A simulated collision - known as a tabletop drill - involving a LNG carrier and a fishing boat in Japanese waters has been carried out by the leading Japanese shipowner Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) to check its emergency response system should a serious marine accident take place.
The line holds these drills periodically to raise safety awareness throughout the company, and this latest drill took place on Nov 16.
The Tokyo-based line said: “The drill was designed to demonstrate that the company can respond swiftly and appropriately in case of a serious marine accident and maintain the flow of accurate information.”
The main participants included MOL executives and representatives of relevant MOL divisions, who teamed up to organise an Emergency Control Headquarters, along with the ship management company, MOL LNG transport (Asia) Ltd., which has its headquarters in Hong Kong.
The scenario was that a LNG carrier collided with a fishing boat near the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge, which links Kobe and Anaji Island, while attempting to avoid another ship.
The fishing boat capsized, and the three crew went overboard. One was rescued but was unconscious and in a critical condition, and two were missing.
The collision, which occurred in shallow water, left a hole in the bottom of the LNG carrier’s hull, and seawater flooded the ballast tank. The ship was anchored near the site but her boil-off gas (vapourised LNG in the cargo tank) treatment system malfunctioned, making it impossible to control the cargo tank pressure.
On receiving a report of the accident. MOL organised an Emergency Control Headquarters inside the company.