Feb 242016
 

Barbecues are  great way to encourage crew bonding, boost morale, and improve shipboard atmosphere but it’s a good idea to make sure that it’s only the burgers that get burned and not you fellow crew, suggests Singapore’s Maritime & Port Authority, MPSA. The warning was triggered by several recent incidents.

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Mar 162015
 

Investigations into the 11 December 2014 engine room fire aboard Oceania Insignia continue into the engine room fire aboard the cruiseship Oceania Insignia which cost three lives but the US Coast Guard has already issued a safety alert. It highlights maintenance issues and the important of having a personal evacuation plan.

Marshall Islands-flagged, the 50,000 gt Insignia was built in 1998. The vessel was refurbished in 2014 and, says Oceania: “has undergone a multimillion-dollar transformation to create a virtually new ship”.

Says the USCG safety alert:

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Feb 132015
 

Everyone knows, or should know, that rags contaminated with certain types of oil can self-ignite,or spontaneously combust, in places like waste bins but freshly-laundered tea-towels can also do so and lead to a galley fire warns a safety alert from Marine Safety Forum.

A night watchman on a vessel was carrying out his usual tasks and after washing the galley tea towels, they went into the tumble dryer. Once finished approximately 20 tea towels were stacked in a pile and placed on top of the galley freezer. Continue reading »

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Nov 062014
 

detroit2Several Detroit Diesel engines have unique couplings which connect the heads on each side of the engine, a male-to-male threaded variable length couplingwhich lengthen when their ends are threaded into the heads. Following a fire aboard a passenger vessel the US Coastguard has issued a safety alert warning againstreplacing the couplings with ones which are not designed for use with the engines.

Recently, a fire occurred on a passenger vessel operating about a mile offshore in the Atlantic Ocean. A crewmember, while making a round in a machinery space, noticed that a small fuel spray fire had developed above one of the four propulsion engines. The crewmember vacated the space and informed the bridge watch. Subsequently, proper emergency procedures were followed, ventilation to the machinery space was secured, and the CO2 via the fixed fire fighting system was released. Fortunately for the 174 persons onboard, the fire was quickly extinguished without incident or additional complications. Although the investigation is not complete, USCG has issued an alert. Continue reading »

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Jul 112014
 

pyroPyrotechnics: Think before you throw is the message from the Marine Safety Forum in its latest safety alert.

Says MSF: “Recently at a depot where ship’s garbage is sorted, a discarded marine flare ignited on the picking line. Fortunately on this occasion there was no injury to personnel involved but some damage has been done to the conveyor belt.

Investigations are currently underway, and with the help of other agencies it is hoped that the owner can be traced.

Mariners, Ship Owners, Agents and Chandlers are reminded that flares and other special wastes should not be disposed of within the ship’s waste receptacles provided by the port.

Disposal of Ship’s flares or any Marine pyrotechnic should only be arranged through an approved provider for such services.
Further information on safe disposal will be available through ships chandlers and suppliers of replacement/new pyrotechnic items.

Download the safety alert

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Feb 162013
 
One charger too many?

One charger too many?

Check your battery charging setup if you want to avoid unpleasant surprises is the message in a safety alert issued by Marine Safety Forum. In this case two chargers were at work simultaneously, evaporating electrolyte and leading to an explosion.

As part of his weekly routine, the Engineer was carrying out planned maintenance of emergency generator. When the Engineer started the generator, he heard a loud bang from the battery container.

He stopped the process and investigated the noise which was when he discovered that one of the starter batteries had fragmented with the top of the battery detaching from body.

The battery was safely removed and switched over to hydraulic starting mode. Continue reading »

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Nov 222011
 

A pain in the bottom

MAC has previously noted that corroded, pressurised air cylindres in lifeboat can be a pain in the bottom. Step Change In Safety’s latest safety alert is a reminder of the importance of ensuring that compressed air or gas cylinders, fire extinguishers and hydraulic systems are regularly inspected, maintained and hydraulically tested at recommended intervals. They must be renewed if there are any signs of wastage or corrosion, which may be particularly serious in locations that are exposed or enclosed.

Says the alert: An oil tanker’s totally enclosed fibreglass lifeboats were equipped with high-pressure air cylinders stowed beside the keel. One day at sea – shortly after the lifeboats had undergone a 5-yearly inspection by an accredited contractor – one of the compressed air cylinders suddenly and spontaneously burst, resulting in extensive damage to the lifeboat’s keel and hull. Fortunately, no-one was injured. Once the vessel arrived in port, a local lifeboat service company was contracted to investigate the incident and assess the damage with a view to carrying out repairs. In the absence of supporting documents (certificates/ work reports etc.) and from the dates punched on the cylinders, it appeared that it was more than six years since the last hydraulic test of the air cylinders. (IACS Recommendation No.88: Air bottles for air supply in totally enclosed lifeboats should be hydraulic pressure tested by a competent service station recognised by a Recognised Organisation at intervals not exceeding 5 years and the hydrostatic test date must be permanently marked on the bottles.) Continue reading »

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Nov 072011
 

Reefers: Are they gassed right?

Britain’s Marime and Coastguard Agency has issued an MIN regarding the explosion of compressors on refrigerated containers, reefers, some fatal, following the use of contaminated refrigerant during maintenance.

Says the MCA: “It has been brought to our attention that a small number of incidents have recently occurred where the compressor unit on reefer containers has exploded. The reason for the failure of the compressor units is still unclear but it would appear that the system, after servicing, has been recharged or ‘topped up’ using contaminated gas.

“A number of shipping companies are aware of the issue and are quarantining reefer units that they suspect contain contaminated refrigeration systems”.

UK P&I Club has circulated part of an analysis by Cambridge Refrigeration Technology: “Refrigerated Container refrigeration units should contain polyolester oil and the refrigerant HFC-134a (1,1,1,2-Tetrafluoroethane) and should therefore be incapable of exploding.

“Material recovered from the exploded units have been analysed by a laboratory and have found to be corroded by a chlorinated compound. Traces of alumina (AL2O3) were also found at the sites.

“From the above data we can be reasonably certain that the pyrophoric liquid ( burns in contact with air) to be is trimethyl aluminium (Al2(CH3)6). The explanation is that the system has been contaminated with a counterfeit refrigerant containing methyl chloride (chloromethane, CH3Cl). This gas works as a refrigerant but reacts with the aluminium in the compressor forming trimethyl aluminium, which is a liquid at room temperature”. Continue reading »

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Sep 112011
 

A Trinidadian company has been trying to ship HBI Fines. now known as DRI C, without complying with the mandatory requirements of the IMSBC Code warns the London P&I Club in its latest edition of it StopLoss bulletin.

Says the club: “Long-standing concerns about the carriage of Direct Reduced Iron (DRI) increased significantly after casualties on the Marshall Islands flagged Ythan in 2004. A chemical reaction between the DRI C cargo and water contained therein resulted in the production of hydrogen, which accumulated under the hatch covers before igniting and exploding. Industry concerns led to the introduction of specific provisions for the carriage of DRI C in the IMSBC Code.
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