Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Top 10 Tank Barge Deficiencies—Part I

Excerpted from “Top Ten Deficiencies Found on Vessels.” Full text available on http://homeport.uscg.mil/. Navigate to missions/investigations/safety reports.

The U.S. Coast Guard Office of Investigations and Analysis recently examined vessel deficiencies in various vessel classes to identify the 10 most common deficiencies in each class.

We share these so that owners can take corrective action, rectify problems prior to scheduling the next Coast Guard examination, and ensure continual compliance with safety and environmental requirements.

Cargo Transfer Hoses 33 CFR 154.500, 156.170
The most common deficiency: Required marking that identifies hose use and maximum allowable working pressure is missing or illegible.

The hose’s date of manufacture and the date of its last pressure test must also be recorded, but not necessarily marked on the hose. If a hose is kinked, gouged, or otherwise deformed, it should be removed from service regardless of its ability to pass the pressure test. Unmarked hoses that are not in service should not be on board.

Running Lights 33 CFR 84.09, 17, & 19 and 46 CFR 153.953
The most common deficiencies:

  • lack of a recent coat of “matte black” paint on the background screens,
  • bent mounting stanchions,
  • cracks where the stanchion meets the deck.

If a stanchion was straightened or replaced, check that the light sectors are in compliance and the wires weren’t damaged. All portable lights must be presented for inspection.

Cargo Transfer Piping, Valves and Gauges 33 CFR 156.170
The most common deficiency: Packing glands on valve stems need maintenance.

The maximum allowable working pressure must be stenciled on the piping. Operators must document all pressure testing.

Thermal Fluid Cargo Heater 46 CFR 61.30
Gauges are often found to be out of calibration, and sight glasses are sometimes cracked.

The operational test includes verification of the flame safety guard and the automated controls and valves. The required pressure for a hydrostatic test is 1½ times the MAWP. The owner/operator must ensure that personnel are available to conduct testing.

Cargo Tank Access–Manholes and Gauging Ports 46 CFR 42.15-30, USCG NVIC 7-68
Common deficiencies include:

  • wastage at the top of the trunk where the gasket on a manhole cover or a gauging port cover seats against the trunk,
  • wastage of the cover around the gasket groove,
  • deterioration of the gasket,
  • wastage of the bolts and bolt holes that form the manhole cover,
  • loose or missing bolts on tank access ladder brackets,
  • wasted or holed cargo tank stand-pipes,
  • stress cracks and pinhole perforations where the trunk meets the deck.

For more information:
For more information about commercial vessel inspections, contact your local Coast Guard Sector/Inspections Division. For a listing of sector offices, click on “Sector Map” on http://homeport.uscg.mil/.

The tank barge list continues in part 2.