ANTHONY DAWSON, MATE NCV
The vessel was a super tanker. The vessel loaded crude at Kharg Island and was proceeding to Trieste via cape town. Provisions and stores were taken at Cape Town and the vessel proceeded on the voyage. The vessel encountered a storm, which was bad enough to break one of the wind shields. The butterworth plates of the cargo tank was washed away and cargo was spilling out and water was entering in at every roll. The officers were British and the crew Indians. To add to the misery, the ship lost its port life boat and the vessel started trimming down by head. On investigation it was found that the water has entered through the spiral (hawse) pipe into the chain lockers port and starboard, which were not covered. Further the sea water flooded the chain locker store /rope store, paint locker and fore peak tank which is good enough to cause the trim to change by head.
Shore assistance was called to set things right and to make her sea worthy.
The company had to spend a lot of money. This is due to total human error.
Investigation revealed :
1.no sounding pipe for both the chain lockers.2.to sound one has to open 16 nuts of each cover and close it again, the process takes
2 hours approximately. This being done by pump man during the week days.
3.on holidays, C/E who was incharge of giving overtime to the crew, just to save giving overtime to the pump man, he assigned cadets to take soundings on holidays and Sundays.
4.the cadets were lazy to put back the covers after taking the soundings which resulted in the water ingress.
Lesson learnt :
leave proper instructions to juniors regarding the operational requirements and ensure that they understand and follow the procedures.