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Precis File
SHIP NAME: Golden Dolphin KEY: NUM. ENTRIES: 6
source LMIU
type C
volume
material
dead 9
link

Explosion, on fire Mar 06 1982 in 30 09 N 46 23 W Sank Mar 7 in 30 08 N 46 31 W. 9 dead


source HOOKE
type C
volume
material
dead 9
link

The American steam tanker Golden Dolphin was on a ballast voyage from New Orleans to Port Said, when an explosion followed by a fire ripped through a tank 700 miles east of Bermuda in lat 30.09N, long 46.23W on March 6, 1982. Nine of her 25 crewmen died in the blast. They were all reported to have been in the empty cargo tank at the time of the explosion. After being abandoned by the 16 survivors, the Golden Dolphin drifted, engulfed in flames, until sinking in lat 30.08N, long 46.31W on March 7.


source FSI 3/5 Annex 2
type A
volume 10000B
material
dead 9
link

Multiple explosions cargo tank. Proximate cause was performance of welding or flame cutting in any area not rendered free and maintained free of flammable gases. Chief Mate did not check or re-evaluate for gas free state.


source NTSB
type A
volume
material
dead 9
link

On March 6, 1982, the 894-foot-long U.S. tankship SS GOLDEN DOLPHIN was en route in ballast from New Orleans, Louisiana, to Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Several crewmembers were replacing a section of the main deck steam piping; welding equipment and an oxygen-acetylene torch were used in the repairs. At the same time, five other crew members were cleaning one of the vessel's cargo tanks. About 1554, the first of several explosions occurred in the GOLDEN DOLPHIN's cargo tanks. An intense fire erupted and eventually engulfed the entire forward half of the vessel. On the following day, the vessel sank in the Atlantic Ocean about 900 nautical miles east of Bermuda. Nine of the vessel's 25 crew members died as a result of the explosions and fire. The GOLDEN DOLPHIN was valued at approximately $29 million. The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the ignition by a welding arc or oxygen-acetylene torch of combustible gases in the GOLDEN DOLPHIN's forward main deck steam piping and the propagation of the resulting flame through the steam piping into a cargo tank containing an explosive atmosphere. Contributing to the accident was the failure of the master and the chief mate to ensure that the atmosphere within the cargo tanks, main deck steam piping, and cargo tank steam heating coils was gas free or inert.


source FRUMP
type A
volume
material
dead 9
link

Confirms NTSB story. One tank was being mucked out. At the same time they were welding badly corroded deck steam lines. No mention of IGS. Must have been a flammable atmosphere in one or more of the other tanks, which apparently were not valved off. (It is possible wastage was so bad, the gases could by-pass the valves.) Gas got into the steam lines, was ignited by the hot work and flashed back to the tanks.


source CTX
type C
volume 21990B
material
dead 9
link

ETC says 21990B, bunker fuel oil This was a 93,000 tonner.

NTSB report is NTSB-MAR-83-07, NTIS PB83-916406. But CTX has not yet seen. The NTSB entry above is the abstract of that report. FSI summary references MSC 49/15 28.

Assuming the NTSB report is the more accurate. If so, the ship was not properly prepared for hotwork on deck. 13 years after Mactra, 7 years after Sansinena, sounds like she did not have had an IGS system.

What was a US flag 93,000 dwt tanker doing going to Dubai?