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Engine room procedure to follow after grounding

The engineering staff may not be in a position to ascertain that the ship is aground and in normal circumstances will be informed by the bridge. However any grating noises along the ships hull in the machinery space should be considered a possible grounding or collision. In the event of grounding no attempt to re-float the ship will be made without first carrying out a thorough inspection to ascertain any damage.The following actions should be taken if the bridge informs the engine room that the ship is aground.

The initial response may be to Stop the Main Engine as quickly as possible and secure it, simultaneously with this start the Main Diesel Generator. Please note though with regard to the Main Engine it is our duty to obey Telegraph Orders as long as it possible and sensible to do so.
  • Stop and secure the steering gear, be aware that the Rudder may be aground/damaged.
  • Carry out a thorough inspection of the machinery space for structural damage and ingress of water. Due to the double bottom structure in the machinery space it may not be possible to see any structural damage clearly.
  • Sound all the machinery space tanks that have the ships hull forming part of there boundary. Careful when unscrewing any caps, as there might be water pressure present. This should include Fuel, Water, L.O. and double bottom tanks and dry spaces.
  • Inform the bridge of your findings and take further soundings at regular intervals.
  • Record all actions taken in the Engine Log book.
  • Check all sea inlets/outlets, their associated pumps and coolers are working correctly and not fouled.
  • Keep a close eye on the stern tube L.O. tank for loss of oil.
  • Engage turning gear and try to turn shaft. If any strain is shown by the turning gear it must be assumed that the propeller is also aground and the bridge informed of this. No further attempt to turn the shaft should be made until the propeller is clear. check crankshaft deflection to check bearing alignment.
  • A grounding could cause rapid fouling of Sea Suctions, Pumps and Coolers, with silt, resulting in a Blackout, as such the only power available would be that from the Diesel Generator and the Emergency Generator. Staff must be prepared to respond to situations and priorities which may change quickly.
When the ship is afloat and the engines are ready for use again a close eye should be kept on the shaft bearing and stern tube for
overheating or unusual vibrations in case the hull structure has been deformed, causing misalignment.


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