Ballasting While Loading or Discharging From Barges

West of England P&I issued an alert regarding ballasting while loading or discharging from barges in response to a number of cases recently where dry bulk products stowed inside barges made fast to the ship have been damaged by ballast water. Incidents of this type may lead to significant cargo claims and are almost always avoidable.

On two occasions the vessels concerned were discharging into barges and ballasting simultaneously. During the ballasting operation the double bottom tanks were flooded and water overflowed on to the main deck. The water then rained away via the overboard scuppers and into the open holds of barges moored alongside.

In another case, topside wing tank drop valves were opened without the operator recognising that the overboard discharge was situated above an uncovered barge. Although shouting from the barge personnel resulted in the valves
being closed again shortly afterwards, the damage had already been done.

For more information please refer to West of England P&I Safety Alert: Ballasting while Loading or Discharging from Barges

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