22nd Jun. 06

It was one of those usual evenings on board a motor vessel.

The ship was fully loaded with cargo. This ship happens to be a reefer cargo vessels with 1, 84, 000 boxes of bananas. The ship set sail for East Europe from the load port Santa Marta, Columbia. It's been about 44hrs since the loading of the bananas. All the main generators were on load with full power to supply for the cargo reefers pumps and the controlled atmosphere system.

All had retired to bed, hoping for a good night's sleep. It was around 23.20hrs that the fire alarm sounded. All rushed out of their cabins frantically, hoping almost surely it was one of those usual false alarms. But alas! It was not so!

We saw when the engine room entrance door was opened in this UMS class vessel, a dense, heavy, thick smoke emitted out of the engine room, trying to find its way into the accommodation.

To make a long story short, all the big heads joined together and decided to flood the Engine Room with Co2.
All necessary precautions were taken, Co2 released into the engine room; after the required “silent period” man entry into the engine room was under taken and investigation started.

The Cause
A flexible rubber hose connection of Aux Engine 4, a smaller Engine, had ruptured and hot lubrication oil had sprayed directly on to the exhaust manifold of the adjacent running generator.

Investigation Results
It was found that about 5 months back this pipe was fitted. This was not an original makers' supply. Instead, due to non- availability of the pipe in spares, an ordinary rubber hose was fitted in place. New hose was ordered, received and stocked up in a proper place in the engine room stores.

But during handing-over, this exchange of pipe to a home made pipe was not mentioned and so the new, original makers' pipe found its place in the stores rather than on the engine.

Preventive Action
All flexible pipes in engine room were chalked out, a preventive visual check/ inspection job was added into the preventive main entrance system. Sufficient new flexible pipes were ordered and stacked up for ready use.

All Pipes were protected with deflecting plates so that in the event of a rupture, the oil will be deflected down to the engine room bilges rather than high up in the ceiling and falling onto nearly exhaust manifold or any other hot area.
hindustan institute of marine training chennai