25th Jul 05

This 1,39,000 dwt, tanker was lightening at Philadelphia. The 2nd Engineer was asked to keep one of the two boilers empty for Internal Inspection by a Boiler Specialist, due to second boiler tubes being choked by rust.

The Specialist inspected the boiler between 2000 hrs and 0400 hrs and the 2nd Engineer was asked to keep the other boiler ready for Inspection next day afternoon. The boiler which was in use was shut down after flashing up the inspection boiler.

Next day afternoon 2nd Engineer came to E/R to monitor the progress. He saw the stopped boiler and noticed that the water was being drained from stopped boiler to the hotwell in order to save water as there was a shortage of water onboard the ship.

2nd engineer also noticed that draining of the water through the hose to hotwell was almost over. He checked the boiler pressure and found it zero and then after ensuring there is no pressure within boiler, knocked down the top manhole door.

In the meantime the boiler specialist came down to E/R and asked 2nd Engineer to open all the manhole doors also, in order to cool down the boiler fast to facilitate inspection. 2nd engineer took out all the bolts from bottom hand door (hinge type) and standing beside the handhole door, knocked down the flange.

As soon as the flange fell down there was a gush of hot water. It fell on the floor and splashed on the 2nd eng.'s leg, burning him badly.

The 2nd engr was hospitalized for 35 days for his leg burns.

Lessons to be learnt:

1) Learn to act sensibly while under pressure.
2) Do not attempt to open the boiler for inspection, when it is still hot.
3) Always, strictly follow safety instructions.
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