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Precis File
SHIP NAME: Saetta,Conger KEY: NUM. ENTRIES: 3
source Tradewinds 2010-01-01
type A
volume
material
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Engine failure was the root cause of a ship-to-ship transfer collision off Southwold, UK, an accident report has found.

Cardiff Marine's 107,000 dwt Saetta (built 2009) and Prime marine's 65,000-dwt Conger (built 2000) came together on August 10 after the latter's main engine failed to start following completion of the operation. The Saetta's strboard lifeboat and davit were damaged bu the Conger was undamaged and there were no injuries or pollution, the UK MAIB says.

It is the third collision between vessels involved in STS transfers in the area within a six week period. A further two collisons have occurred since.


source MAIB
type A
volume
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link http://www.maib.gov.uk/publications/investigation_reports/2010/saetta_conger.cfm

On 10 August 2009, the Greek registered tanker Saetta and the Marshall Islands’ registered tanker Conger collided when completing a ship to ship (STS) transfer operation off Southwold, Suffolk. Saetta’s starboard lifeboat and davit were damaged. Conger was undamaged and there were no injuries and no pollution. The collision occurred at very slow speed, and resulted from the failure of Conger’s main engine to start as the vessels separated. Both manoeuvred to try and avoid a collision, but they were very close when the engine failed and the action taken was not effective. The response to the engine failure, and poor communications, were also contributory factors. The number of STS operations off Southwold had increased considerably in 2009 and this was the third collision between ships involved in transfers in the area within a 6-week period. A further two collisions have occurred since. Although STS operations worldwide are reported to have a good safety record and the accidents off Southwold have been relatively minor, their frequency is cause for concern.


source CTX
type C
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Conger's engine was a 5 cylinder Sulzer. On these direct drive engines, every time the propeller is stopped or the engine reversed, the engine must be stopped and restarted via high pressure air. The problem was eventually traced to a faulty air start pilot valve on cylinder 3. The engine must have been stopped in a position where No 3 was the first cylinder to fire. When the mooring master asked for ahead, nothing happened, since the valve did not allow air into the cylinder. About 4.5 minutes later, after several failed attempts to restart, the mooring master asked for astern. This time the engine started because No 3 was not the first in line, and the condition was cleared.

Depsite MAIB's concern over 5 collisions in a short period in one lightering area, the report gives very little information on the other fpour.