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Cargo leaked into ballast tank

When Water Ballast Tank was discharged, an oily sheen was observed on the sea surface A double-hulled oil tanker with segregated ballast tanks (SBT) was standing by off-limits at a loading port in good weather. In accordance with the pre-arrival schedule and loading plan, extra ballast was being pumped out. When 2S Water Ballast Tank (WBT) was discharged, an oily sheen was observed on the sea surface. Deballasting was immediately stopped and investigations detected an oil layer (innage) of about 15 cm on top of the ballast water in the tank.Shore management was informed, the oily mixture from tank 2S WBT was skimmed off with a portable salvage pump and transferred to 3S cargo oil tank (COT) and from there, to the slop tank. Thereafter, No. 2S WBT was superficially washed and gas freed to make the tank safe for human entry. After complying with all safety procedures, the inspection team entered the tank.They discovered that during the previous loaded voyage, oil from the adjacent cargo tank had leaked into the ballast tank through a crack on a weld seam approximately 3.5 metres below the deckhead, at the intersection of the longitudinal bulkhead and first stringer flat.Corrective actions1. With approval ...

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Testing of Quick Closing Valves caused blackout in TSS

Corrective / preventative actions A small gas tanker was on a loaded coastal voyage. Prior to arrival at the discharge port, the chief engineer and a company superintendent who was on board to carry out an inspection of the vessel, planned to test the operation of QCVs in the fuel oil (FO) and diesel oil (DO) tanks. At about 11:30, both the chief engineer and superintendent positioned themselves near the FO service tank and ordered the tripping of the tank's QCV from the remote emergency control station.After confirming proper closing, the QCV was manually opened and reset. It was then decided to break for lunch. At about 12:40 hrs, when one hour's notice of arrival had been given by the bridge, the Chief Engineer returned to the engine room. At the time, the vessel was proceeding along the traffic separation scheme in the outer approaches to the destination port. At 12:55 hrs, No. 1 generator engine suddenly stopped, causing a blackout and loss of propulsion and steering. The Master broadcast a safety message on VHF and arranged to display Not Under Control (NUC) signals. Immediately, No. 2 generator engine was started manually and was taken on load, but after about ...

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Short loading after miscalculation

The ship sailed about 600 tonnes short, reducing the voyage profit A bulk carrier was intending to load maximum possible cargo (summer loadline). Throughout the loading operation, the dock water density was consistently measured by the Chief Officer to be about 1.013. However, much to the surprise of the terminal, the Master discontinued the loading when the vessel reached her summer draught and declined to load any more cargo. It was also established that the vessel intended to sail direct to the discharge port and no bunkering en route was planned.The Master and the chief officer seemed to be ignorant about applying dock water allowance so that the vessel could sail from the terminal at a draught deeper than the permitted maximum sea draught. In order to defend any future claim against short-loading or deadfreight, the terminal obtained a signed declaration from the Master stating that he did not want to load any more cargo, and the ship sailed about 600 tonnes short, undoubtedly reducing the voyage profit.Source: Mars/Nautical Institute

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Contact damage during ship-to-ship operation

It is suspected that the use of the starboard anchor accelerated the turning movement An oil tanker under our management was approaching an anchored 'mother vessel' on her starboard side in order to perform a STS operation. The weather conditions were ideal and adequate fendering was deployed by both vessels. The mother vessel was riding to her starboard (same side as her 'working' side) anchor, which is contrary to OCIMF STS guidelines.During the approach, the mother vessel suddenly began to yaw. It is suspected that the use of the starboard anchor accelerated this turning movement. An urgent order was given to the tug to pull the vessels apart, but this sudden stressing of the towline resulted in it parting and the vessels coming into contact.The tug was made fast and again ordered to pull our vessel clear, but, due to high tensile loads, the towline parted for a second time, resulting in multiple contacts between the two vessels. Both vessels suffered minor damages. Subsequently, a fresh approach was successfully made and the STS operation was performed without further incident.Root cause / contributory factors1. Non-compliance with OCIMF STS guidelines2. Unexpected yaw by anchored mother vessel;3. Inadequate planning and misjudgment by the ...

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Dangers of containers of Aluminium Phosphide

Crew heard a number of small 'explosions' inside one of these containers A container vessel loaded some containers of Aluminium Phosphide (IMDG Class 4.3, UN No. 1397) from an Asian port. The consignment used plastic bags as inner packaging and steel drums as outer packaging. The drums were then secured on wooden pallets and these were finally stacked inside a standard marine freight container.During the voyage, the crew heard a number of small 'explosions' inside one of these containers, after which some smoke escaped past the rubber seals of the door. On seeing the smoke, the crew assumed that the cargo inside was burning and sprayed water on the outside of the container exterior in order to cool it.Although the cargo had been correctly declared at the time of shipment, the relevant Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) was not provided to the carrier or to the vessel. The crew was unaware of the fact that contact between water and Aluminium Phosphide produces phosphine, an extremely flammable and toxic gas. (See note)The vessel diverted to the nearest port down the coast, where the affected containers were discharged. During the discharge operation, further small explosions were heard coming from the within the ...

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Human error causes oil spill

Lessons learnt One of our tankers was discharging cargo alongside at an oil terminal in USA, when an overflow of Low Sulphur Marine Gas Oil (LSMGO) occurred from the vent pipe of the starboard Diesel Oil (DO) storage tank. The overflow was stopped immediately and spill control measures initiated, however some of the oil had flowed over the gutter plate and escaped overboard. Spill abatement and control measures were carried out by the Qualified Individual (QI) under the supervision of the USCG.Result of onboard investigationIn preparation for internal transfer of LSMGO, the junior engineer independently chose to prepare the receiving (DO storage) tank and line up the valves and the fuel oil (FO) transfer pump just before the end of the evening watch, which was about to be handed over from the third engineer to the fourth engineer. Observing that there was a small quantity of remnants in the receiving tank, the junior engineer decided on his own that it would be prudent to transfer this into a drain tank.As per established procedure, he inspected and confirmed that the line from the FO storage tank (which temporarily contained the LSMGO to be transferred the next day) was isolated, opened the ...

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Sea suctions choked with fish

The sea water pumps were showing inadequate discharge pressure Oil tanker was discharging at an Asian oil terminal. Simultaneously, the vessel was being inspected by a vetting inspector and the owner's superintendent was also attending. The inert gas (IG) plant was in operation. About four hours into the discharge, the C/E was informed that the seawater low pressure alarm had been activated.He came to the engine room and observed that all the sea water pumps were showing inadequate discharge pressure. At the time, the high sea suction was in use, and even though it was well under water, the C/E instructed the duty engineer to change over to the low sea suction in order to improve the head. Immediately, the pump suction and discharge pressures became normal. After monitoring the system for some time, the C/E left for his cabin.After a few more hours, the problem recurred and the C/E again returned to find all seawater pumps had developed vacuum condition on the suction side and were showing very low discharge pressures. It was immediately suspected that the strainers inside the sea suction chests were clogged. However, with the cargo pumps and IG plant operating at full capacity, it was ...

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Gangway damaged during unberthing

Corrective and preventative actions One vessel was to move from her berth (port side alongside) and tie up at another berth (starboard side alongside) further up the dock. A pilot and two harbour tugs arrived at the designated time and Master - Pilot information was exchanged before commencing the movement. The pilot requested that the port accommodation ladder be hoisted by only a few metres and retained there, as he intended to use it for disembarking from the 'sea' side at the next berth. Due to the ship's draught, height of the pier and the state of tide, in this 'raised' position, the gangway was only about a metre clear of the jetty.During the unmooring operation, there was a strong off-shore wind and moderate rain, and due to the latter, both the Master and the Pilot remained inside the wheelhouse throughout. On the pilot's advice, all headlines and sternline(s) were first let go, retaining only the backsprings fore and aft. After the sternline(s) had been retrieved on board, the deck officer in charge of the aft mooring station went over to the backspring winch, which was situated on the starboard main deck, forward of the accommodation. He engaged the gear ...

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Ineffective mooring configuration causes shift at berth

Preventative actions with a view to preventing recurrence A large crude carrier berthed at a loading terminal, deploying two headlines, four breastlines, two backsprings forward and two sternlines, four breastlines, two backsprings aft, as recommended by the pilot. After loading commenced, moorings were regularly tended to by ship's staff.However, the following evening, the terminal suspended loading, stating that the vessel had moved position forward by 2.5 metres. The vessel contested this claim, estimating that the movement did not exceed a metre. Nevertheless, the crew immediately repositioned the vessel to the satisfaction of the terminal and loading was resumed. Root cause/contributory factorsInappropriate advice on moorings configuration by berthing pilot that was not in accordance with published guidelines which recommended a 3-2-2 configuration of mooring lines fore and aft;Location of the shore fittings (quick-release hooks) was such that the after breastlines led ahead, acting like additional after backsprings;Uneven distribution of forces caused the vessel to move ahead during loading.Corrective actionsVessel was repositioned immediately by ship's staff to the terminal's satisfaction;A prominent reference mark was secured on the ship's rail and the correct position of the ship at the berth was closely and continuously monitored; Master and chief officer held a meeting with ...

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Safety in gymnasiums of ships

Precautions and recommendations Case 1 A crewmember was exercising with heavy weights in the ship's gymnasium, when he heard a clicking sound from his right shoulder and felt acute pain. He became semi-conscious and as he fell to the deck, the heavy weight which he was lifting landed on the over-strained shoulder. Subsequently, even after treatment on board, he continued to feel soreness and pain in the affected muscles and there was discoloration in the region of the right triceps. Case 2 While the vessel was rolling heavily in rough weather and heavy seas, a lone crewmember was observed training in the ship's gymnasium using heavy weights. He was immediately prevented from continuing with the weight training as there was an unacceptably high risk of injuring himself. Case 3 It was observed that the barbells in the ship's gymnasium were not properly stowed and secured in their designated locations. If they had broken loose in adverse sea conditions, their movement could potentially have injured personnel and caused damage to the surrounding equipment. Recommendations Select weights as per your capacity and use with correct technique, otherwise you may not be in proper control; Choose safe exercises suited to your body's build ...

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