SAFETY ALERT: Avoid accidental CO2 releases during emergency-system tests

The U.S. Coast Guard has issued a Marine Safety Alert warning operators to take precautions to avoid the accident release of CO2 when testing emergency equipment.

The alert stems from two recent incidents aboard towing vessels. In one instance, during an Uninspected Towing Vessel Exam, a crewmember who had intended to test fuel-oil shutoff cables instead pulled CO2 system release cables. Both were located in the same panel.

In the second incident, an inspector discovered that only one of two sets of remote emergency shutdowns was operational.

Noting that emergency systems are frequently used during moments of increased stress, the Coast Guard emphasizes that design, labeling and training are important. The Safety Alert recommends pre-test meetings and walkthroughs. Frequent vessel-specific drills are necessary to ensure that all crewmembers understand the emergency systems and can use them properly when needed.

Below is full text of the Coast Guard’s Safety Alert, with illustrations:


By Professional Mariner Staff