Grand Rodosi/Apollo S – Astern Warning

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Jan 072013
 
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Nobody checked the engines were going astern

Nobody checked the engines were going astern

Keen darts players will envy the precision with which the Liberian-registered Grand Rodosi neatly speared the, fortunately unmanned, Australian-registered  tuna fishing boat Apollo S, crushed her against the berth and sank her in Port Lincoln on 8 October 2010. It happened because no-one on the bridge or in the engine control room was ensuring that the main engine was doing what they thought it was doing.

In this case, according to the recently released Australian Transport Safety Board, ATSB, report on the incident the chief engineer, who was operating the main engine start/fuel lever in the engine room control room, did not allow sufficient time for starting air to stop the ahead running engine. Consequently, when fuel was introduced into the engine, it continued to run ahead, despite the astern telegraph orders.

Orders had been given to set the main engine astern and the orders confirmed but just because an order is given and confirmed it doesn’t necessarily mean that the ship is doing what it’s expected to do. It’s wise to monitor that the ship is doing what you told it to do: An engineroom alarm complained that the main engine was still going ahead. A tachometer on the bridge also indicated that the engine was still running ahead.  Nobody saw them. Continue reading »

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