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Article written by Joe Maguire, Technical Manager at Skuld P&I Club. The Club would like to draw attention to the continued dangers of fires which originate in the machinery space. Specifically, where the cause of the fire is as a result of a flammable liquid spraying onto a hot surface.
Typical root causes for such incidents have been identified as:
– Missing pipe brackets/supports on oil systems leading to increased vibrations and subsequent cracks or even breakage of the oil piping system.
– Missing cup over the fuel injector valve.
– Original insulation or screening of hot surfaces was not maintained correctly.
– Original insulation or screening of hot surfaces was not sufficient for preventing oil spray onto hot surfaces.
– Insulation soaked with oil caught fire when sufficiently heated up.
– Oil leakages from engine components like exhaust valve indicators spraying onto the exhaust manifold.
The global passenger ferry industry has averaged more than 1,000 fatalities per year since the 1960s, with the great majority occurring on domestic voyages in Asia and Africa.
From 1966 to 2015 there were 750 recorded fatal accidents involving passenger vessels, resulting in 59,600 fatalities. Ninety-three per cent of ferry accidents occurred during domestic voyages, with 90% of fatalities occurring in just 20 countries and 76% in 10.
Transport Malta’s MSIU issued an investigation report on the fatality of a crew member onboard the Maltese-registered chemical tanker ‘Scot Berlin’ in August 2017. The immediate cause of the accident was the entry into a space which had a significant presence of toxic gases suspended in the air.
The vessel arrived at Marsaxlokk Oil Tanking Terminal loaded with two parcels of cargo. Following the completion of cargo operation, the crew members started the ballasting of the vessel since her next trip to Spain was a ballast voyage. Ballasting in the forepeak tank started under the supervision of the second mate.
Red Ensign Group members have been attending an intensive course aimed at working with them to ensure their safety investigations of marine casualties and incidents are carried out in line with international requirements.
While the REG delegates are already experienced in such investigations, the course run by the UK-based Marine Accident Investigation Branch combines the requirements of the International Maritime Organization’s Casualty Investigation Code with its own experience and best practice.
To assist shipping companies to prepare for implementation of the UN IMO global sulphur cap for ships’ fuel oil, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has produced – free of charge – some comprehensive guidance on implementation planning, to help ensure compliance across the shipping industry with this regulatory game changer.
The free ICS guidance has been prepared for the vast majority of ships that will comply after 1 January 2020 using fuel oils with a sulphur content of 0.50% m/m or less.