A chief officer aboard Sovereign Maersk suffered eye injuries when a flow-meter exploded while he was testing the air quality of the vessel’s breathing apparatus compressor. He was hospitalised in Hong Kong for treatment.
Test device connected to compressor. Source: Maersk Line
The chief officer, accompanied by a cadet, was carrying out the yearly check of the breathing apparatus compressor, which involved five tests. Four of the test were completed satisfactorily
Fragments from the flow meter.
The final test, which the chief officer had done eight-10 times previously, involved attaching a glass ampoule to a holder after which a limited amount of air is blown through the ampoule for a predefined amount of time. The air flow is regulated manually by means of a small regulating valve. There were no complications in connection with installing the ampoule or regulating the air flow.
During this test the chief officer heard a sound like “a light bulb hitting the floor”, and felt at once that he had been hurt. The distance from the chief officer’s face to the testing device was approximately an arm’s length.
The chief officer sustained serious injuries to his left eye caused by fragments from the burst flow meter.
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