It was a bulk carrier. We were approaching Vancouver (Canada) and there was 3 hours pilotage before port (it was a narrow channel).

The same day the chief engineer told 3rd engineer to transfer the remaining fuel oil of one particular tank that was almost empty into the settling tank. The reason was to make enough space for bunkering. When the ship was under pilotage, suddenly we got a viscosity abnormal alarm. First we checked change over valves. All were ok. Then we checked FO set tk drain. There was only water coming so immediately we changed over ME to DO and proceeded.

Even though Change over to DO at that temp was not advisable but we had to do it. Because of FO ser tk had only water. Then we drained everything from Ser and Set TKs transferred fresh oil from other Tk. Situation brought back to normal.

Lessons to be learnt:

Never attempt to transfer any fuel oil which was left long time back during maneouvring time.

Plan everything in advance and finish all transfer out at sea (not just before approaching port).
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