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Clogged pressure switch shuts down engine



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M e d i a R e l e a s eCOM M OW VVtAlT* OtPAHIM FNr O* T R A N S P O R T A N D R E G I O N A L S E R V I C E S CLOGGED PRESSURE SWITCH SHUTS DOWN ENGINE

23 December 1998

The activation of a fail-safe device on a ship’s engine contributed to a collision in Swanson Dock, Melbourne, according to a report released today.

A blockage in piping created a false ‘low-pressure’ alarm, preventing the engine from being started, according to a report by the Marine Incident Investigation Unit of the Department of Transport and Regional Services. ^ ^ / _ Q jtjtijju J L

On 18 June 1998, the main engine of Panamanian container ship MSC Katie failed to restart as the ship backed stem first into its berth. The stem of the vessel came in contact with the bow of the container ship P&O Nedlloyd Sydney, moored at the adjacent berth. Both vessels suffered minor damage, but no one was injured and there was no pollution.

The investigation found that: • There are no engine manufacturer's recommendations on periodic checking on such piping, nor is it standard practice on board ships to conduct such checking; • there was a lack of operational communications procedures on board, which

resulted in a long delay in the pilot being informed of the engine failure; and • there was an absence of a safety assessment of, and contingency planning for, the berthing operation, thus there were no safety barriers in place to counter the effect

of the engine failure.

The report is being circulated to the flag State and appropriate maritime bodies.

Copies of the report can be obtained from the Marine Incident Investigation Unit, GPO Box 594, Canberra ACT 2601, telephone: 02 6274 6088.