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Posted: Feb 3, 2020

Alarming Trends Found on Fixed Gas Detection Systems

One critical safety measure on liquefied gas carriers is the fixed gas detection system. If gas vapors are detected in a monitored space, an alarm will activate and alert the crew of the dangerous condition.
The International Code for the Construction and Equipment of Ships Carrying Liquefied Gases in Bulk (IGC Code) requires the activation of alarms at specified vapor concentrations. However, during exams on three separate Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) carriers in Boston, Port State Control Officers (PSCOs) discovered issues with the fixed flammable gas detection system that resulted in the issuance of deficiencies and delay of cargo operations. While
witnessing tests, multiple sensors measured outside the tolerances established by the manufacturer and subsequent calibration checks failed. In each case, crew members were not following established
procedures as specified in their Safety Management System (SMS).
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Posted: Feb 3, 2020

Improper Bonding During Gas Freeing Can Have Explosive Results!

These photos from a recent tank barge explosion serve as a stark reminder of how dangerous cargo tank cleaning and gas freeing operations can be if safety regulations under Title 29 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 1915 and Title 33 CFR Part 154 are not followed, and equipment is not properly maintained and inspected before each use. Although the investigation into this casualty is not yet complete, the following information and best practices are being conveyed with the hope that this alert will prompt companies to review
and update their procedures to prevent similar casualties from
occurring.
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Posted: Feb 3, 2020

Safety notice issued: GEPA freefall lifeboat release systems.

The manufacturers of GEPA freefall lifeboats have issued advice about the need to modify the release mechanism activation systems installed on the following types: G-FFF1, G-FFF2 and G-FFF3 (including FP variants).

A service bulletin issued by the manufacturers advises that, because the emergency activation system is connected to the hydraulic control line from the primary activation system, such systems for the release mechanism are not considered to be independent as required by the LSA Code paragraph 4.7.6.1.
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