Tuesday, January 25, 2011

THE NAIVE SAILOR, CARGO TANK EXPLOSIONS -- CAPT AJIT VADAKAYIL


17 years ago i flew to Singapore to take over a large product tanker at dry dock.

When i arrived there the agent told me that the tanker has gone back to sea , as the Singapore dry dock had failed her gas free certificate.

After she came back to port again, she docked straight. When i arrived on board , the ship was on the blocks , the gas free certificate issued by the dry dock ( a local gold medallist in safety record ) was displayed.

When i arrived in the Masters cabin I found all there including the ships Yank superintendent. The ship was owned and technically managed by a company at Park Avenue New York USA ( no names !)

The ship's last cargo was Gasoline , with very high MTBE content as per the quality certificate. And the reason why the ship failed the first gas free inspection was due to leaky cargo tank suction valve seat rings--all made of NBR.

There was extensive hot work to be done in all tanks.

Since the old Master was in a hurry to go home, i  took over command fast.

I told the dry dock manager and the Yank Suptd, that i will NOT allow any hot work to be done in any of the cargo tanks , till I had personally passed all the tanks.

There was immediate opposition-- but then Master is Master.  The buck stops on his table, NOT on the gas free chemist's .

All were terribly angry with me for being the unreasonable bad guy!

I went on deck and found heavy blowers with plastic chutes inserted into all cargo tanks. In all the tanks I found some transparent liquid at the sump, which the Chief Officer claimed was water. There was a lot of this liquid as the tanks did not have a sump, being single skinned.

So i asked him to get a sample by sending an AB down and scooping up from the sump into a sample bottle.  The first bottle contained pure Gasoline. I did it for two more tanks-- these too contained Gasoline in the bottle.

So pretty soon i has a meeting with the Yard Managers , the Tech Suptd, the Marine Chemist etc etc .

The verdict was clear -- heads would roll.

All were very surprised that the Yard's Gas free certificate was bullshit.

WHEN EVER YOU TAKE A TANK READING WITH EXPLOSIMETER OR OXYGEN ANALYSER, OR TANKSCOPE ,  THE VENTILATION MUST BE STOPPED FOR AT LEAST 20 MINUTES, TO ALLOW VAPOR GROWTH.

If the ventilation runs, as the yard did, while taking readings-- you get looped in FRESH air.

To cut a long story short all work was cancelled for the day.

HUSH HUSH all connived to get the GasolIne drained by removing the bottom plugs of the single skinned tanks and draining it into drums -- all as thick as thieves, at night -- with No smoking regulations in force.

Initially there was NO wind and i did NOT allow the draining operations as the vapors are heavy. If there is an explosion the ship would be lifted off the blocks.

Afterwards by luck , fresh wind picked up as all did what they had to do.

Today when i look back-- i feel i should have got the ship floated off the dry dock blocks , and gone out again to sea.

HUSH HUSH deeds are not proper or standard.

Such deeds do NOT foster safety.

Safety does not recognize short cuts.

Safety is NOT about protecting personal backsides.

It took me many letters to several power houses before ISGOTT ,   finally revised the tank entry procedures -- " the ventilation must be put off for 15 minutes before  taking gas readings using Tank scope or whatever.

And remember--

1)NBR cannot handle MTBE ( Methyl Tert Burty Ether ).  Only PTFE or Viton ( FPM ) seat rings can. No wonder the pumps could NOT suck--as the suctions were air bound.

2) A valve cannot be trusted .  On chemical tankers we do NOT accept 2 or 3 valve segregations,  like on oil tankers.  We only accept a removable spool with 2 blanks-- or in short AIR GAP in between.


CAPT AJIT VADAKAYIL
..


5 comments:

  1. WOW ......... great insights ........ every time I visit your blog, I learn something new.

    Thanks, for continuing to write

    ReplyDelete
  2. CH
    October 13, 2014 at 6:35 AM
    Respected Captain,

    What is special about Tamil Nadu?

    How come it is able to continuously produce word geniuses like Ramanujam, Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, C.V. Raman, A.R. Rahman, Abdul Kalam, Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, Viswanathan Anand, Illayaraja, etc?

    Even till recently the Chief Justice of India, the Finance Minister, the RBI governor are all Tamils?

    Is there any scientific reason behind this? Because no other region has produced such super genius people in such numbers.

    Regards

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    #####################
    Capt. Ajit Vadakayil
    October 13, 2014 at 7:06 AM
    hi ch,

    i am sure if i were a lawyer, i will NEVER EVER become CJI.

    i am sure if i were an economist, i will NEVER EVER become finance minister.

    you want me to continue ?

    when i was on my training ship in mumbai with 250 other cadets ( two years ) -- the biggest TELUs ( oily and slimy ) and SNEAKS ( snitches ) became SCC ( senior cadet captains ) , CC ( cadet captains ) , CL ( cadet leaders ) etc.

    i used to be in the CAPTAINS MONTHLY BREAKFAST PARTY ( cadet with maximum negative marks for OFFICER LIKE QUALITIES ) -- to be chewed up for breakfast every month .

    i got an EXTRA FIRST in every subject --except OFFICER LIKE QUALITIES.

    now what are OFFICER LIKE QUALITIES-

    being a son of a bit#h, being a sneak, being a hypocrite, being a as$ kisser , being a leader who will sell out his team, being a back biter, being an informer , being the best in playing to the gallery.

    so, so--

    at the passing out parade --most of the cadets who got all PRIXES were leaders -- they all got BOOOOOEEEEED !

    I remember i got only one prize--for being the best REPORTER IN ENGLISH -- the claps I got from the entire hall still resound in my ears -- along with another ROC ( royal officer cadet -who did NOT care to become a sold out leader ).

    and mind you -- i was in every single team which made my TOP ( starboard fore top ) the champion TOP.

    i was a champion sailor, rower, signaller, marks in subjects, soccer team in both years --

    but i lacked OLQ ( officer like qualities ) of being a FU#KIN' SLIME BALL.

    so in my passing our certificate , after two years of training -- i had an EXTRA FIRST in all subjects -- except OLQ where i was third grade

    so i guess they held a special meeting and GRACED ME TO FIRST CLASS --a young 18 year old boy -- .TEE HEEE !

    AT SEA, THE SAILORS DO NOT CARE FOR YOUR FOUR STRIPES- THEY ONLY CARE FOR WHO YOU ARE--

    AT SEA PEOPLE WHO KNOW ME , OR HAVE HEARD OF ME -- OR SAILED WITH ME, WILL VOUCH--

    CAPT AJIT VADAKAYIL WAS A SLAVE MORE POWERFUL THAN THE MIGHTY FU#KIN' CAESAR -- BY LIGHT YEARS .

    this has now passed on to LORE -- never ti happen again in the annals of sea .

    am i boasting ?

    -- so be it !

    humility is NOT about having a low opinion of yourselves to please the JEALOUS party.

    see, this would have been part of my post-- GAMES CAPTAIN PLAYED--

    you made me reveal it prematurely --with your TAMIL PRIDE ! TAKE IT EASY !

    check out my training ship-

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MwpFBPMtnj4

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k0BxC3kFET8

    capt ajit vadakayil
    ..

    ReplyDelete
  3. Capt. Ajit Vadakayil
    October 15, 2014 at 7:00 PM
    STOP PRESS:

    I AM WRITING THIS AS I PROMISED ONE OF MY READERS 45 MINUTES AGO-- HE RAN UP TO ME DURING MY MORNING WALK--

    HE WANTED TO KNOW OUT OF MY 300 PLUS SCOOPS IN MY NEARLY 845 ODD POSTS--WHICH IS NO 1 AND WHICH IS NUMBER 300.

    ############

    well let me make it clear , these 300 scoops are CONSTRUCTIVE SCOOPS .

    all these 300 scoops are in the plane of INVENTION and NOT innovation.

    none of these 300 scoops are DESTRUCTIVE -- so my posts proving that edison, newton, darwin, einstein etc are IDIOTS does not find a place in these scoops.

    so waht could be the no 1 scoop?

    it is about providing a HINT on how to make a astronaut hibernate while travelling to mars -to cut down on food and water .

    it is about keeping alive a seriously wounded soldier till he can find proper medical care.

    punch into Google search-
    HIBERNATION WITH HYDROGEN SULPHIDE GAS VADAKAYIL

    and

    FUMAROLES FOR FREE ENERGY AND HYDROGEN SULPHIDE SUICIDES IN JAPAN VADAKAYIL


    one of my russian chief engineers who lived near siberia , a place infested with HUGE bears had once woken up a bear while on hibernation in a cave ( as a child ) and he told be how furious the animal was. Before they go into months of hibernation they would kill a large animal ( bury the dead animal it in the ground ) and would NOT eat it unless it became putrid , reeking of rotten eggs..

    WELL WHAT WOULD BE NO 300 RANK.

    it is about PIN WORMS on as$hole.

    Check out the comment dated 18th Dec 2013 , about surcharging the anus with oxygen 5 times a day to prevent pinworms disrupting your REM sleep. This is a 6000 year old Ayurvedic cure for pinworm which happens when you eat non-veg heavy meats and do NOT wash your as$hole after a crap.
    Punch into Google search-
    VEDIC PRACTISES IN MECCA VADAKAYIL

    If I were a white JEW, I would have been an international celebrity. but then who cares?

    I have reached a stage where ONLY I can evaluate myself--

    one of my DUTCH bosses tried to patronise me nearly 2 decades ago -- he said he has given me a good confidential service report-

    so i told him something in Hindi -- with its translation.

    VADAKAYIL KHUD QUESTION PAPER SET KARTA HAI !

    VADAKAYIL KUD EXAM LIKTHA HAI !!

    VADAKAYIL KHUD NUMBER DETA HAI !!!

    capt ajit vadakayil sets his own exam question paper, he writes the exam , and then he gives himself the marks .

    THIS IS THE MEANING OF LIBERATION.

    believe me -- that man hugged me ( NO patronising here ) and said -- he expected such an frank retort from me .

    he said- every other captain would have said thank you .

    he was told to enter into this dialogue by the single man owner of that shipping company . this was about my " CUT THE CRAP " EMAILS -- where i would point out that the EMPEROR IS NAKED .

    99% of the people will NOT even understand the wisdom and gravity of the statement above.

    capt ajit vadakayil
    ..

    ReplyDelete
  4. nami
    May 1, 2016 at 9:55 PM
    Sir,
    Forest fires in Uttarakhand show no signs of abating..how do you deal with them?
    Best wishes

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    ########################
    Capt. Ajit Vadakayil
    May 1, 2016 at 10:15 PM
    hi n,

    WE DO NOT HAVE FOREST FIRE FIGHTING COMPETENCE IN INDIA

    OUR FIREMEN ARE POORLY TRAINED

    FIRE TRIANGLE IS - HEAT/ FUEL/ OXYGEN

    KNOCK OFF ONE LEG AND THE FIRE IS OUT

    WHEN HUGE DRY FORESTS CATCH FIRE

    YOU CANNOT KNOCK OFF THE OXYGEN

    YOU CANNOT KNOCK OFF THE HEAT

    BUT YOU CAN KNOCK OFF THE FUEL ( TREES AND DRY SHRUBS )

    The ONLY and fastest way to fight a fire is to do a controlled burn around the perimeter of a forest fire.

    A controlled burn will allow you to cut off the fuel source of the larger fire by already burning off the dry plants, thus stopping the spread of the fire.

    NOTE: embers fly with wind -- the wind may carry smoldering embers that can move the fire and exacerbate the problem.

    AN INTELLIGENT MAN ( NOT A HALF WIT ) MUST BE IN CHARGE

    DYNAMIC RISK ASSESSMENT MUST BE DONE AND RECORDED.

    WHO KNOWS MODI MIGHT CHADDAO ANOTHER CHADDAR AT AJMER DARGAH ..

    VOTE MAANGTHA HAI NA ?

    capt ajit vadakayil
    ..

    ReplyDelete
  5. nami
    May 1, 2016 at 9:55 PM
    Sir,
    Forest fires in Uttarakhand show no signs of abating..how do you deal with them?
    Best wishes

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    ########################
    Capt. Ajit Vadakayil
    May 1, 2016 at 10:15 PM
    hi n,

    WE DO NOT HAVE FOREST FIRE FIGHTING COMPETENCE IN INDIA

    OUR FIREMEN ARE POORLY TRAINED

    FIRE TRIANGLE IS - HEAT/ FUEL/ OXYGEN

    KNOCK OFF ONE LEG AND THE FIRE IS OUT

    WHEN HUGE DRY FORESTS CATCH FIRE

    YOU CANNOT KNOCK OFF THE OXYGEN

    YOU CANNOT KNOCK OFF THE HEAT

    BUT YOU CAN KNOCK OFF THE FUEL ( TREES AND DRY SHRUBS )

    The ONLY and fastest way to fight a fire is to do a controlled burn around the perimeter of a forest fire.

    A controlled burn will allow you to cut off the fuel source of the larger fire by already burning off the dry plants, thus stopping the spread of the fire.

    NOTE: embers fly with wind -- the wind may carry smoldering embers that can move the fire and exacerbate the problem.

    AN INTELLIGENT MAN ( NOT A HALF WIT ) MUST BE IN CHARGE

    DYNAMIC RISK ASSESSMENT MUST BE DONE AND RECORDED.

    WHO KNOWS MODI MIGHT CHADDAO ANOTHER CHADDAR AT AJMER DARGAH ..

    VOTE MAANGTHA HAI NA ?

    capt ajit vadakayil
    ..

    ReplyDelete