Large Fishing Vessels - Efficient Bilge Drainage Systems in All Watertight and Refrigerated Spaces - SSB No.: 01/2016
Date (Y-M-D): 2016-01-20
This Ship Safety Bulletin applies to all Large Fishing Vessels (longer than 24.4m or greater than 150 gross tonnage) which are inspected under the Large Fishing Vessel Inspection Regulations.
This Ship Safety Bulletin aims to remind all Large Fishing Vessel owners and operators that they must ensure that all bilge drainage systems fitted in watertight compartments, including refrigerated watertight compartments, are functional and maintained on a regular basis.
This Ship Safety Bulletin is issued in response to Transportation Safety Board (TSB) recommendation #M-92-05 regarding the sinking of the fishing vessel “NORTHERN OSPREY” on June 27, 1990, off Northern Labrador.
Although the incident occurred in 1990 and the report was released in 1992, the TSB recently reactivated’ its recommendation to Unsatisfactory – Active.
This fishing vessel sank after being damaged by ice and subsequently flooded. The TSB determined the lack of effective pumping ability in the affected space to be a factor.
The following text is taken from the TSB report # M90M4020, regarding the events and factors that led to the sinking of this vessel:
“While manoeuvring in ice-infested waters, on 27 June 1990, the vessel sustained damage to her shell plating on the starboard bow in the vicinity of a common bulkhead between a fuel oil tank and the fish hold. As a result of this, fuel oil gained entry to the fish hold, followed some hours later by sea water.
The Transportation Safety Board of Canada determined that, while operating in ice conditions, it is most probable the vessel was holed, due to contact with ice. The holing was not detected and, in an effort to remove oil from the fish hold because it could not be effectively pumped, the watertight subdivision was lost when a manhole cover to the pipe tunnel and an access door from the pipe tunnel to the engine-room were removed / opened to drain the oil, and not replaced /closed. Sea water then flooded the hold and engine-room, and the vessel was lost.”
“Attempts were made, unsuccessfully, to pump the oil out of the fish hold with that compartment’s bilge suction system. The only reason for the failure of the bilge suction system to work is the likelihood the suction end of the bilge lines were frozen.”
In light of the events that led to the loss of the “Northern Osprey” owners and operators of all large fishing vessels are reminded of the following safety related requirements and general principles of prudent seamanship:
- Bilge pumping systems are not designed to save a vessel from the entry of extreme amounts of seawater.
Transportation Safety Board Definition. Unsatisfactory. Active. Refer to web link;
The following document is available for downloading or viewing:
Large Fishing Vessels - Efficient Bilge Drainage Systems in All Watertight and Refrigerated Spaces - SSB No.: 01/2016 (158 KB)
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1. Bilge Pumping System
Small and Fishing Vessels, Design
Standards and Boating Safety
Marine Safety and Security
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