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At about 1745 on 27 October 2008, during cargo discharge operations whilst alongside in Port Kembla, New South Wales, the chief mate of Great Majesty remotely opened two ballast valves adjacent to the number two water ballast pump (No. 2 WB P/P) to gravitate2 seawater into the number one water ballast tank (No. 1 WBTK).

About 10 minutes later, the engine room bilge alarm sounded and the duty motorman found seawater flooding into the space through the open casing of No. 2 WB P/P. Repair work had been started on No. 2 WB P/P but the suction line had not been blanked off.

The inflow of water was stopped after the alarm was raised. About 390 m3 of seawater had entered the engine room and a total of 22 electric motors located on the lower levels of the engine room were damaged by the water ingress.

The investigation found that the ballast operation procedure did not provide sufficient guidance to the crew. The investigation also found that the work permit system onboard had not been effectively implemented. Consequently, most maintenance and repair work being carried out by the ship's crew was without a work permit.

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General details
Date: 27 October 2008 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 1800 (UTC +10) Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
Location:Port Kembla  
State: New South Wales  
Release date: 29 September 2009 Occurrence category: Incident 
Report status: Final Highest injury level: None 
 
Vessel details
Vessel: Great Majesty 
Flag: Hong Kong 
IMO: 9143477 
Type of Operation: Bulk Carrier  
Damage to Vessel: Minor 
Departure point:Port Kembla, NSW
Destination:Port Latta, TAS

Marine safety recommendation

 
 
 
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Last update 23 November 2010