Most fires on board ships start in the engine room. One of the built-in safety features increasingly found compromised by U.S. Coastguard Port State Control Officers are malfunctioning fuel Quick-Closing Valves (QCVs). Some QCV’s are espied deliberately blocked by a variety of means according to Marine Safety Alert 01-11 putting the vessel and its crew at greater risk in a fire emergency.
QRV Wedged Open: Photo credit US Coastguard
Perhaps an overzealous application of the recommendation by the USCG that routine checks of QCV systems be carried out led to the following incident reported in the October 2011 edition of MARS (the Nautical Institute’s voluntary and confidential ‘Mariners’ Alerting and Reporting Scheme’) which again focussed attention on the operation of QCV’s. Blackout, Propulsion & Steering Shutdown Follows QCV Test at SeaA loaded small-sized gas tanker nearing the end of a coastal voyage had on board a company superi... [More]