Mid-Deck Design In Doubt, Afterliests At Navy Research Center

Recent tanker model tests at the David Taylor Research Center in Maryland seem to favor the doublehull design, according to a U. S. Coast Guard official. The tests also cast doubt on earlier assumptions about the performance of the mid-deck tanker design.

According to Joseph Angelo, Chief, Vessel Inspection and Documentation, U.S. Guard, and a member of the Tanker Design Committee of IMO, the final tests conducted at DTRC have cast doubt on the committee's earlier assumptions about how much oil will flow out of a mid-deck tanker on initial impact.

Earlier, the theoretical mid-deck design had been touted by the committee as an environmental equivalent of the double hull.

There is pressure on the Coast Guard in Washington to steer IMO away from the mid-deck design. For example, Robert Torricelli and Dean Gallo, two New Jersey congressmen, have convinced 37 of their colleagues to sign a letter urging the Coast Guard to "unequivocally reject the mid-deck as equivalent." The Oil Pollution Act of 1990 mandates that all tankers operating in U.S. waters be equipped with double hulls by 2015.

Maritime Reporter Magazine, page 32,  Mar 1992 Caribbean

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