Cooling System Problems

24th April 2009, 02:46
I was on the Cape Hudson returning to the US after being a preposition ship for many years. The ship was using chemicals to keep marine growth from forming in the sea chest and cooling systems they did not work. Several times over the years we had to have divers clean the grids on the sea chest due to hard shell growth blocking the sea chest and plastic sheets. We had mussels get pass the suction strainers and attached themselves to the Cu Ni cooling tubes. During the voyage back to the States from the Bahrain the mussels started dieing and piling up at the coolers intakes. By the time we got to the states all of the coolers were opened and cleaned. I left the ship when we were discharging cargo.

The ship continued on with its voyage to a lay up berth in San Fransisco Bay. The ship was put in ROS (Reduced Operating Status) with a ten person crew. The crew consist of Engine Department: CHIEF ENGINEER, FIRST ASSISTANT ENGINEER, SECOND ASSISTANT ENGINEER, THIRD ASSISTANT ENGINEER, 1 ELECTRICIAN, 1 GVA, 1 DEMAC, Deck Department: CHIEF MATE, and Steward Department: 1 ST/COOK, 1 ST/UTILITY. With the Chief Engineer being in charge of the vessel.

The operating company and MARAD decided to have the cooling water lines acid cleaned. By time I returned to the vessel the ship was moved to a lay berth at the old Navy Base and was on shore power. The San Francisco Dry Dock had their office on the dock powered by a reefer plug off the shore power transformer the line was made up of several extensions. The work being done to the vessel was fixing the leaks in the Cu Ni tubing by a shore gang, and testing the Emergency Fire Pump for ABS.

The Shore Gang was in the process of removing the cooling water lines in the engine room.

The Second Assistant was given instructions to set up the Emergency Fire Pump test for ABS. The Second was told to have at least two bleeders open and going over the side before starting the pump.

Below is the non conformance message that I had to send to the company.

Non Conformance
Fleet & Industrial Supply Center Pier 4, Berth F & G Oakland CA 94625

While testing the emergency fire pump for ABS two fire stations were used for bleeds. The officer in charge of the test did not attach hoses to the bleeds' that he used. The water from the operation of the fire pump ran down the deck and off the ship onto the dock.

On the dock the water sprayed on the shore power transformer installation and filled the dock with water. The standing water on the dock shorted out a power cable on the dock going to San Francisco Dry Dock Trailer. At the time the Shore Fire Department did not know what was happening shut off the power to the vessel.

The ship was not able to start ships' generators due to work being done on the sea water cooling system. After the acid cleaning of the sea water lines, many leaks were found in the system. San Francisco Drydocks attempts to repair the lines resulted in the cracks getting larger. By the time the Shipyard workers closed the joint they working on and we rolled one generator over for
starting the Shore power connection was placed back into service.

1. I informed the personnel onboard that a hose should be used to direct water to the offshore side of the vessel.

2. We installed but found a splash board to be dangerous in the wind. An orifice is to be made and installed in the scupper found above the Shore Power Transformer.

3. The Oiler is removing paint from areas where the Sea Water Lines are leaking so temp. repairs can be made.