Classification society error?

30th September 2003

Classification society error?

Initial Report

This ship was sunk in AAA by the operating crew disconnecting the tunnel bearing cooling pipe.  The fire brigade pumped it out and raised it.  The fridge system was ammonia with a rotten condenser and the coolers in the holds leaked too, as they smelled strongly of ammonia.  I was only on the ship for a fortnight and then left.  Heard later it got as far as BBB, which surprised me.  There were no tools of any kind on board.  No testing gear for any of the injectors.  No filters between the service tank and the engine.  The two gas oil purifiers had shot bearings in them.  The single Titan purifier was in bits as the owner couldn’t get the spares, or so he said.  The change over lever on the exhaust boiler was jammed and most of the boiler tubes blocked.  The valves on the generator were so worn they cut a bit out of the push rods so they’d fit.  These engines had no spares whatsoever.  The tunnel and tunnel bearings were full of water as the crew working on the generators flung everything down the tunnel.  The classification society surveyors were ####.  In my view the ship should never have left port.  This ship spent three months in BBB doing repairs.

Has this type of incident happened to you?

CHIRP would be interested in hearing of similar recent experiences.  Fortunately this report relates to an incident some years ago.  However, the strength of the reporter’s views allowed him to recall the events in some detail and it was felt worth publishing to illustrate an issue that we all hope has gone away.

On the evidence of this report there may be occasions, when Class has let seafarers down.  There may also be occasions when seafarers have let Class and themselves down by not assisting them fully in the performance of their duties. Deceit or “economy with the truth” in order to pass survey ultimately benefits no-one and puts lives at risk.

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