Grounding of General Cargo ship age over 25 years during severe S.W. monsoon months in Indian waters.

Casualty Circular No. 5 of 2009

 

(Regulatory/Guidance/Information)

 

NO:11-NT(53)/2007                                                                    Dated: 23.06.2009

 

Subject : Grounding of General Cargo ship age over 25 years during severe S.W. monsoon months in Indian waters.

 

NARRATIVE

A General cargo vessel, Flag - Foreign, built in 1977, GRT - approx 6979 MT in ballast condition arrived in Indian port on 17.6.2007 to load a cargo of 7500 MT of Furnace Slag. After completion of loading the vessel sailed on 20.6.2007 at around 0600 hrs. for its destination port. Immediately after sailing the vessels main engine failed at around 0730 hrs. Subsequently, the vessel anchored in the jurisdiction of the port for the purpose of effecting repairs to its main engine. On 22nd June, 2007, she started to drag her anchor due to adverse weather conditions. Efforts made by the vessel and the port to prevent grounding on 23rd June in the early hours proved futile and eventually capsized to star board side. This shipping casualty resulted in loss of lives of 3 crew members. Remaining 21 crew were rescued and landed safely ashore. Vessel subsequently became total wreck.

 

OBSERVATIONS/ANALYSISES

 

  • Failure of main engines occurred due to improper procedure adopted by the Engineers in changing over from diesel to heavy fuel oil.
  • Lack of familiarization and knowledge of Marine Engineering operations amongst the engineers was one of the contributing factor.
  • In-effective implementation Safety Management System in respect of maintenance of machineries and inventory control of spares led to failure of main engines.
  • Delay in paying out of full length of cable led to dragging of anchor and grounding.
  • Poor fitness level on account of being overweight and age of 2 crew members resulted in loss of their lives.


RECOMMENDATIONS/LESSONS LEARNT:

  • Correct compliance with change of procedure from diesel oil to heavy oil ensures effective atomization and carbonization of injector nozzles. This would prevent seizure of spindle guide and stoppage of main engine.
  • Proper familiarization with the engineering system which includes change over procedure contributes to effective functioning of propulsion and associated vital machinery system.
  • Maintenance of conditions by the ship and the company after the completion of statutory / class certificate survey is essential to ensure seaworthy state of the vessel at all times.
  • Timely action to reduce the dragging of anchor by paying out full length of anchor chain is essential. Under such conditions use of second anchor can be very effective.
  • The Owner and the Master shall ensure that the crew members always remain fit in respect of their weight and age to deal any emergency situations efficiently and effectively.
  • The personal life saving appliances shall always be used during such situations.
  • The verification of experience and qualification of officers by the crewing manager can prevent placement of sub-standard crew board ships.

 

Sd/-
(Capt. Deepak Kapoor)
Nautical Surveyor-cum-DDG (Tech)

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