regular communications with their home base and with other shipping in the area.”

MSA has been broadcasting regular marine radio messages since Friday night, advising vessels currently at sea of the symptoms of problems with the diesel fuel.

The MSA is also asking the maritime community to report all diesel fuel related problems in light of the current diesel situation.

“We are collecting information about vessels which may have experienced fuel filter blockages, to better assess the size and scale of the problem,” said Mr Kilvington.

“We have had several reports of vessels with apparent fuel difficulties at sea. Some have returned to port and others are checking and changing fuel filters as necessary,” Mr Kilvington said.

Any mariners who have experienced diesel fuel related problems are asked to contact the MSA on free-phone 0800 22 55 22 and report the details.


ENDS

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