Britannia notes pollution issues from erroneous cargo transfers

Britannia Club has informed members that it has seen a number of pollution incidents involving the accidental transfer of cargo into an adjacent ballast water tank. The main causes were pitting or corrosion of cargo tanks. This resulted in cargo being flushed out during ballast water operations.

“These incidents have highlighted the importance of crew awareness of ballast principles and best practices”, said Britannia, which has decided therefore to explore best ballast practice and how to maintain ballast tanks to prevent such claims.

Its article provides best practice advice on Ballast Preparation, monitoring, and ballast tank maintenance.

In its conclusion, Britannia said that applying best ballast water management practice was essential in order to comply with applicable regulations and to prevent a costly claim. The maintenance and inspection of marine ballast tanks plays a crucial role in preventing leakage and cross-contamination. It is important to implement suitable measures, such as regular maintenance, appropriate drainage and cleaning, and efficient monitoring of water quality. Robust inspections will also help to identify any structural damage promptly. Providing training and education to the crew involved in operating the ballast water system and maintaining the ballast tanks will assist in mitigating the risk of pollution claims during ballast operations.