Sheared Bolts = Loose Fuel = Fire

 fire, fire/explosion, maritime safety news, Safety Alerts  Comments Off on Sheared Bolts = Loose Fuel = Fire
Sep 022011
 

An Offshore Support Vessel was being towed astern of a rig during a rig move transit operation when a fire was reported from the main engine room of the vessel. The engine room fire suppression system (Hi-Fog Water Mist) was automatically activated, emergency fuel shut-off valves closed to shut off fuel supply to the affected engine and vessel emergency response procedures initiated.

The fire was effectively extinguished within 10 minutes by the vessel’s Emergency Response Team (ERT) personnel using portable extinguishers. Following checks on
the main engine(s) and safety equipment, vessel was able to continue operations safely with remaining 3 engines.
The source of the fire was subsequently identified as due to fuel oil leaking from the flange on a Fuel Injector Pump on main engine No.2. The fuel return line had come loose at the flange due to one of two securing bolts shearing and the other working loose. Fuel sprayed from the leaking flange and impinged upon the adjacent hot lagging of the main engine exhaust and turbo charger resulting in ignition and subsequent fire.

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CO2 Valve Was No Turn-On

 fire/explosion, maritime safety news, Safety Alerts  Comments Off on CO2 Valve Was No Turn-On
Sep 012011
 

CO2 isolating valve remained in the closed position when the valve handle was manually operated

During routine inspection of a vessel’s CO2 fire fighting system it was noticed that the engine room CO2 isolating valve remained in the closed position when the valve handle was manually operated. This was evident by the position of the valve spindle which remained in the closed position whilst the handle showed that the valve was open.

The isolating valve was removed, freed up and the handle was repaired and tightened. During this repair process the safety pins for the CO2 bottles were put in place and removed once the repair was completed.

In the event of a fire and the need for CO2 flooding, the isolating valve handle would have been forced to the open position, whilst the valve itself would have remained shut, thereby disabling CO 2 flooding.

Ensure that these CO2 isolating valves open and that it is not just the handles turning on the valve spindles.

During maintenance check that this valve is operating correctly when the inspection is done on the CO2 system.

Download report

 

LPG Atmosphere Hazards: It May Not Go Bang But Might Still Kill

 fire/explosion, maritime safety news, SafeSpace, Safety Alerts  Comments Off on LPG Atmosphere Hazards: It May Not Go Bang But Might Still Kill
Jun 192011
 

Not explosive, but is it toxic?

Know your limits, and the limits of your equipment, and know what your detector is detecting are a couple of the lessons learned from a close-call incident during a Port State Control Certificate of Compliance “Gas”, COC-Gas, exam involving entry into a cargo compressor room aboard an LPG carrier. The vessel’s fixed gas detectors did not set off an alert even though the atmosphere was hazardous.

Says USCG Sector Houston – Galveston: ” personnel recently averted a potentially hazardous exposure to 1,3 butadiene, a known carcinogen, while conducting a Port State Control Certificate of Compliance “Gas” (COC-Gas) exam. The examiners followed USCG Sector Houston-Galveston guidance for entry into cargo compressor rooms that required the space to be certified “Safe for Workers” by a marine chemist prior to entry of Coast Guard personnel. With the compressors secured and ventilation in operation the Marine Chemist found 35 ppm of 1,3 butadiene within the compressor room and could not certify the space as safe for workers in accordance with the published NIOSH Short Term Exposure Limit, STEL, of 5 ppm.

“When notified of the gas in the compressor room the inspection team discussed their concem with why the fixed gas detection system was not identifying the presence of the gas. Further research determined that the lower explosive limit (LEL) for 1,3 butadiene is 20,000 ppm, and the fixed gas detection alarm set point of 10% of LEL would be 2,000 ppm. The 35 ppm reading obtained on the marine chemist’s photo-ionization detector (PHD) would correlate to approx .00175 % LEL, a level not measurable on the fixed gas detection system. Failure to follow this local guidance would have resulted in persormel being exposed to seven times the maximum limit allowed by the STEL”.

So, although the atmosphere was ‘safe’ with regard to the hazard of exposure it was not safe with regard to health.

Concludes the USCG: “All persormel working around 1,3 Butadiene should be keenly aware of and cautious of gas leaks and review MSDS for specific hazards and exposure limits. It is critical to understand the different hazards associated with all gaseous cargoes and the limitations of the meters in use on board and carried. Failure to follow written procedures or take appropriate precautions prior to entering or working in an area suspected of or likely to contain even the slightest amount of cargo vapor may result in long term health issues.

Safety Alert

How to monitor coal cargoes from Indonesia

 fire/explosion, maritime safety news, Safety Alerts  Comments Off on How to monitor coal cargoes from Indonesia
Jun 142011
 

self-heating coal aboard the USS Maine in 1898 led to today's Philippine manning industry.

Self-igniting coal has changed the course of history and the demographics of the maritime industry. It led to the explosion of the USS Maine in Havana harbour in 1898, the Spanish-American War, America’s colonisation of the Philippines in its first, and nasty, war in Asia, and indirectly led to today’s Philippines manning industry. Coal remains a problem aboard ship, as the UK P&I Club reminds us in a newly-released checklist for monitoring coal cargo from Indonesia.

 

Self-heating incidents involving coal cargoes have been problematic for centuries. It was a much-feared hazard in the days of wooden sailing ships, and has continued on since the advent of modern steamships.

The problems associated with carrying coal by sea are today much better understood, says Karl Lumbers, a Director of Thomas Miller P&I Ltd,

“When coal cargo oxidises, it spontaneously generates heat and toxic gases such as carbon monoxide.  This can lead to flammable atmospheres in the hold, depletion of oxygen in those spaces and corrosion of metal structures.  Lower quality coals such as lignite are more prone to this process than higher quality coals such as anthracite.

“Understanding the quality of coal being shipped and how to monitor it is fundamental to reducing the risk of self-heating, and possibly the outbreak of fire.” Continue reading »

Will Your FFF CO2 Work When You Need It? Part Two

 engine room, fire, fire/explosion, Safety Alerts, US Coast Guard  Comments Off on Will Your FFF CO2 Work When You Need It? Part Two
Dec 222010
 

(Mac understands that the CO2 safety alerts arise from the fire aboard Carnival Splendour. If it can happen to Carnival it can happen to you)

A machinery space fire onboard a relatively new vessel was effectively responded to and extinguished by the vessel’s quick response team firefighters using portable extinguishing equipment.

However, before it was declared completely extinguished and approximately five hours after the fire started, the master of the vessel made the decision to release CO2 from the vessel’s fixed firefighting system. It failed to operate as designed.

Subsequently, crewmembers were unable to activate it manually and CO2 was never directed into the machinery space.

The following issues pertaining to the CO2 system were discovered. Continue reading »

Will Your FFF CO2 Work When You Need It? Part One

 fire, fire/explosion, Safety Alerts, US Coast Guard  Comments Off on Will Your FFF CO2 Work When You Need It? Part One
Dec 222010
 

A machinery space fire onboard a relatively new vessel was effectively responded to and extinguished by the vessel’s quick response team firefighters using portable extinguishing equipment.

However, before it was declared completely extinguished and approximately five hours after the fire started, the master of the vessel made the decision to release CO2 from the vessel’s fixed firefighting system. It failed to operate as designed.

Subsequently, crewmembers were unable to activate it manually and CO2 was never directed into the machinery space.

While the casualty investigation remains ongoing, the following issues were discovered that could have negatively affected the crew’s emergency response and may have contributed to the CO2 system failure.

• Shipyard commissioning test procedures appear to differ from procedures documented in the vessel’s Firefighting Instruction Manual (FIM). Commissioning procedures indicate that the discharge line selection to a specific protected zone should be made prior to releasing the gas contrary to the directions in the FIM.

• The FIM refers extensively to a Control Panel (left following image) that differs vastly from the one onboard the vessel (right following image). Continue reading »

Safety Alert – Mixing Up An LEL

 fire/explosion, Safety Alerts  Comments Off on Safety Alert – Mixing Up An LEL
Oct 242010
 

imageIt’s not only bosuns who can get explosive when agitated, so can certain types of waste warns the Marine Safety Forum. Although the safety alert concerns a close-call rather than an accident it’s advice is worth taking.

Says MSF: “There was a request from the platform to backload four packets of wet bulk waste, also known as “slops”, into the OSV’s mud tanks. All associated testing of the waste and paperwork were provided and agreement was reached by the vessel and installation to proceed with the backload.

The composition of the waste was 88% seawater, 7% base oil and remainder small percentages other solid additives.

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Reefers and Spuds Fire Up MAIB Safety Alert

 Ferry, fire, fire safety, fire/explosion, ro-ro, Safety Alerts  Comments Off on Reefers and Spuds Fire Up MAIB Safety Alert
Jul 062010
 
image

Connectors overheated and melted

In advance of completion of the investigation into a fire on the vehicle deck of the ro-ro ferry Commodore Clipper on 16 June, 2010, the UK’s Marine Accident Investigation Board says that operators of vessels carrying refrigerated trailer units should take immediate action to ensure that all power supply cables and fittings provided for refrigerated trailer units are in good condition and that electrical protection devices will activate at an appropriate level.

“Until such time as the exact causes of this fire have been established, make additional checks of refrigerated trailers powered by ships’ electrical systems to provide early warning of any overheating”, says the MAIB safety flier.

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Safety Alert – Watch Those Oily Rags

 fire, fire safety, fire/explosion, safety alert, Safety Alerts, safety flash  Comments Off on Safety Alert – Watch Those Oily Rags
Apr 122010
 

imageA can of linseed oil mistaken for varnish remover mixed with rags in a wheelie bin on deck led to a spontaneous combustion and the destruction of seven out of eight garbage bins, reprts the latest issue of Feedback from the Confidential Hazardous Incident Reporting Programme.

MA commends the shipping company concerned for its willingness to share the lessons learned. More companies should do so.

Says the report: “In the early hours of the morning, a fire broke out on the open poop deck of a merchant ship.

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