Pollution Damage

By Lori Rose,2014-02-09 23:36
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Pollution Damage

    Pollution Damage


    Ship personnel will most probably be in the best position to take quick action to mitigate or control the discharge of oil or noxious liquid substances from their ship.

    Therefore, pollution control Plan provides the Master with clear guidance on how to accomplish this mitigation for a variety of situations.

    It is the Master?s responsibility to initiate a response in the event of a discharge of oil/NLS or substantial threat of discharge actual or probable into the waters.

    In no case action should be taken that in any way could jeopardize the safety of personel either onboard or ashore.

    In cases of a discharge of noxious liquid substances the Master has to refer to the "Characteristics of Liquid Chemicals Proposed for Marine Transport in Bulk" (Data Sheets) provided onboard for any NLS cargo. Consideration have to be made to any danger resulting from discharge of such substances, i.e. mixing with water, air, other materials/substances.

    Special consideration is to be taken in case of the necessity to transfer cargo into another compartment onboard the compatability of the material to be transferred and the material of pipes and tanks to be used for such action.

    The following enumeration specifies different kinds of possible operational spills with regard to reactions to be taken.

Operational Spills

3.1.1 Operational Spill Prevention

    Crew members shall maintain a close watch for the escape of oil during bunker or cargo operations.

    Prior to bunker or cargo transfer the competent crew members should mobilize the spill equipment, as far as available on board, and place it close to the planned operation, e.g. along the railing on the side at which bunker operation takes place.

    Before bunker or cargo handling commences, all deck scuppers and open drains must be effectively plugged. Accumulations of water should be drained periodically and scupper plugs replaced immediately after the water has run off. Any free floating substances should be removed prior to draining.

    Bunker or cargo tanks which have been topped up should be checked frequently during the remaining operations to avoid an overflow.


    Unless there are permanent means for retention of any slight leakage at ship/ shore connections for bunker or cargo transfer, it is essential that a drip tray is in place to catch any leaking substance.

3.1.2 Pipeline Leakage

    If a leakage occurs from a pipeline, valve, hose or metal arm, operations through that connection should be stopped immediately until the cause has been ascertained and the defect remedied.

    The defective pipe section should be isolated. Affected sections should be drained down to an available empty or slack tank.

    If there is any possibility of released vapours entering an engine room or the accommodation intake, appropriate preventive steps must be taken quickly.

    If a leakage occurs from a hydraulic pipeline, operations should be stopped immediately.

Initiate clean-up procedures.

    The removed substances and the used clean-up material should be retained on board until it can be discharged to a reception facility.

    Inform in line with Section 2 all parties interested about Pipeline Leakage and the actions taken so far.

3.1.3 Tank Overflow

    If there is a tank overflow all bunker/cargo operations should be stopped immediately and should not be restarted until the fault has been rectified and all hazards from the released substances have been eliminated.

    If there is any possibility of released vapours entering an engine room or the accommodation intake, appropriate preventive steps must be taken quickly.

    As far as the substance permits in view of the material compatability of tanks/pipes, shift liquid from the tank overflowed to an available empty or slack tank or prepare pump(s) or transfer the excess ashore.

Initiate clean-up procedures.

    The removed substances and the used clean-up material should be retained on board until it can be discharged to a reception facility.

    Inform in line with Section 2 all parties interested about Tank Overflow and actions taken so far.


3.1.4 Hull Leakage

Identify leaking tank; consider diver if necessary and possible.

Reduce level in tank in question well below sea level.

    If it is not possible to identify the leaking tank, reduce level in all tanks in vicinity. In this case give careful consideration to hull stress and stability.

    If there is a spillage due to suspected hull leakage reduce the head of liquid and, as far as the substance permits in view of the material compatibility of tanks/pipes, transfer the liquid to an available empty or slack tank or, if berthed, discharge ashore in suitable barges/ tanks.

    If there is any possibility of released vapours entering an engine room or the accommodation intake, appropriate preventive steps must be taken quickly.

    Inform in line with SECTION 2 all parties interested about Hull Leakage and the actions taken so far.

3.1.5 Spills caused by Equipment in Machinery Spaces

    If operational spills are caused by a failure of equipment in machinery spaces any further operations of this equipment should be stopped immediately or measures are to be taken to avoid a spill.

Such equipment may be:

    ; Oily-water separating equipment or oil filtering equipment to deoil bilge water from the engine room bilges

    ; Valves in pipes connecting ballast/ bilge/cargo systems

    ; Cooling pipes in cooler systems

    ; Gearing of bow thrusters

    ; Stern tubes

Spills Resulting From Casualties

    In the event of a casualty the Master?s first priority is to ensure the safety of the ship?s personnel, and to initiate actions which may prevent escalation of the incident and marine pollution.

3.2.1 Ship grounded/stranded

    The Master?s priority should be to ensure that he as soon as possible receives detailed information about the damage that the ship has been sustained, in order to determine remedial action to be taken for ensuring the safety of the ship and its crew.


Furthermore, the Master should also consider

; Danger to the ship?s complement if the ship should slide off grounding site

; Danger of ship being shattered by heavy seas or swell

    ; Health hazards to the ship?s crew and surrounding population due to release of hazardous substances or vapour in dangerous concentrations

    ; That fires may start due to released flammable substances and uncontrolled ignition sources

    ; Should the damage which the ship has sustained be of such an extent that the stability cannot be computed on board, the Master should seek assistance according to subparagraph 3.6

Also, the ship?s Master shall take into account the following considerations:

; Is the vessel constantly being struck in the seaway?

; Is the vessel exposed to torsion?

     Is there a large difference in the tidal rangers at the grounding site? ;

; Are there strong tidal currents in the grounding area?

    ; May the vessel drift further up on the shore, due to high tides, wind and waves? Prevention of Fire and Explosion

    If the ship is aground and therefore cannot manoeuvre, all possible sources of ignition should be eliminated and action taken to prevent flammable vapours from entering the machinery spaces or the accommodation. Extension of Hull Damage

First, a visual inspection should be carried out.

    Check for visible oil along hull or in wake of the ship during day time. At night a stick with white cloth (or sheet of sorbent) around it may be lowered into the water alongside the ship to check for oil leakages.

All ballast/ bunker tanks to be sounded (ullage),

    All other compartments which may have contact with the sea should be sounded to ensure that they are intact.

    Soundings of ballast/cargo/bunkers tanks are to be compared with last soundings to check for possible leaks.

    Sounding to be taken around the ship establish the ship?s position on the grounding area.


    When the ship is aground, due regards should be given to the indiscriminate opening of ullage plugs, sighting ports etc. as loss of buoyancy could be the result of such actions.

Any list of the ship shall be noted and included in the report for assistance. Procedures to Reduce or Stop Outflow of Oil or NLS

    The Master should assess the possibility of damage to the environment and whatever action can be taken to reduce further damage from any release, such as:

    ; Transfer of bunkers/cargo internally, provided shipboard piping system is in an operational condition and in careful view of the compatability of the substance and the tanks/pipes used for transfer, and taking into account the impact on the ship?s overall stress and stability

    ; Isolate damaged/ penetrated tank(s) hermetically to ensure that hydrostatic pressure in tanks remains intact during tidal changes

    ; Evaluate the necessity of transferring bunkers/cargo to barges or other ships and request such assistance accordingly

    ; Evaluate the possibility of additional release of oil or NLS in close co-operation with coastal states.

    In case of large differences between the tidelevels, the Master should try to isolate the damaged tank(s) to reduce additional loss of substances. Refloating by own Means

    The Master should also evaluate the question of refloating the vessel by own means. Before such an attempt is made, it must be determined:

    ; wether the ship is damaged in such a way that it may sink, break up or capsize after getting off ; wether the ship after getting off may have manoeuvering problems upon leaving the dangerous area by own means

    ; whether machinery, rudder or propeller are damaged due to grounding or may be damaged by trying to get off ground by own means

    ; whether the ship may be trimmed or lightened sufficiently to avoid damage to other tanks in order to reduce additional pollution

    ; weather evaluation: whether there is time/ reason to await improvements in weather or tide. Securing the Ship

    If the risk of further damage to the ship is greather in an attempt to refloat the ship by own means, than in remaining aground until professional assistance has been obtained, the ship?s Master should try to secure the ship as much as possible by:

; Trying to prevent the ship from moving from ist present position

    ; By dropping anchors (adequate water depth and anchor ground provided)

    ; By taking ballast into empty tanks, if possible


    ; Trying to reduce longitudinal strain on hull by transferring ballast or bunkers internally ; Reducing fire risk by removing all sources of ignition.

    Inform in line with Section 2 all parties interested about the Grounding and the actions taken so far.

3.2.2 Fire/ Explosion

    Should an explosion and a fire occur on board, sound the GENERAL ALARM immediately. Further actions should be initiated in accordance with the ship?s Muster List.

    In case of fire and explosion the following priorities exist:

; Rescueing lives

    ; Limiting the damage/ danger to the ship and cargo

    ; Preventing environmental pollution

    Steps to control the discharge of oil will depend largely on the damage to ship and cargo. Special information thereto is contained in subparagraphs 3.2.4, 3.2.5 and 3.2.6. Inform in line with Section 2 all parties interested about the Fire/ Explosion and the actions taken so far.

3.2.3 Collision

    Should the ship be involved in a collision with another ship, the Master should as soon as possible identify the extent of damage to his own vessel.

    When a collision occurs, the GENERAL ALARM should be sounded immediately for the personnel to muster at their designated Muster Stations.

The following check list should assist the Master in assessing the situation:

; Are any tanks penetrated above or below the waterline?

    ; If ships are dead in the water and interlocked, what is most prudent, to stay interlocked or separate? ; Is there any spill at present small or large? Will a separation of the interlocked ships create a larger spill than if the ships stay interlocked?

    ; If there is a spill, will the separation of the ships cause sparks that can ignite the spilled material or other flamable substances leaked out from the ships?

    ; Are the ships creating a greater danger to other traffic in the area if the are interlocked than if separated?

    ; Is there a danger to either ship of sinking after being separated?

    ; If the ships are separated, how is the manoeuverability of the own ship?

Shut down all none essential air intakes.

    Isolate damaged/ penetrated tank(s) by hermetically closing the tank(s), if possible.


    When it is possible to manoeuvre, the Master, in conjunction with the appropriate shore authorities, should consider moving his ship to a more suitable location in order to facilitate emergency repair work or lightening operations, or to reduce the threat posed to any sensitive shoreline areas.

    Inform in line with Section 2 all parties interested about the collision and the actions taken so far.

3.2.4 Hull Failure/Containment Failure

    Should the ship lose one or more shellplatings, develop major cracks, or suffer severe damage to the hull, the Master should immediately sound the GENERAL ALARM to call the crew members to their Muster Stations, and inform them of the situation, and prepare lifeboats for launching if necessary.

The Master should then asses the situation, and confer with his senior officers.

    The Master should obtain the latest weather forecast, and asses its impact on the present situation.

Furthermore, the following questions should be considered and should be asked:

; Is the ship in any immediate danger of sinking or capsizing?


; Send distress message

    ; Immediately abandon the ship

    If NO, initiate damage control measures as found necessary by considering the following points:

; Can the vessel manoeuvre on its own?

    ; Has the ship lost buoyancy?

    ; If the ship has a list due to loss of ballast, cargo/ bunker or buoyancy, is it necessary and possible to rearrange the bunker or ballast by internal transfer operation in order to bring the ship to an even keel? ; Is it necessary to dump cargo in order to maintain stability without changing the stress situation? ; Can this operation wait till another ship/ barge can receive that cargo?

    ; Is there any abnormal change in the ship?s stability and stress situation?

    ; Can the change in the ship?s stability and stress situation be monitored and calculated on board? If not, the Master should seek assistance according to subparagraph 3.6.

    ; Does the ship need assistance or escort to nearest port of refuge or repair port?

    ; Might it be prudent to salve part of the crew members in case the situation should worsen, or is it necessary to abandon the ship totally?


    Inform in line with Section 2 all parties interested about the Hull Failure and the actions taken so far.


3.2.5 Excessive List

    Should the ship for some reasons suddenly start to list excessively during discharging/ loading operations, or bunkering, all ongoing operations should be stopped immediately until the cause has been determined.

    The Officer on Duty should inform the Master and/ or Chief Officer without delay.

    The Master should try to determine the reason for the excessive list, and take steps to rectify the situation and to stabilize the ship?s condition:

; Check reason(s) for list

    ; Soundings/ ullage to be taken in all tanks

    ; Bunker/ ballast/cargo pumps to be made ready

    ; Consider measures to minimize list in transferring liquid from one compartment to another ; Ensure water tightness of empty spaces

    ; Close all openings

    ; Secure vent pipes to avoid ingress of water

    ; If bunkering: Change to corrective tanks for rectifying the situation

    ; If ballasting/ deballasting: Change to corrective tanks to rectify the situation ; If there is reason to believe that the list may cause any spill, notify as per Section2 ; If the ship?s crew is in jeopardy, prepare lifeboats for launching, and notify as per Section 2

If the situation is brought under control, inform all parties interested.


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