Encounters At Sea
Certificate of Merit
INSPECTION OF SCAVENGE MANIFOLD AND KEEPING IT CLEAN
While taking over a bulk carrier, it was informed by the out going chief engineer, that there was severe starvation of air for the main engine due to a chocked air cooler. Superintendent had arranged a workshop to carry out intensive cleaning of the air cooler. Accordingly, prior to departure this job was carried out by the concerned shore workshop. Soon after when ship was clear of the port and the pilot had disembarked, the main engine speed was increased up to sea speed. However, as soon as the auxiliary blower was put off, it was found that the exhaust temperature before the turbine was shooting up very rapidly. It was an earlier practice to keep the auxiliary blower running continuously even at sea speed.
Then the problems started multiplying. One afternoon it was found the engine room filled with smoke which seemed dto be coming from the scavenge blower. The blower was stopped and on inspection, it was found that the bearing was totally damaged and the shaft too was badly grooved.
That forced the ship to reduce speed drastically. A few hours later, blow past was experience in one of the units, and the unit was cut out.With the prevailing weather, the ship was unable to make underway, hence a port of refuge was sought. The owners gave 12 hours time to get the auxiliary blower repaired. Meanwhile the ship staff attended to the affected main engine unit. One further investigation to found that the problem with the air cooler was actually caused be excessive leakage of exhaust gas **(front the cracked compensator between units)?.