Encounters At Sea
Certificate of Merit
ASSUMPTIONS AND LAZINESS LEADING TO CARGO DELAY
The vessel was a VLCC. During the routine maintenance, the safety valve was o’hauled and it was floated by C/E. The ship loaded cargo and during discharging time, when all the 4 copts were functioning, the boiler pressure had to be raised, and when the boiler pressure reached 15 bar, white smoke was noticed in the funnel by AB and also a Chinese authority. (The ship was discharging in China). Since the safety valve of the boiler was o’hauled recently, it was thought that only the boiler safety valve must be leaking. 2 of the COPTs were stopped and the boiler pressure was reduced. In consultation with C/E, the safety valve setting changed to a slightly higher pressure.
Pressure was raised again and when the pressure reached around 15 bar, again the steam leak was observed. The present setting of the safety valve was more than 15 bar. Hence it was decided to trace out the other possibilities. Mean while to avoid off hire, 3 COPTs were given and the boiler pressure was maintained slightly less than 15 bar. The steam leakage reduced, but it was not completely rectified.While taking rounds in ER to look for the other possibilities, when the round was taken near the purifier, a steam hammering sound could be heard.
It was from the heater and on observing found the relief valve of this heater was lifting and the steam was gushing out. The purifier system was put off, and found the steam leakage from the funnel stopped. This relief valve was o’hauled, boxed back and the lifting pressure was adjusted.When the cargo work completed, the main boiler safety valve was refloated and set to the original setting.