17th Aug 2006

Type of Ship: - Crude Oil carrier
Engine: - Sulzer 6RLB76

Vessel at Chennai port, discharging cargo and at the same time undergoing heavy main engine repairs.

Changing of main engine liners, dismantling of main engine piston for changing. Telescopic pipe and pipe seals. Tech Manager onboard- also suggests attending main engine cylinder HD CW leakage in way of jacket CW space DF Cylinder HD, by renewing the R. rings of the CW space.

About 16.00 hrs, Cylinder HD was opened out, vessel sailing time about 20.00 hrs. Cylinder HD all mountings removed excepting the relief V/v, as the studs of the valve found to be very tight.

However, the cylinder HD was inverted with relief valve jacket in place removed, R. rings changed and cylinder HD was fitted back in place.

After vessel sailed out for Vizag, a hissing noise was noted from the relief valve of the cylinder HD. The relief valve was closely monitored, but nothing externally was noticed, excepting the hissing noise. It was suspected that the sealing gasket of the relief valave had been damaged.

That night the engine room was manned for monitoring the leaky relief valve and it was decided that next day on arriving Vizag to at the first opportunity attend the relief valve.

Next morning at 0830 hrs the engine room was un-manned for breakfast, but before unmanning the engine room the 4/E/O took a complete round on the cylinder HD platform. Nothing untoward was noted, excepting that the hissing noise level from the leaky relief valve had slightly increased.

At 0840 hrs, fire alarm began ringing and it was noted in the fire detection panel that there was a fire on the main engine cylinder HD platform.

An attempt was made to enter the engine room, but heavy black exhaust was noted in the main engine cylinder HD platform. An entry was attempted from the poop deck, through the steering flat, but black smoke was also noted in the Stg. Flat as the fire door between the engine room and the St. Flat was kept open.

Main engine was stopped from the bridge; the required quick closing valve operated. Entry was made in the engine room with all precautions.


It was found that the relief valve spring had completely broken, missing and later some part of the broken spring section was traced near the boiler platform.
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