MV Feng Hui Hai was anchored at Navlakhi port, Gujarat, India, awaiting berthing to discharge her coal cargo. On Sunday, April 22, 2018, the vessel alerted port officials about three crew members in emergency needing urgent medical attention.
Jamnagar Superintendent of Police (SP), Mr Pradip Shejul, said: “One of the crew members opened the door of a coal container and he was affected by the gas generated from the coal as it had remained packed for long. Two fellow crew members rushed in to help him but they too were affected by the gas. They were rushed to Jamnagar by a tug where the doctors declared two of them as brought dead while the third one is undergoing treatment.”
The vessel had loaded coal from Indonesia to India. Further investigation will reveal the actual cause of the tragic death of two sailors.
Coal is listed in International Maritime Solid Bulk Carrier (IMSBC) Code as Group B (cargoes with achemical hazard) and Group A (cargoes which may liquefy).
Chapter VI, Regulation 3 of the IMSBC Code requires vessels carrying coal to have on board measuring instruments for detecting presence of gas and level of oxygen in cargo holds.
Oxygen analysis and gas detection equipment
1. When transporting a solid bulk cargo which is liable to emit a toxic or flammable gas, or cause oxygen depletion in the cargo space, an appropriate instrument for measuring the concentration of gas or oxygen in the air shall be provided together with detailed instructions for its use. Such an instrument shall be to the satisfaction of the Administration.
2. The Administration shall take steps to ensure that crews on ships are trained in the use of such instruments.
Entry into enclosed space
Any space which has limited openings for entry and exit, inadequate ventilation and not designed for continuous worker occupancy is an Enclosed Space.
On board ships, enclosed spaces are cargo spaces, double bottoms, fuel tanks, ballast tanks, cargo pump rooms, cargo compressor rooms, cofferdams, chain lockers, void spaces, duct keels, inter-barrier spaces, boilers, engine crankcases, engine scavenge air receivers, sewage tanks, adjacent connected spaces, etc. From January 1, 2015, amendment of SOLAS regulation III/19, on emergency training and drills, mandate enclosed space entry and rescue drills, which requires crew members with enclosed space entry or rescue responsibilities to participate in an enclosed space entry and rescue drill at least once every two months.
SOLAS Regulation III/19 is revised by including mandatory enclosed space entry and rescue drills.
3.3 Crew members with enclosed space entry or rescue responsibilities shall participate in an enclosed space entry and rescue drill to be held on board the ship at least once every two months.
3.6 Enclosed space entry and rescue drills
3.6.1 Enclosed space entry and rescue drills should be planned and conducted in a safe manner, taking into account, as appropriate, the guidance provided in the recommendations developed by the organisation. [Refer to the Revised Recommendations for entering enclosed spaces aboard ships, adopted by IMO by resolution A.1050(27)]
3.6.2 Each enclosed space entry and rescue drill shall include:
1. Checking and use of personal protective equipment required for entry
2. Checking and use of communication equipment and procedures
3. Checking and use of instruments for measuring the atmosphere in enclosed spaces
4. Checking and use of rescue equipment and procedures
5. Instructions in first aid and resuscitation techniques.
Every crew member shall be given instructions which shall include but not necessarily be limited to: risks associated with enclosed spaces and onboard procedures for safe entry into such spaces which should take into account, as appropriate, the guidance provided in recommendations developed by the organisation.”