BOILER INCIDENTS - COMMUNICATION AND ALERTNESS :
This accident / near miss happened on board a chemical tanker, 12,000 dwt. The V/L was at sea. One day third engineer who was on duty, reported to 2/E that ‘misfire’ alarm indication in aux. boiler coming frequently. Aux boiler was in use along with exhaust Gas boiler, as cargo tank cleaning was going on. CCR and CE were informed regarding the boiler. 2/E along with 3E and motorman opened up the burner. Main burner, pilot burner & electrodes land persisting. All the parts, except the electrodes were enclosed.
In this type of boilers (MVIRA) the sparks from the electrodes were not through the deep hole. 2/E had doubt on the electrodes. The V/L neither had an electric workshop nor arrangements to check the electrodes sparking. Hence it was decided to check the sparking, keeping the pilot burner out side the burner. The pilot D.O. line to the burner was disconnected and the electrodes connections were given. The main burner p/p was put off. The circulation during the burner ‘off’ period was not through manual v/vs. They had only solenoid v/vs.
The solenoid v/vs automatically close when the burner p/p is switched off. The control for the boiler was situated 1 deck below boiler platform. 3E was instructed to be near the control panel and the motorman was standing near the railings on the boiler platform, for communication. The 3E was asked to switch on the pressure ignition which, 2/E saw a jet of hot (950C) and at a Pressure (4 bar) jet of oil coming from the line.
2/E could immediately assess the situation and shouted down to switch off the burner p/ps. By this time 3/E himself realized the mistake, and switched off the p/ps himself luckily 2/E and motor man were not standing in the dead line of the jet, and nothing serious happened to us. Actually what had happened was by mistake 3E put on the p/p switch, instead of the igniter switch.