Fuel Transfer Safety: How to Handle Spillage The unstoppable development of the maritime oil industry, bigger oil tankers, the higher volume of chemicals being carried by sea and a stronger concern for the planet’s environment have all required for worldwide measures to stop or at least control pollution in our oceans via safe and responsible fuel transfer and storage procedures. The International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution of the Sea by Oil, in 1954, created a set of guidelines for the prevention of marine pollution. When this was later deemed inadequate, the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships of 1973 came up with a more ambitious international treaty on maritime pollution, covering not only oil but with all kinds of marine pollution from ships, except the land-generated waste disposal into the oceans by dumping. Oil spillage occurring during fuel transfers conducted by ships remains to be one of the most serious threats to our marine resources today. Fuel spills are a main sea water pollution cause and must be prevented in all ways possible through meticulous planning and effective operation.
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When there is a fuel spill, knowing and being able to implement the mitigating steps below is crucial:
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Diesel Spillage on Vessel All steps have to be taken in order to contain the spilt fuel and keep it away from heat. > The fuel spill must be reported immediately to the vessel’s master. In a normal scenario, the fuel is going to move to the bilge, but it mustn’t be pumped out of the vessel. If there’s a fuel leak, any further discharge should be stopped through any possible method. Guidance from the vessel’s master should be sought as required. Spilled Petrol and LPG Aboard Vessel For such installations, the survey requirement is to control any leaks that can potentially occur in the engine compartment. > In case of a leak, all machinery and electrical systems have to be shut down. > Fuel supply must be discontinued. > Petrol vapours and LPG must be cleared but without causing sparking. > Leak should be repaired. Overboard Fuel Spill The goal is to keep any further fuel from contaminating the water. > Fire-fighting equipment has to be available at all times. Fire extinguishers should be made for fuel fires. > Tell the relevant Port Authority and follow their instructions. > Pending the Port Authority’s arrival, vessels which are moored or tied up close to the area of spillage have to be advised. > Clean up should be done on board the vessel. > Do not try to clean up the water with the use of such products as detergents, unless this is the advice of the Port Authority. > If the spill occurs while the vessel is at sea, this must be reported to the state pollution authority or the nearest port authority. For the purpose of safety, the vessel must first return to a shore-based waste facility before the bilge is discharged. > Safety precautions must be in place in case of a large fuel spill. > Place “no smoking” signs or order people in the are not to smoke.
28 Jun 2016