Encounters At Sea
Certificate of Merit
BLACKOUT IN MISSISSIPPI
27th Jun 05
When the vessel was in Mississippi river anchorage, close to New Orleans, the Pilot was about to board the vessel in another 2 hours.
Two generators were running (the 3rd one being a turbo generator). All of a sudden luboil and JOW temperature high alarms went off followed by a trip- then Blackout.
To put back the system in the normal position it took almost 4 hours.
The main reason for the blackout was as follows:
Previously the Vessel had carried a cargo of grain, when during deckwash the grain residues entered the sea suction filters, gradually choking them. When the amount of water taken by the A/C cooling P/P which was supplying water to Aux engines (Aux seawater cooling P/P was out of order due to problem in the waterside windings) was reduced because just before we had started Ballast P/P which was having a huge capacity of 1000 m3/hr. The Ballast P/P sucked the whole water thereby A/C cooling P/P was starved of supply water to Aux engines.
With the power from emergency bilge P/P supplied to A/C P/P through temporary connection, the pump was primed and purging done. Suction filters cleaned.
This machinery failure could have been avoided by changing the suction to the other side prior the deckwash. The affected side seachest could have been isolated and other side seachest put into use, thereby avoiding the choking and resultant blackout.