TOO MUCH SLUDGE ACCUMULATION IN SERVICE TANK LEADING TO BLACK OUT, DRIFITNG OF VESSEL ETC :
S. MICHAEL EDISON, C/E
The vessel was 32 years old. On the second day of sailing, around 0200 hrs, there was a black out, main engine stopped. 3/E who was on watch, and he tried to start the standby generator, but could not start. 2/E came down and tried to start the 3rd generator, but could not run it. Due to so much of trying out, the air bottles were draining. Meanwhile the junior engineer was instructed to drain the FO tanks, and the fuel line filters were cleaned and the line was flushed through.With the air bottle pressure at 12 bar, it was tried, found engine started and the generator came on load. Air bottles were pressed up and main engine started.
Fuel tanks were kept drained till the vessel reached the port. Afterwards the tanks were opened up, found lot of sludge and the settling and service tanks were cleaned thoroughly. All fuel injectors were overhauled, the lines and filters were flushed through thoroughly.
Lesson learnt :
on a routine basis, the fuel tanks should be cleaned off sludge and such incidences can be avoided.