Policies not followed in overpressurization, rupture of cargo tank

The following is a marine accident brief from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB):

(WASHINGTON) — On May 30, 2019, about 0750 local time, the Marshall Islands-flagged chemical tanker Fairchem Filly, with a crew of 22, experienced an overpressurization of the No. 3 port and starboard cargo tanks while discharging liquid hexene at Vopak Terminal in Deer Park, Texas. The overpressurization resulted in damage to the No. 3 port cargo tank and the tank top (deck). All cargo was contained on board the double-hulled vessel, with no pollution or injuries reported. Damage to Fairchem Filly was estimated at $750,000, and the contaminated cargo was an estimated $100,000 loss.

Probable cause

‚ÄčThe National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the overpressurization and rupture of the 3P cargo tank aboard Fairchem Filly during offloading was the vessel and terminal personnel involved not following policies and procedures related to cargo discharge and nitrogen-blanketing operations. Contributing to the casualty was the lack of effective communication between the vessel and terminal personnel and the decision of the vessel’s PIC to continue discharge operations after being unable to communicate with the terminal.

Click here to read the complete report.

By Professional Mariner Staff