USCG – Check bilge alarms and integrity

 Uncategorized  Comments Off on USCG – Check bilge alarms and integrity
May 122008

In the wake of the sinking of the Alaska Ranger, the US Coast has issued a marine safety alert advising vessel owners and operators to examine their vessels’ watertight integrity and the placement of high-level bilge alarms within their vessels.

The alert was issued in light of information revealed during the ongoing marine board of investigation for the sinking of the Alaska Ranger March 28, that resulted in the loss of five lives, as well as other accident investigations that identified similar issues.

The Coast Guard advised vessel owners and operators to implement a watertight door inspection program that will help ensure all watertight decks and bulkheads are inspected periodically.  The inspections should ensure the watertight doors will function properly to prevent progressive flooding in the event of an accident or other incident that causes flooding. The Coast Guard also recommended that all vessel crewmembers be familiar with the locations of watertight doors and weather tight closures throughout their vessels.

The safety alert further urged vessel owners and operators to ensure high-level bilge alarms are arranged to provide the earliest warnings of the abnormal accumulation of water.  These alarms should be set as low as possible to the deck or bilge-well along the center-most area of the bilge.

Beware The Load Binder – It Might Bite Back!

 Maritime Safety Forum  Comments Off on Beware The Load Binder – It Might Bite Back!
May 092008

Use the right tool for the job. Heard it before? Of course you have, and I’m sure this AB in this safety alert from Marine Safety Forum had heard it too:

An AB was securing an anchor buoy with a chain using a lever-type load binder. He had tensioned up the binder using a piece of pipe. He thought it was locked in position; however, when he released it the handle sprung back with force and struck him on the forehead just above his right eye. If the handle had hit him slightly lower down he could have lost the use of his eye.

  • Never use unofficial equipment such as, in this case, a piece of pipe. Use the correct cheater bar which is designed to fit the load binder.
  • Consider using ratchet-type load binders instead.
  • If a lever-type is used, two persons should work together.
  • Always work so that the lever will fly away from you or your colleague if your grip is lost or the handle is not locked.