6th Jun 05

I was working on a brand new vessel delivered from a yard in Sweden in the year 1978.

We had made the voyages from Port Cartier (Canada) to Middlesbrough (UK) after the delivery. The engine was a B&W, KGF 90. Port Cartier is a rocky harbour in a 'V' shape, where always the pilot gives full ahead, stop, full astern, to steer the ship away from the harbour. Previous three voyages totally five movements were given before the commencement of the sea passage from SBE. Same way the fourth voyage, vessel fully loaded with iron ore 1, 23,000 tons, SBE, full ahead, stop and then full astern telegraph movement was given by the pilot. But the astern movement did not commence and the ship rammed the rocky bottom. Collision bulkhead was completely damaged, 60'length bottom hull plate was ripped open and double bottom tanks, 1 P & S also got damaged.

Reason for the engine failure: the distribution unit is situated at the fuel p/p platform. As per the 'Ahead' and 'Astern' movement the distributor shaft travels forward and back. To prevent dust falling on the distributor shaft, it was protected by a rubber bellows around, and the ends of the bellow were strapped at both ends with jubilee clips. One of the jubilee clips got loose and slipped on to the distributor shaft. This metallic clip prevented the shaft from moving.

Hence the astern movement was not answered, leading to the immense damage.

Makers instructed all other vessels immediately to remove the jubilee clip and then provided a protective roof above the distributor shaft.
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