As a chemical tanker discharged its cargo at a Vopak terminal near Houston in May 2019, alarms began to sound.

The problem: in two tanks a nitrogen blanket used to prevent the cargo from being contaminated with oxygen was being depleted, according to legal records filed by the owner and manager of the 20,800-dwt Fairchem Filly (built 2007).

The ship’s chief officer made numerous attempts to reach the terminal’s dock supervisor regarding a problem with the nitrogen pressure, to no avail.