MISLE Activity Number: 3401320
Originating Unit: Sector San Francisco
MISLE Activity Owner: Commandant (CG-5453)
MISLE Activity Controller: Commandant (CG-5453)
MISLE Case Number:
I. INCIDENT BRIEF
On January 27, 2009 at 1722 local time, the T/V OVERSEAS CLELIAMAR lost power
while outbound in the vicinity of the Golden Gate Bridge (GGB).
The T/V OVERSEAS CLELIAMAR was in ballast with no cargo onboard at the time of the vessel casualty.
5 assist tugs were immediately dispatched to help retrieve the vessel
and a 100 yard Safety Zone around the vessel was implemented by the Vessel Traffic Service (VTS).
The OVERSEAS CLELIAMAR attempted to release the port anchor to slow the
vessel, but was unable to.
Subsequently, the starboard anchor was dropped to help slow the vessel down
since the vessel did not have any steering or propulsion during the power outage.
The Master stated that the vessel came within 5 meters of Point Diablo,
but he did not hear or feel the vessel ground.
At 1730, power was restored to the vessel by switching from the Diesel
Oil (DO) tank to the Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO) tank.
Soundings of all tanks were taken and no leaks were discovered. The 5 tugs
then assisted the OVERSEAS CLELIAMAR back to Anchorage #9 where it safely moored.
There were no personal injuries or pollution as a result of the casualty.
Preliminary investigation suggested that the possible cause of the power failure was
due to a clogged fuel line coming from the Diesel Oil (DO) tank.
Subsequent investigation identified the cause of the loss of power
to be the result of the crew failing to ensure the three-way valve
in the fuel piping system was completely closed after shifting to Diesel Fuel.
Because the valve was left partially open, the Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO) contaminated the Diesel
Oil (DO) tank eventually resulting in the fuel starvation of the generators.
The engineering crew failed to notice that the fuel level in the DO tank was not decreasing
despite the fact the vessel was burning DO the entire time the vessel was in port.
The HFO, which was under pressure, was able to enter the DO day tank
via the three-way valve ultimately reducing [sic] the viscosity of the fuel
to the point it stopped flowing to the generators.
Alcohol testing was conducted for all crew members on watch at the time of the incident.
All crew members tested for the presence of alcohol:
Drug testing was conducted for all 32 crewmembers on board the vessel.