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Tanker operation : Control for Oil Pollution to a Minimum - how to prevent damage to environment

Oil tankers operations at sea and while at port requires some basic safety procedure to be observed.

Equipment for Oil Spill Detection

a) Fixed Gas Detecting System (Pump Room and Double Hull Spaces adjacent Cargo Tanks)

b) Pump Room Bilge High Level Alarm

c) Cargo Oil Pump, High Temperature Alarm & Trip System

(Casing / Bearing / Bulkhead of Pump Shaft)

Equipment for Oil Pollution Mitigation

a) Deck Scupper Plugs with Higher Gutter Coaming on Main Deck

b) Manifold Spill Tank

c) Emergency Stop System of COP

d) Emergency Shut Dow System of manifold Gate Valve

e) Emergency Damper of Pump room Exhaust Fan


Guidelines For Prevention Of Oil Pollution Mitigation

1) Watch the Sea surface around the Vessel

2) The Gangway Watch stander and cargo operation watch stander shall periodically monitor the surface of outboard sea to check for oil leakage, and to try to detect such oil leakage (if any) early. He shall also monitor the emission from the funnel stacks (excessive soot or sparks) and report any abnormality to the duty officer.



3) If floating oil is observed on the surface of the sea in the vicinity of the vessel, it shall be reported immediately to the officer on duty or the Chief Officer (whether the oil is originating from own vessel or not).

4) The officer on duty shall allocate crew for periodic monitoring on deck and associated spaces. The following are some examples of condition monitoring required: Which includes the conditions around the vessel, mooring ropes, and the surface of the outboard sea and the like. Also to detect any irregularity onboard and outboard the vessel.

5) The officer on duty shall have the crew patrol or monitor the surface of the sea near the following places or outfit as required:

Sea-chest (Cargo & Ballast)

Overboard discharges,

Floating hose,

Stern tube,

Shore connection, and

Near SPM & SBM if applicable.

6) The company designated checklists should be used to ensure proper compliance of the above.

Action by Duty Officer

If oil is observed on the water in the vicinity of the vessel and there is reason to suspect that the oil is originating from the vessel, all cargo transfer operation shall be suspended, and the Master shall immediately be notified.

Appropriate notification in accordance with SOPEP/OPA90 and shall be executed. Immediate action should be taken to reduce such outflow (e.g. Depressurizing the system, Adjusting the level, etc.)


Plugging Deck Scupper Plugs

Suitable scupper plugs shall be used the expansion-type oil resistant rubber- mechanical scupper plug.

As a companys standard, the main deck scuppers, after being fitted tightly in place, shall be further sealed with temporary putty. This is a further preventive measure, in case of improper surface / sealing of scupper opening.

The ship specific Scupper Checklist shall be prepared & used for confirming the above. Oil Coamings (e.g. save-all trays to air pipes serving oil tanks, mooring winch save-alls, etc) shall be effectively plugged, and the ship specific Oil Coaming Plug Checklist shall be prepared and used for confirming it.

If rainwater collects on the aft main deck, the rainwater may be released through the aftermost scuppers after carefully checking and confirming that No Oil water or Traces of Oily sheen is mixed with the rainwater.

Such draining in port shall be carried out only after Loading Masters permission, bearing in mind the above.

Oil absorbent pads should be used as a precautionary measure, when draining rain water in port. Personnel shall continuously attend such operation and after completion, confirm with the COC the final status of scupper.

Also Siphon Line, if applicable, between Main deck cargo area to Accommodation area is to used for draining effectively.

However, if collected water is contaminated with oil, or if terminal refuses to let the water through the scupper, then suitable means such as oil catcher (oil absorbent pads) to clear such oily sheen should be used to the satisfaction of the terminal representative.


Ships operation- Oil Pollution Accident Handling Check List

(1) Notifying Everybody On Board:

Notifying the Master.

Making a post station announcement for Oil Spillage Decontamination.

Notifying everybody to prohibit using fire (smoking, fire in the galley, etc.)


(2) Measures to Prevent Oil Overboard Discharge:

Confirming complete closure of scuppers.

Opening the emergency drain valve to cargo oil tanks (on Tankers).

Use of materials for oil removal (oil absorbent, sawdust, etc.)


(3) Initial Notification Report


(4) Confirming Conditions at the Scene:

The source of oil spill. (If the oil flows out of damaged shell plates, the point of the damage.)

Type and quantity of oil outflow.

The direction, speed and extent of the oil that has flowed outboard.

Weather and sea conditions.

Ship’s position, course and speed.

The presence of casualties.


(5) Control the Discharge of Oil:
Carry out according to the “Shipboard Oil Pollution Emergency Plan,”


(6) Preparation of Necessary Documents


(7) Recording

Record in a time series.

Take pictures of the process of oil removal (Never use a flashbulb).

Record items

Weather, sea conditions, and tide (direction/speed).

The source of oil spill.

The direction, speed, extent and quantity of the oil that has flowed outboard.

Actions taken for oil removal and materials used for removal and their quantity.

The addresses, reported items and reporting methods used.

Name of oil spill disposal companies, time of arrival and details of their work (including those of the terminal side).

Matters instructed by national or local authorities and details of the work done according to such instruction.

Ship’s position, course and speed.

If possible, collect a sample of the oil to seal and keep it on board.



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