Marine safety issues and actions

Condensate drainage pot design

Issue number: MO-2013-005-SI-01
Who it affects: Regulators, classification societies, masters, owners and operators of ships
Issue owner: Laskaridis Shipping / Jiangsu Jinling Shipyard / Lloyds Register / Australian Maritime Safety Authority
Operation affected: Marine: Shore-based operations
Background: Investigation Report 299-MO-2013-005
Date: 04 March 2014

Safety issue description

The condensate drainage pots fitted to Nireas’ main air receivers were not fit for purpose as they were not capable of withstanding the internal pressures that were likely to accumulate in service.

Proactive Action

Action organisation: Australian Maritime Safety Authority
Action number: MO-2013-005-NSA-002
Date: 04 March 2014
Action status: Closed

In July 2013, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) issued Marine Notice 11/2013 to draw industry attention to this accident and request that appropriate action be taken should such a system be encountered. A copy of this notice is included with this report as Appendix A.

AMSA informed the ATSB that information regarding this accident had been passed to other marine regulators around the world and that all ships subjected to a Port State Control (PSC) visit by AMSA surveyors are provided with a digital copy of all current Marine Notices, including this one.

AMSA also stated that this Marine Notice was in the process of being updated as a result of this investigation. The updated version of this Marine Notice and all other current Marine Notices are available at the AMSA website:

Proactive Action

Action organisation: Jiangsu Jinling Shipyard
Action number: MO-2013-005-NSA-003
Date: 04 March 2014
Action status: Closed

The Jiangsu Jinling Shipyard contacted ships it had built with this design of condensate drain system, informed them of the accident and requested they remove the drainage pot observation glasses and replace them with hinged covers. The shipyard then reassessed the risks associated with condensate drain system designs they used, informed all employees of the accident and took measures to improve communication with shipowners and classification societies when modifications were requested.

The shipyard notified the ATSB that they have ‘the related procedure and they will continually obey all existed procedures or rules during the shipbuilding construction, especially after the lesson of “NIREAS” accident’ and they ‘shall enhance and strictly implement our design modification procedure.’

Proactive Action

Action organisation: Laskaridis Shipping
Action number: MO-2013-005-NSA-004
Date: 04 March 2014
Action status: Closed

Laskaridis Shipping has confirmed that the observation glasses were removed from the remaining drainage pots on board Nireas and its sister ship. The drainage pots were then modified under the supervision of Lloyd’s Register. At that time, the glasses were replaced by steel plates which covered 2/3 of the drainage pot diameter, with the remaining area open to atmosphere.

New operating instructions and modified chief engineer’s standing orders have been posted in the engine room detailing the recommended draining method and instructing operators to wear goggles when using the system.

The company has also carried out a review of the condensate drain arrangements on all of its ships.

Proactive Action

Action organisation: Lloyd’s Register
Action number: MO-2013-005-NSA-005
Date: 04 March 2014
Action status: Closed

On 22 March, Lloyd’s Register issued the master of Nireas with a condition of class requiring the design of the drainage arrangements to be examined and verified. Lloyd’s Register conducted an investigation into the accident, alerted its shipyard surveyors to the associated safety issues and notified the owners of other ships classed with Lloyd’s Register that were believed to be fitted with similar arrangements.

Lloyd’s Register also oversaw the modifications made to the drainage arrangements on board Nireas and, in July 2013, lifted the condition of class.

Safety Advisory Notice

Action organisation: All classification societies
Action number: MO-2013-005-SAN-001
Date: 04 March 2014
Action status: Released

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau advises that all classification societies should consider the safety implications of the installation and use of closed condensate drainage/inspection systems and take action to identify and validate the design of any such systems on board ships.

Current issue status: Adequately addressed
Status justification:

The actions taken by Laskaridis Shipping and the Jiangsu Jinling Shipyard should adequately address this safety issue with respect to Nireas and its sister ships. The actions taken by AMSA and the ATSB safety advisory notice should ensure that the broader shipping industry is aware of this safety issue.

Last update 27 August 2014