Precautions When Refuelling a Vessel
- Take portable tanks out of a vessel for filling
- Do not carry spare fuel in plastic containers as they can rupture without being noticed.
- No smoking
- No fires or motor running
- Disconnect the battery
- Have a suitable fire extinguisher available nearby
- Check for leaks
- Keep the vessel well ventilated
- Hoist “B” flag for refuelling internal tanks
- Ensure that vessel is secure alongside if fuelling in harbour
- Block off deck scuppers and freeing ports to contain any spill on deck
- Turn off gas
- Provide earth connection to or discharge static electricity from the fuel hose
- Keep the fuel nozzle in contact with the filler pipe to prevent static electricity build-up
- Make sure the fuel goes into the correct tank
- Check stability of vessel when filling side tanks
- Fill slowly towards the end
- On disconnection of fuel line, catch any spillage in a container
- Clean up any spill immediately
- Constantly monitor the tank being refilled
- Ventilate for some time before starting engine
In Case Of A Spill In A Harbour
- Stop refuelling
- Contain the spill as much as possible
- Take fire Precautions
- Advise the harbour authorities
- Carry out on board clean up
- Don’t use dispersants in water unless advised
Static Electricity – A Fire Hazard During Refuelling
Static is the electricity produced on dissimilar materials through physical contact and separation. A spark generated by static can ignite flammable vapour.
A static electrical charge can build up when refuelling as the fuel moves through the pipe. A risk also exists when sounding sampling or washing a fuel tank.
To safeguard against build up of static electricity the refuelling system must be bonded and grounded. The filler attachment is connected to the tank either by a direct metal-to-metal connection or by a copper ground cable of suitable size. The filler pipe must extend into the bottom of the tank, and the tank should be connected to the vessel’s bonding system.