MARPOL Spill Drills

Report Text 1:

During a drill using the scenario of an oil spill at the starboard side manifold, 200 litres of water was to be transferred to the drain tank. The crew were not able to do the job because two valves were open and this produced no suction at the Wilden pump. The correct line up of the Wilden pump was not carried out before loading and discharging and with no allowance for the different types of cargo (Annex 1 or Annex 2). The information on the remaining space in the drain tank was not considered when planning cargo operations.

Causal factors: Failure to follow rules and regulations due to a lack of knowledge, inadequate supervision and an inadequate warning system.

Preventative action: The Chief Officer carried out familiar – ization training of the crew on the arrangement of the MARPOL drain lines and the setting of the valves. For easy identification, all MARPOL drain valves are marked with their own number. Posters are sited on each side of the manifold near the Wilden pump, on the bridge and in the cargo control room. Cargo planning now includes the line-up of the Wilden pump and information on the remaining space in the drain tank.

Report Text 2:

During a pollution drill, a quantity of seawater was flushed on deck to symbolize a spillage of cargo. All scuppers were plugged and water collected near the suction well of the permanently installed pump for transfer to the drain tank. The Wilden pump was started successfully, but no suction was created. Investiga tion revealed the well was clogged with debris.

Causal factors: Planned inspections and maintenance not followed.

Preventative action: This matter was discussed at the after drill meeting in order to avoid a repeat. Before entering the port all meshes are to be removed and wells cleaned.

CHIRP Comment.

These two reports demonstrate the value of using realistic drills with water; both are examples of good practice by the master.