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Transporting of coal on self-unloaders with duration of the trip over 10 days

Below procedure is aimed to meet the special operational needs of self-unloaders carrying cargo of coal.

Prior to loading any type of coal and regardless of the duration of the trip

The Master of the ship loading coal for such trips or type of cargo, prior to loading, shall ensure:

  1. the ship carries onboard the following instruments for measuring the following without requiring entry into the cargo holds:

    1. The ship is generally acceptable for the carriage of the cargo of coal.
    2. Where coal is stowed in holds adjacent to bunker tanks, this must be in accordance with the requirements of the IMSBC Code.
    3. There are means of natural ventilation capable to provide adequate surface ventilation.
    4. Sealing material for hatch covers available (Ramnek type) in adequate quantity.
    5. Master is to issue Standing Orders specifically for intended trip.


    The Master of the ship loading coal, during the loading, transportation and until cargo is discharged, shall ensure:
    1. “NO SMOKING / HOT WORKS” signs are posted at the entrance to the cargo deck area and at the entrance to the cargo tunnel.
    2. NO HOT WORK to be permitted; i.e. welding, burning, cutting, chipping or any other sources of ignition are prohibited in the vicinity of cargo spaces (cargo holds, cargo tunnel, Forecastle and Bow Thruster compartment).
    3. All electrical cables and components situated in cargo spaces and in adjacent spaces are free of defects. Where possible, due to the particular construction of the ship, any such cables and components should be safe for use in hazardous zones or means should be provided for positive isolation and lock-out / tug-out procedure followed.
    4. Personnel shall not be permitted to enter any cargo space.
    5. Gas concentration and temperature readings are to be done at least twice a day in compartments and places determined by the Master. Log maintained.
    6. Gas and temperature readings to be logged off in the Deck Log Book and a separate table to be made in order to monitor the tendency of parameters.
    7. In case the temperature of the cargo, in any cargo hold or bulkhead of an adjacent compartment, reaches 55°C the potential coal fire and hatch covers to such a hold are to be sealed and no ventilation conducted. The Ship Management Office (SMO) is to be informed at the earliest opportunity.
    8. In cases when coal is being loaded from the barges – the temperature should be checked on the barge before loading and if it is 55ºC or higher, the cargo should be rejected and the Ship Management Office (SMO) advised.
    9. Entry into cargo tunnel is to be strictly prohibited without prior informing the Master and the Enclosed Space Entry Checklist completed.
    10. Where the operations of the ship requires entry into a cargo space, unloading space and / or Self- Unloader’s tunnels, entry shall not be permitted unless the atmosphere is at a safe level not exceeding 50ppm.
    11. Cargo tunnel forced ventilation is operational and running.

    Actions in case of rising concentrations of CO in under hatch space or visual appearance of smoke from the unloading gates is detected

    (i) Rising concentration of CO is detected in cargo holds (under hatch space)

    a. If not yet done, seal the cargo hold hatches with “Ramneck” tape in order to prevent the introduction of air into the cargo hold.
    b. Inform the Management Office (DPA) of the situation so that expert advice can be taken.
    c. Increase monitoring of the situation in accordance with expert advice obtained.

    (ii) Visual appearance of smoke from unloading cargo gate

    a. Do not attempt to jettison cargo as this will involve the introduction of air into the cargo hold.
    b. In not yet done, seal the cargo hold hatches with “Ramneck” tape in order to prevent the introduction of air into the cargo hold.
    c. Commence “negative pressure” ventilation
    d. Commence boundary cooling to the hopper of the affected unloading cargo gate from all accessible direction by crew equipped with SCBA sets
    e. Inform the Management Office (DPA) so that expert advice can be taken
    f. If “negative pressure” ventilation is noted to be ineffective, commence full ventilation of the cargo

    Related Information

    Special precautions for handling coal emitting methane

    Special precaution & IMSBC code guideline for handling bulk coal

    Hazards of handling bulk sulphur

    Special arrangements for carrying grain cargo

    Risk of carrying high density iron ores in bulk

    Preparation for ships carrying bulk cargo & standard loading condition

    Monitoring cargo operation safety checks in a bulk terminal

    Our detail pages illustrated many safety aspects of Bulk carrier

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