Accident at the unloading of dangerous goods
An oil tanker with the dead weight of 100000 Mt was carrying aboard 90000 m3 of flammable toxic product methanol for about a year. The freighter just couldn't manage to sell the fraught and started pursuing the ship owner in court. When the fraught was finally sold in Singapore, the vessel went to the port for discharge. At the time the duties of the chief engineer were carried out by the company's representative.
The previous crews maintained the shipboard equipment poorly, and this aroused a lot of problems before discharging. The crew had difficulties in preparing and starting the necessary mechanisms and proceeding for discharge. In a few hours the fire started inside a pipeline offsetting inert gas from an auxiliary boiler. It was caused by neglect of the previous crews who never performed the obligatory flushing of the offsetting pipe after each discharge.
The fire alarm turned on. To avoid damaging the power switchboard, the chief engineer decided to put out the auxiliary boilers with fresh water. While extinguishing the fire source, the crew removed heat insulation from the pipe and revealed that the uptake valve burnt down and its plate was absent. The captain and the chief engineer informed the company about the incident and asked for instructions on crew's further actions. They also offered to make a second attempt to discharging using diesel oil in the boiler. The owner gave his permission.
In three hours the second attempt of discharging using diesel oil in the boiler led to another inflammation. The crew reported on the incident and offered to continue discharging without IGS but delivering fresh air to the tanks till the oxygen level in the tanks reached ~8-9%. The DPA said that he washed his hands of it and couldn’t give permission for this operation, "Do this at your own risk. If anything, I didn't know about it." At commanders conference it was decided to carry out discharging while carefully managing the oxygen level in the IG tanks. In six hours the discharge was successfully completed. The vessel departed from the port for the anchor hold and in a week it entered the necessary dry dock.
The professional but rather risky actions of the technical crew's and chief engineer in this case ensured the fulfillment of contract terms with the benefit of all concerned.
Urgent putting vessel into operation after long-term demurrage
The superintendent and the engine crew consisting of chief engineer, second engineer, third engineer, fourth engineer, electrical engineer, three motormen and fitter were sent on a mission to receive and put into operation a shuttle tanker 115000 Mt after 3.5 year anchoring in the tropical zone. The company gave them 30 days to get the job done.
When they came aboard, they found out the following: it took more than an hour to deliver something to the vessel; the superstructure was completely deactivated; one needed to go to shore before 2 p.m. because from 3 p. m. waves reach up to 4 meters and it becomes impossible. So they had only from 9.30 a.m. till 1.30 p.m. for work. In order to meet the deadline, they needed to work really hard.
On their first day on the vessel the crew installed a 200 kV mobile diesel generator and started activating the air-delivery system for engine-boiler room and the ventilation of the superstructure rooms. The next day they devoted to inspect the condition of systems, mechanisms and devices: they took samples of fuel, oil and water from tanks. It turned out that one compressor was not working and the second one needed to be restored. To do the task, the crew devided into three groups
- Compressor repair;
- Diesel generator 1 repair;
- Condition inspection of the main engine.
It took 3 days and the effort of 2 men to restore the operating condition of the compressor. During the revision of the crank case of diesel generator 1 the group revealed 50 mm of oil mud. The engine could be turned freely by hand, the turbine rotor turned as well. On the third day diesel generator 1 was ready for check run: the crank case was cleaned, oil changed.
The inspection of the main engine also showed that it was ready for check run too, but oil was leaking in the CPP pitch changing mechanism through the aft oil seal.
It took one week to put auxiliary boiler 1 into operating condition because all arrangement were removed from the boiler.
During the 10th-15th days the crew carried out preparation and test of all three diesel generators part-loaded. At the same time they checked all air cylinders and isolation valves, pumped air into the cylinders. Works on restoring fresh water system took another four days, and more than twenty pipeline leaks were to be eliminated in the superstructure.
On the 16th-17th days the conditioning and the refrigerating plants was started.
On the 18th-19th days they performed rollover and trial start of the main engine.
On the 20th-21th days they reported to the office that the engine room was ready for voyage.
The deck crew and the captain-instructor executed vessel documents and together with the engine crew passed the vessel to the BV inspector.
On the 26th day the crew unanchored and went to the open sea with one operating radar. On the 3rd day the radar broke down during the transition to the destination port. The crew had to move blindfolded in the fog for two days, but the vessel arrived at the destination port on time and the company's task was accomplished by 110%.
There are no impossible tasks for us
An oil tanker with dead weight over 100000 Mt was preparing for discharging in Fujairah (UAE). The vessel crew had just been changed, so the discharging preparation was not going well. The company sent their representative superintendent to the vessel of to help them with discharging. The superintendent came aboard; the vessel unanchored and started moving to port. At this time the air-conditioning at the vessel superstructure was damaged.
The superintendent found out that there's no backup compressor for the conditioning system at the vessel. The situation was critical: at an air temperature of 40° С by the board, the temperature aboard reached 42° С. The foreman and the superintendent held off the loading master for ten hours, persuading him to discharge first part of the fraught. They managed to do it. But then the port authorities ordered to anchor the vessel until the conditioning was restored. The ship owner made a request for extra-urgent delivery of a compressor. On the third day the compressor was delivered to the vessel. The supplier's three technicians who delivered the compressor refused to install it on the ground of impossibility of its transportation to the superstructure due to its weight. Though both supplying and installing were preconditioned.
The superintendent organized the engine crew and in half an hour the compressor was installed. The technicians were amazed at the works performed by the crew. The conditioning was started in four hours and the operator commanded to went to port for discharge.
During the discharge preparation the foreman saw that the oil cooling system of the reduction gears COPT 1, 2, 3 was blocked by 85-90%. The crew started three COPTs, but revolutions couldn't exceed 600-650 rpm with sequential COPT stops for oil cooling. The loading master saw that, stopped the discharging and anchored the vessel till the faults were eliminated.
The chief engineer couldn't explain to the superintendent clearly what caused the malfunction, so he was suspended from his duty. The superintendent together with the captain urgently found a repair crew so that at least one COPT would be 100% ready for work. The operating procedures were the following: the crew dismantled the pipes of cooling sea water supply and extraction from the oil cooler COPT; dismantled the pipes of cooling water supply and extraction from the conditioning cooling pump (P=4 bar); welded pipes for connecting the sea water supply and extraction to the COPT oil cooler. Connected the two systems with rubber hoses and start the conditioning pump; start COPT 1 and increase evolution of turbine to the full rpms.
The vessel performed the excessive discharging of the fraught with rate 3500-3600 m3/h according to the freighter's requirements. The ship owner saved ~70000-100000 $ on penalty.