Coast Guard Safety Alert on High Velocity Vents, Vacuum valves

The US Coast Guard has issued a Marine Safety Alert related to high velocity vents valves and vacuum valves. According to the Coast Guard alert, the agency was recently alerted to a potentially hazardous situation that took place on a vessel. In this situation, there had been significant damage to structures, piping and components of a chemical/oil tanker including the high velocity vent valves. While loading operations were going on, one tanker became over pressurized and as a result, three cargo tanks and the ballast tanks were severely damaged. Hazardous material that was being transported on the container was allowed to migrate into other areas. The vessel began to list. It was a potentially dangerous situation, and only after intensive operations was the situation brought under control. The Coast Guard found that the high velocity vent valve was stuck closed and in an inoperable condition. Another valve was also found stuck. According to the Coast Guard, it's likely that the crewmembers failed to follow through their responsibility to check the valves before operation of the vessel. As a result of this incident, the Coast Guard is alerting vessel owners, operators and crew members to the need for maintenance of high velocity vents, valves and vacuum valves. Crew members and operators must make sure that these are maintained properly, and are in perfect operating condition at all times. The high velocity vent valves reduce the possibility of damage to tanks under pressure. Besides, the valves are also equipped with flame screens to reduce the risk of explosions. If you have been injured in a maritime accident, contact a maritime attorney at my firm for a free evaluation of your case. You can also download a free copy of my special report, The Insider's Guide to Winning Your Maritime Injury Case.

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