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Precis File
SHIP NAME: Galini KEY: NUM. ENTRIES: 3
source HOOKE
type C
volume
material
dead 5
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Five men including the Master died on the 125,000 dwt Greek Ore/oil motor vessel Galini, while she was on a ballast voyage from Immingham to Lisbon, where she was due to undergo repairs, following a series of explosions in her pump room and a subsequent fire when in the Bay of Biscay in lat 45.59N, 07.52W on March 3, 1986. The 29 surviving crew members safely abandoned their blazing ship, being picked up from lifeboats by two cargo vessels some hours later. Two of them were air lifted to hospital in Corunna, suffering from severe burn injuries.


source UNK
type C
volume
material
dead 5
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In early January 1986, the ship partly loaded with crude oil left Teesport, UK for Quebec, Canada. After unloading at Quebec, the ship sailed off the Canadian coast for tank washing. She then sailed to Port Cartier, where she was granted a gas free certificate following inspection by the Canadian Authorities. After loading 88,764 mt of iron ore pallets, the ship sailed on 05.02.1986 for Immingham, UK where she arrived on 24.02.1986. The oil slops were not discharged in Immingham due to the lack of oil slop receiving facilities in this port. It should be noted that the vessel was classed by Det Norske Veritas as PET (Protective Slop Tank), being able to carry oil slops safely.

On 16.02.1986 the Master was replaced for health reasons. On 28.02.1986 after unloading her cargo at Immingham, the ship sailed for Lisbon to be dry-docked and repaired. Right after leaving Immingham, the crew started cleaning the tanks under the supervision of the boatswain.

At 13:05 hr. of 03.03.1986, an explosion took place and smoke started coming out of the right slop tank. The crew used the fire hoses to water the slop tank, right side tank No. 8, the pump room and the left side of the deck in an effort to lower temperature and prevent fire or other explosions.

No one was hurt from the explosion but cracks developed on the deck and the starboard side plating. The bulkhead between the right slop tank and right side tank No. 8 was also destroyed. The water inflow from the damaged side plating caused a 7o heel to the right and a stern trim of the vessel. The Master attempted to bring her into the upright position by moving ballast water to the fore left ballast water tanks.

A much more powerful explosion took place at 14:05 hr of the same day in the pump room and the cargo control room. A fire wave was seen headed towards the left life boat, which was broken into two and burned. Out of the 27 members of the crew and 7 passengers on board, the Master, chief mate and second engineer lost their lives, two other officers were injured, while the second mate and a sailor were missing. The fire following the explosion destroyed completely the pump room, the cargo control room, the crew accommodation, the bridge and its auxiliary facilities, and the life boats on the left-hand side of the deck which were not used by the crew to abandon the ship.

According to the evidence, the most probable cause of the first explosion is a crack due to localized structural fatigue on the internal sides of the right slop tank or some other damage that allowed oxygen to enter the slop tank destroying its inert gas environment. The first explosion damaged the electric wiring in the upper end lower parts of the pump room, which might have resulted in the second explosion through arcing that ignited the explosive gases that accumulated in this space.

The report concluded that no one is liable for the accident as it could not have been avoided. However, two of the five members of the Council were of the opinion that:

a) the owners of the ship are guilty of gross negligence because although timely informed of the inoperability of the inert gas system due to substantial damage of its components, they did not order repairs of the system while at Port Cartie or at Immingham, having selected instead an unsafe sailing of the ship to Lisbon, apparently on financial grounds;

b) the Master is guilty of gross negligence because he accepted to sail the vessel to Lisbon despite being informed of the inoperability of the inert gas system and the existence of oil slops on board; and

c) the two first engineers are guilty of gross negligence because although responsible for the well functioning of the inert gas system, they did not demand the undertaking of repair works while in Immingham.


source CTX
type C
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Hooke says the ship was towed to Ares Bay and then El Ferrol, declared a CTL and indicates the ship was insured for 12MM USD, well above her market value. She was towed to a Thai shipyard and broken up in 1987.

The UNK entry is probably based on the flag state (Greek) report. It raises as many questions as answers. The ship was an ore/oiler, another words a double hull. Pretty clearly the IGS system was inoperable. But we still need a source of ignition in the slop tank. There would be no reason for the crew to be tank cleaning the slop tank. Perhaps the initial explosion was in 8S.

Reading between the lines a bit, it sounds like the steel was in bad shape. The ship was headed for repairs. And the UNK entry obviously had some reason for bringing in fatigue cracking, but we don't know what it was. Maybe the ignition source was loose steel banging together.

It is hard to believe that the ignition source for the second explosion was electric arcing in the pump room. The ship had an hour to shut off power to the pump room. And where was the fuel for the second explosion? The ship was supposedly gas-free when it left Canada, the slop tank explosion should have taken care of the fuel in the slop tank. A lot of things were wrong on this ship.

The only thing we can say for sure is the majority judgement that this casualty was unavoidable is preposterous.