Critical spares
Date issue released
Safety Issue Description

No procedure or system was in place to ensure critical spares were identified and their inventory controlled to ensure availability when required. As a consequence, the fan belts for the emergency generator had been on order for several months.

Issue number
Issue Status
Closed – Adequately addressed
Transport Function
Marine: Shipboard operations
Issue Owner
Kowa Marine Service
Mode of Transport
Issue Status Justification

Kowa Marine Service has put in place procedures and systems which adequately address this issue.

Proactive action
Action number
Kowa Marine Service and Bulkseas Marine Management
Action date
Action Status
Action description

Proactive safety action taken by Kowa Marine Service

Kowa Marine Service notified the ATSB that since this incident it has undertaken a process of continuous improvement for all areas of the business including shore- and ship-based safety management processes, training and auditing.  

In particular, the ATSB has been notified of the following actions in response to this incident:

  • Changes to safety management system technical procedures involving critical machinery, systems and spare parts including:
    • identifying, maintaining and testing of critical machinery, equipment and systems
    • incorporating critical items into the planned maintenance system
    • identifying, listing and maintaining inventory of critical spares
    • maintenance of infrequently used equipment.
  • Changes to safety management system education and training procedures for staff (shore and shipboard—operational and technical).
  • Upgraded ship systems to include a type approved, computer-based, planned maintenance and spare parts inventory control program. This system manages the maintenance work schedule, monitors work progress, supports spare parts inventory management (including critical spares), and issues and manages work reports.
  • Implemented company and ship-specific policy and procedure familiarisation and training for crew prior to joining the ship.
  • Targeted training for staff in multiple areas of the business including marine risk management, auditing, emergency preparedness and crisis management, incident investigation and technical systems including main engines and emergency generators.
  • Regular ship visits and audits by management, class and external auditing services to international standards (including IMO and ISO).

Proactive safety action taken by Bulkseas Marine Management

During this investigation, the ATSB was notified that Bulk India had changed ownership and management. The now Bulk Ara had come under the management of Bulkseas Marine Management within a fleet of nine bulk carriers. The ATSB made contact with Bulkseas and provided details of the incident and investigation.

With regard to this safety issue, Bulkseas advised the ATSB that its fleetwide safety management system included procedures to ensure the reliability of critical systems, including stand-by machinery and emergency generators. Also, as a consequence of this incident, a fleetwide circular was issued, which emphasised and outlined correct management of spares on board.

On board Bulk Ara, targeted, regular training has been implemented for operation of the diesel generator cooling system in the event of control failure. In addition to this, instructions for manual operation of the control valve have been posted at the valve.