STEERING GEAR COMPARTMENT FLOODING (NEAR MISS) :


Shyji K R (master)

Vessel was loaded to even keel and sailed out from the port. Master instructed Chief officer to ballast the after peak tank, to trim the vessel for better steering. Chief officer, started the ballasting and deputed a cadet to monitor the sounding.After a couple of hours, 5/E/O, on his rounds, found the ingress of water in the steering gear compartment.

He stopped ballasting the afterpeak after informing the bridge. After peak tank was partially deballasted, the water in the steering compartment was pumped out,On investigating it was found that the ingress of water was due to the detached scupper pipe in the steering compartment whaich was leading to engine room bilge through aft peak tank.

Lesson learnt :

watch keeping should be perfect and when ballasting and deballasting operations, the monitoring of sounding of tanks should be done honestly, religiously to avert such incidents.