Proceedings magazine is a communication tool for the Coast Guard's Marine Safety & Security Council. Each quarterly magazine focuses on a specific theme of interest to the marine industry.
Issue link: http://uscgproceedings.epubxp.com/i/707823
69 Summer 2016 Proceedings www.uscg.mil/proceedings Though the towing vessel itself appeared to have minimal struc- tural damage, the engine room air intakes and interior engine room space sustained fire dam- age. The port side engine room air intake stack was covered in soot, and its ventilation supply ducting was severely melted and damaged. Inside the engine room, overhead wiring presented flash-fire dam- age, and the port side generator housing was melted and covered in soot. The generator air filter appeared to have caught fire and was melted/burned beyond rec- ognition. Investigators examined the main diesel engine's air fil- ters, and found no sign of smoke or fire damage. In reviewing the damage and cost of repairs, the company that owned the tank barges consid- ered the vessels a total construc- tive loss and took them out of service. The towing vessel's crew repaired the fire damage to their vessel and it was back in service by November 2013. The barge docked earlier that day for future service and the towing vessel that was originally attached to the burning barges did not sus- tain damage. At the End of the Day Investigators determined that the key contributing causal fac- tor attributing to the fire and explosions was the PIC's failure to honor the basic principle of safe tank cleaning: to avoid the simultaneous presence of a flam- mable atmosphere and sources of ignition. 1 Investigators also ascertained that the company had no for- mal training program for its employees on tank cleaning and Preventing Barge Explosions Title 33 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 154 (Facilities Transferring Oil or Hazardous Material in Bulk) requires facil- ities to submit for approval to the captain of the port an operations manual that provides: facility details; types of cargoes handled; duties / knowledge require- ments of specific personnel, locations of emergency shutdowns, descriptions of tank cleaning procedures, emergency procedures, and other requirements for each type of cargo evolution; and tank cleaning and vapor control processes. For facilities that conduct tank cleaning, stripping, or gas freeing operations on tank vessels, the operations manual must contain a description of procedures that are consistent with the International Safety Guide for Oil Tankers and Termi- nals (ISGOTT). The Coast Guard strongly recommends that facility and vessel managers, opera- tors, and PICs performing tank cleaning, stripping, or gas freeing of flammable cargoes aboard any vessel review the ISGOTT, fifth edition, and fully comply with all related regulations and operating manuals, while also ensuring: ● operating manuals are complete and meet regulatory requirements; ● facility personnel training programs meet regulatory requirements; ● the facility PIC is designated and properly trained; ● the barge PIC holds a required valid USCG merchant mariner's credential with a tankerman-PIC endorsement; ● the barge or vessel is properly grounded by a bonding wire or other approved method prior to transfer of cargo or slops; ● spark-producing tools and machinery are removed from the involved barge or vessel and immediate vicinity; ● portable fans or blowers used to ventilate tanks are intrinsically safe and properly grounded; ● the operation of other vessels near the facility is minimized during tank cleaning or gas freeing operations to reduce potential vapor ignition sources; ● operating manual procedures for dropping /draining and cleaning of cargo lines and piping and tank cleaning are strictly followed; ● that tank cleaning and gas freeing operations are consistent with ISGOTT Chapter 11.3, conducting water flushing of the tank bottom and piping systems while monitoring the lower flammable limit prior to commencing forced ventilating; ● a certified marine chemist certifies tanks as "safe for workers," and "safe for hotwork" before personnel enter that tank or conduct hotwork. Facility and vessel operators may submit a written request for the captain of the port to consider alternative procedures, methods, or equipment standards other than those established within the ISGOTT or regulations. The captain of the port will evaluate any proposed alternative to ensure it provides an equivalent level of safety and pollution protection as required by the regulations. Note: This information does not relieve any domestic or international safety, operational, or material requirement. Endnote: Coast Guard Marine Safety Alert 10-14: Preventing Barge Explosions. Available on the web at: www. homeport.uscg.mil. Select the following tabs: Missions > Investigations > Safety Alert > Most Current.