GOOD WATCH KEEPING :
The following incidence took place in one of the bulk carriers, ship was departing on ballast condition and soon after full away, duty engineers were being securing the main plant and stabilizing all the parameters. Every thing looked normal and RPM was gradually increased to sea speed. After sometime, 3/E in his normal engine room round found M/E L.O sump level less than normal.
After observing for another ½ HR when 3/E found that sump sounding was still falling the matter was reported. C/E went down to engine room and checked all the parameters of M/E, which were found normal thereafter we started checking all the LO piping above the engine room flow. As there was no leakages found in the area piping above the E.R. tank top were inspected. It was then found that M/E L.O suction pipe to the L.O pump had a hole near the bend.
The ship being 22 years old the piping conditions were not satisfactory. Immediate actions were initiated to stop M/E and necessary measures taken to repair the pipe. Being an old pipe and its difficult position, it was decided to cement box the section of the piping and proceed with the sea passage of next 2 days. In port the complete length of piping was renewed. Prompt observation and good watch keeping was appreciated as it avoided an emergency.