[li]I just finished a job where the current procedure for getting rid of water which leaked into the steering gear room (rudder stock) was to pump it overboard with the bilge pump. I looked at the engineer training me to replace him and told him I would not do it and quit. There was a sheen on the water from either a little grease or hydraulic oil which was visable to my “over 15ppm eyes”. Maybe I was wrong but I won’t be put in jail for violation of the law. The captain gave me some baloney about “tonnage, as it was a tugboat”. He told me the company called the USCG and that was their ruling. Too many chief engineers have been fined $250,000 and I took the safe way out. There was no 15ppm OWS aboard and the rudder stock leaked like sieve when trimmed aft. any sea lawyers advice would be appreciated.[/li][/ol]
The key part of your story is the visible sheen in the water. Now, I’m not fully versed in all the regulations, but I’m pretty sure if there’s a visible sheen in the water then it’s not cool. Sounds like you did the right thing, it’s not worth the fine, or even worse the jail time, plus the loss of your documents. I know I worked too hard for my license and I’m not going to jeopardize it over something stupid like this.
If I am not mistaken, someone who witnesses a sheen on the water is obligated to report same to the Coast Guard. Just sayin’.
[QUOTE=cmakin;119494]If I am not mistaken, someone who witnesses a sheen on the water is obligated to report same to the Coast Guard. Just sayin’.[/QUOTE]
As a junior engineer, his obligation is to report it to his superiors. The Master or home office should be doing the CG reporting. Could you imagine making everyone on board who witnesses a water sheen personally responsible for contacting the coast guard?
Every small boat should have an ample supply of oil sorb booms & blankets on board. The oil soaked pads can be disposed of as trash unless you are in NJ or CA - maybe a few other states.
I’m pretty sure “Too Bad Steam is Gone” is a Chief Unlimited and not a Qmed Jr.
[QUOTE=MFOWelectrician;119514]I’m pretty sure “Too Bad Steam is Gone” is a Chief Unlimited and not a Qmed Jr.[/QUOTE]
Should be a SOP however on who is to contact the CG. Suspect that would typically fall to the ships master.
[QUOTE=Jetryder223;119513]As a junior engineer, his obligation is to report it to his superiors. The Master or home office should be doing the CG reporting. Could you imagine making everyone on board who witnesses a water sheen personally responsible for contacting the coast guard?
Every small boat should have an ample supply of oil sorb booms & blankets on board. The oil soaked pads can be disposed of as trash unless you are in NJ or CA - maybe a few other states.[/QUOTE]
Actually, yes. Not just those onboard. Again, from what I recall from my days as a QI (over 16 years ago, so memory fades), anyone who sees a spill is obligated to notify the CG, regardless of whether they are a mariner or not. Pretty sure it is part of OPA 90. I guess I could check.
From the CFR:
§ 110.6 Notice.Any person in charge of a vessel or of an onshore or offshore facility shall, as soon as he or she has knowledge of any discharge of oil from such vessel or facility in violation of section 311(b)(3) of the Act, immediately notify the National Response Center (NRC) (800-424-8802; in the Washington, DC metropolitan area, 202-426-2675). If direct reporting to the NRC is not practicable, reports may be made to the Coast Guard or EPA predesignated On-Scene Coordinator (OSC) for the geographic area where the discharge occurs. All such reports shall be promptly relayed to the NRC. If it is not possible to notify the NRC or the predesignated OCS immediately, reports may be made immediately to the nearest Coast Guard unit, provided that the person in charge of the vessel or onshore or offshore facility notifies the NRC as soon as possible. The reports shall be made in accordance with such procedures as the Secretary of Transportation may prescribe. The procedures for such notice are set forth in U.S. Coast Guard regulations, 33 CFR part 153, subpart B and in the National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan, 40 CFR part 300, subpart E.
This must not be Turdwater for sure. Back in the day I had many a Port Captain tell me to quit worrying and just suck the water out from under the oil.
Just remember the 3 key parts, in order for it to be a problem.
#1. Water. Check.
#2. Oil. Check.
Without all 3, im under the impression it doesnt qualify.
If a boat has no way of dealing with oil in the bilge then something is wrong.
I didn’t stay around long enough to witness any bilge pumping. There wasn’t much of a sheen on the water in the steering area “BUT” I wasn’t putting my arse out there for some overzealous prosecutor to take a bite out of . I have seen lots of sheens on the oceans from tankers decanting slop tanks (5 litres/nautical mile) oil content meter. More oil enters the ocean from runoff than from ships. The guy who was training me had been using the bilge pump to pump out the steering room bilge. Who knows what residuals might be in the line? He was using an air pump to pump the engine room bilges not the dedicated bilge/ballast pump.
I’m with you, I would have left too. You simply cannot pump oily water ( or water that is it not oily buy may leave a sheen on the water). The present master of the tug may well learn the hard way that he is in violation of more regs than he can number. I say depart with your license in hand… Well done!
On another note I was told once to get underway and use the OCM to pump waster water. Nope, no can do… Regulations tell us in the OCM record book no less that you cannot get underway for the sole reason to use the OCM. It’s for transits from point A to B, not for trips to sea to pump wash water etc. There are indeed times when you have to put your foot down and say no!
We’re taking delivery of a new ship that has the OWS suction rigged to every space aboard that has anything oil in it. Not every ship / boat has that, but in this instance we’ve no need to monkey around. That is a good arrangement and the chief was very pleased to see it.
I think cmakin is right on the need to report…
That’s a good system it sounds, but the master and Cheng need to be aware that they cannot head out to sea for the sole reason to use it. ( as some office pukes seem to think in the past ). It’s for use on a trip from point A to B.
[QUOTE=+A465B;119739]We’re taking delivery of a new ship that has the OWS suction rigged to every space aboard that has anything oil in it. Not every ship / boat has that, but in this instance we’ve no need to monkey around. That is a good arrangement and the chief was very pleased to see it.
I think cmakin is right on the need to report…[/QUOTE]
Every vessel I’ve sailed that was built since the late '90s was piped that way. The only OWSs I’ve used were the coalescer type. Stripping bilges and machinery spaces that are laced with oil, detergents and solvents with the OWS requires constant maintenance. It’s far more efficient to strip the spaces to the oily bilge tank, let it decant and pump the water off through the OWS.
You just cant mess around in this day and age. I would have quit too. I just started sailing Chief and would not put my license or freedom on the line for any company.
The company I am working for now has a foreign flag division and they just had another incident. The ship was in port holding grey water. The grey water tank over flowed and they put it in the bilge holding tank. After they went out to see the Chief thought it was ok to just pump all the grey water out of the BHT and over the side bypassing the OWS. It doesn’t matter how clean the water, if it is in the bilge or any machinery space it becomes oily water. You can put pure distill water in a clean BHT, but if you want to get rid of it it, you must go through a 15ppm OCM.
We had an internal audit and the company tried to tell me how I am suppose to fill out the ORB. I was doing it the way the coast guard wants it and they told me I was doing it wrong. I said well the CG can fine me, or worse put me in jail. All you can do is fire me and force me to look for another job.
Ahh good ole OSG.
In all this discussion…the companies can’t forget, they can be held liable also, and sometimes they may need a “gentle reminder” of that fact. Anyone remember what happened at Sabine?
Yes of course we have the usual sludge, waste oil and oily bilge tanks and can decant bilge water before the using the ows, or just use the shore discharge connexions, should circumstances make it possible.
Anyway, it is nice to have the flexibility.
Now about that fancy new ballast water treatment plant they fitted… argggh. I love the deliberately complexicated setup for the jellyfish pre-filter back flush and the banks of UV lights. We gonna have some controlipleximation fun.