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Tanker navigation: Matters that require attention at sea

Oil tanker at sea


Oil tankers navigation at sea requires some basic safety precautions to be observed. Following are the most common matters that require crew to take care:

Closure of Tank Openings

Ensure that all cargo oil tank hatches and access openings / ports are tightly closed to prevent escape of oil and vapors.

Maintenance of Vent Line System

All P/V valves must be checked during ballast voyages to ensure proper and safe operation. Record of maintenance shall be as per “Maintenance Record of Cargo Oil Tanks (COT) Pressure-Vacuum Valves”

Metal wire mesh in flame arrestors must be inspected only during ballast voyages as per the planned maintenance system, and kept clear of dirt and rust accumulation. Their specification of construction should be verified in accordance with related drawings. Metal wire mesh in flame arrestors must be inspected.

Cautions about Sparks from Funnel

At sea, where sparks / burning soot are observed being emitted from the funnel, measures to avoid such sparks falling on deck such as course alteration, where possible, should be considered. Any special operations such as cargo tank cleaning, purging and gas freeing operations should be ceased and all tank opening closed.

Boiler tubes should be soot blown prior to arrival and after departure from a port. Boiler tubes soot blowing should not be carried out at berth. At sea, the officer of navigational watch should be consulted, prior to such activity, and suitable measures adopted.

Duty deck personnel shall watch for sparks or soot emitting from the funnel. If sparks from the funnel are observed, the duty engineer or Chief Engineer must be notified immediately.

Avoidance of Thunder Storms:

Navigating through thunderstorms should be avoided as far as practically possible by changing of course while cargo related activities are carried out which may result in discharge of flammable vapors.

If the passing through thunderstorms cannot be avoided, all open cargo oil tank hatches should be closed until the vessel has passed through the thunderstorm.
The valves in the main vent lines may be temporarily secured in locked position, but must be opened immediately after passing through the thunderstorm.

Ballasting and Cargo Oil Transfer Operations

Carry out fire control and take safety measures even at sea.



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