CPP REMOTE INDICATION FAILURE LEADING TO ACCIDENT :
Vessel was alongside. There were 2 more vessels at the aft. Side one after another. Vessel was on UMS operation with bridge maneuvering officers and crew were multinational.
Departure port maneuvering had just started C/E, 2/E, E/O, was inside engine control room C.P.P. remote indication failure alarm inside control room indication sounded. 2/E checked up with bridge over phone and reported that at bridge every thing is normal also CPP indication of pitch is ok. C/E wanted to attend the fault at once and asked E/O to check. 2/E and E/O requested C/E, since as far as operation concerned there is nothing wrong, and to request master to go outside and anchor so that we can attend the fault. The same fault had occurred earlier also. But C/E asked E/O to check immediately. For checking E/O has to put the power off CPP panel off. He put off the power for CPP panel leading to stop CPP pump with total CPP failure alarm. There is no engine driven CPP pump. 2/E asked C/E not to do this while engine is running. Hence C/E told E/O to put on the same power. 2/E restarted CPP pump and things were normal.
During this time the main sea water pump lost suction and low pressure alarm sounded. 2/E went down to prime the sea suction & pump. During this time C/E had again asked E/O to check the same CPP fault. He again put off the power of the CPP panel leading to sound total CPP failure alarm.
Vessel moved to full astern automatically increasing CPP pitch to maximum (100 %) due to tripping of CPP pump while putting off the CPP power. The left over mooring ropes parted and vessel collided to with the vessel at Aft. And that vessel collided with another vessel at her aft. Bridge informed ECR to stop engine and engine could not be stopped by C/E. 2E/O was not in control room.
After priming sea suction while 2/E was coming to control room, saw 3/O coming running down and he informed that the ship had hit Aft Vessel. 2/E ran to engine control room and stopped the engine by operating emergency stop.
Reason for accident :
The hasty decision for attending the fault at once, without taking safety measures into consideration. Also C/E should have thought for a while when the ‘total CPP failure’ alarm was indicated.
Master/Duty officers were unable to operate the crash stop from bridge which was regularly tested for satisfactory working.
After informing ECR for Emergency stop of engine. C/E might have become upset due to shock and could not stop engine immediately, and engine ran for few seconds till 2/E could stop engines.
There were damages to all three vessels due to the above incident.
Lesson learnt :
CPP repairs /Testing are not to be carried out / attended while “engine is running”. In fact for CPP testing engine is not required to be started, only CPP p/ps are required to be started. Both ahead and astern cpp pitch can be tested only with cpp pump on. During emergency, the decision maker should never panic and he should be as for as possible cool minded, think for a while before taking action.