WATCHKEEPING QUESTIONS & ANSWERS PART-1

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Q. Describe actions to be taken by the relieving Engineer Officer of the Watch before taking charge of the watch.

  • Wear Proper PPE.
  • Check Engine Room Log Book.
  • Read C/E instruction and sign.
  • Take round from the top to bottom of the engine room.
  • Take round of the external machinery space ie. Steering Room, Battery Room, Emergency Generator Room, A.C. Room.
  • Check water level of Expansion Tank.
  • Check temperature & pressure of all the machinery.
  • Check oil level of all the tank.
  • Check FFA, EEBD. All should be at place & secured.
  • Emergency escape route should be clear & lighting all in good working condition.
  • Check all bilge level empty.
  • If any doubt, Discuss with handing over watch keeper.

Q. Describe the procedure for taking over an engine room watch.

  • Check the funnel emissions. White smoke, black smoke, steam or sparks.
  • Check steering gear & fridge flats.
  • Enter the engine room from the top. Do not use the lift.
  • Check cooling water header tank.
  • Check main engine cooling water returns & temperatures.
  • Check piston cooling water returns & temperatures.
  • Listen for any unusual noises.
  • Check turbocharger oil levels
  • Check observation tank for signs of oil.
  • Check mist detector.
  • Check condition of bilges.
  • Check purifier flat and condition of the fuel oil tanks. i.e. full, empty temperature, Drain of  water.
  • Enter control room. check log book and note any irregularities.
  • Confirm the condition of the electrical supply equipment. .How many alternators on load, amount of load on the board, Earth faults, Stand by machines.
  • Read any current standing orders.
  • The duty engineer should then inform the engineer taking over the watch of any abnormal operating conditions which have  occurred during the watch. Any orders from the Bridge. Recorded in the log book should be pointed out. Any repairs should be reported together with information on any machinery that
  • Has been dismantled. The presence of any other members of ship’s staff in the engine room e.g. day workers should be reported.

Q. Describe the procedure for preparing a main engine, from cold, for a sea service.

  • Before a large diesel engine is started it must be warmed through by circulating hot water through the jackets etc. This will enable the various engine parts to expand in relation to one another and allow the engine load to be increased sooner rather than later.
  • The lubricating oi1 should also be heated and circulated around the bearings etc. and the piston if oil cooled. The various return pipes on both the water and oil systems should be checked to ensure no blockages and the return temperatures should  be monitored.
  • The various supply tanks, filter, valves and drains are all to be checked and opened or closed as required.
  • All control equipment alarms etc. should be examined for correct operation.
  • The indicator cocks should be open and the turning gear engaged and started to ensure that there is no water present in the cylinders. If any water issues further investigation can be carried out to ascertain the cause.
  • All oil levels should be checked i.e. sump turbochargers governors etc.
  • The fuel oil system can be lined up and circulated with hot fuel.
  • Any scavenge blowers if manually operated, should be started.
  • Manually operate the cylinder lubricators.
  • The turning gear should be removed and the engine blown over on air before    closing the indicator cocks.
  • The engine is now available for stand by.

Q. List with reasons, areas or items which should be checked by the duty engineer before taking over the watch

1. Boiler spaces

2. Steering gear area

3. Generator area

4. Main engine

5. Sewage plant

6. Purifier room

7. Bilges

8. All fire fighting equipments and emergency escape route.

9. Control room (the Log Book, Chief Engineer standing order book, any abnormal duties discussed with reliving engineer.

Q. With reference to the pre-sailing test on a ship’s steering gear, list EIGHT functions of machinery or control system whose operation should be tested.

  1. Operation of main steering gear.
  2. Operation of auxiliary steering gear or use of the second pump which acts as an auxiliary.
  3. Operation of the Remote Control system from the main bridge steering positions.
  4. Operation of steering gear using the emergency power supply.
  5. Check rudder angel indicator reading with respect to the actual rudder angle.
  6. The alarms fitted to the remote control system.
  7. Steering gear power unit failure alarm.
  8. Steering gear header tank level.

Q. Describe the procedure to be observed when taking over the responsibility for the engine room on a ship that is operating under Unmanned Machinery Space conditions.

  • Ensure all FO, LO and fresh water tanks, Sump are adequately full.
  • Bilges are dry and high level alarms operational.
  • Smoke and fire sensors are operational.
  • Emergency generator is on standby.
  • Stopped diesel generators are on standby.
  • All standby pumps and machinery systems are on auto start position.
  • All strainers and filters of running and standby machinery are cleaned.
  • All parameters are within normal range.
  • All alarms and safety cut-outs are operational.
  • All drain tanks are empty.
  • Loose tens are secured.
  • All piping systems are tight and not temporarily repaired.
  • Workshop welding machine plug is removed.
  • Acetylene and Oxygen cylinder valves closed and hoses are disconnected.
  • Engine room and Steering Gear compartment watertight doors are shut.
  • All fire fighting appliances and EEBD are in proper place and good working condition.
  • Watch keeper control switched to Duty Engineer’s cabin.
  • Main Engine on Bridge control and Duty Officer is informed of commencement time of UMS.
  • Duty Officer should be aware of location of Duty Engineer.

Q. As  an Engineer Officer of the Watch list reasons for calling the Chief Engineer Officer.

  • Main Engine Problem.
  • Scavenge Fire.
  • Flooding.
  • Major Oil Spill.
  • Governor Heating.
  • Black Out.
  • Engine Room Fire.
  • Oil Mist Detector Alarm.
  • Boiler Low Water Trip.
  • Any casualty due to accident.
  • Steering Gear System Failure.

Q. State four legal documents which are found in the Engine Room.

Legal document which are found in the engine room:

  • Oil Record Book Part – I.
  • Engine Log Book.
  • Chief Engineer’s Night Order Book.
  • Engine Room Tank’s Sounding Book.
  • ISM Check List File.
  • Engine Room Safety Routine file.
  • Work Permit File.
  • Lifting Gear Record File.
  • Machinery Running Hours Record File.
  • Work and Rest Hour File.
  • PMS (Planned Maintenance Schedule) and Spare Inventory file.

Q. (a) State the different engine room records that are kept.

  • Log Book.
  • Bell Book.
  • Oil Record Book.
  • Saturday Routine Record Book.
  • C/E Standing Order Book.
  • C/E Night Order Book.
  • Work and Rest Hours Record Book.
  • Safety Equipments Record Book.
  • LSA and FFA Records Book.

Q. (b) Explain the reasons for the important of these records.

  • For maintaining the machinery in proper working condition at all the time.
  • To reduce the break down maintenance.
  • To provide correct reports to the port state control and vetting inspector.
  • For the safe operation of the ship, machinery and personnel.
  • To provide information of the events occurred in past to the next joining crew.
  • To save the marine environment from any accidental pollution. 

Q.(c) State the frequency with which the records are updated.

  • All tank sounding, Engine Room Log Book, Oil Record Book, Work and Rest Hours should be updated daily.
  • Safety equipments records should be updated weekly.
  • Alarm and trips records of the machinery should be updated monthly.
  • FFA and LSA equipments records should be maintained monthly.
  • Some typical LSA equipments like Life Boat, Rescue Boat operation records should maintain quarterly.

Q. State the procedure to be carried out if you found no one in the engine room when taking over a watch.

Before Entering in the Engine Room

  • Inform Bridge.
  • Activate Dead man Alarm.

After Entering the Engine Room

  • Inform C/E about the present situation.
  • Read the C/E standing order.
  • Check the engine room log book parameters of previous watch.
  • Check for notice left by the previous duty engineer of the watch on notice board, if any.
  • Take proper round of the engine room checking of any leakages and machinery parameters.
  • Keep on resetting the dead man alarm before its preset time.
  • Once all is OK, inform C/E.

Q. Describe the routine watch keeping duties carried out in the steering flat.

Watch keeping duties in Steering Flat:

  • Check the direct communication between bridge and steering room.
  • Check oil level in tanks.
  • Check grease on rudder carrier bearing.
  • Check standby motor on ‘Auto’ mode.
  • Check for any oil or water leakage.
  • Check steering gear room bilge well.
  • Check fire extinguisher and EEBD are at place and secure.
  • Check floor gratings are on its place.
  • Check for any abnormal noise and vibration.
  • Check steering gear exhaust blower on.

Q. (a) State actions the Engineer Officer of the Watch would take on discovering a small oil fire in the engine room bilge.

  • Raise the alarm.
  • Inform bridge.
  • Use the nearest fire extinguisher and try to extinguish the fire.
  • Find out the cause and rectify it.
  • Make sure that the fire will not reignite again.

Q. (b) State Four good watch keeping practices that can help prevent such fires mentioned in question A from occurring.

  • Make sure that no oily rags left over the day and keep the bilges free from oil.
  • Make sure that no naked lights on bilges and intrinsically safe.
  • All sounding pipes from DB tank inside the machinery space should be always capped and it should have automatically closed system (either spring loader or weight lifted).

Q. With reference  to  the testing of  a ship’s steering gear prior to departure, list Eight items of machinery or control systems whose operation must be tested.

  • Operation of main steering gear.
  • Operation of auxiliary steering gear or use of the second pump which acts as an auxiliary.
  • Operation of the Remote Control system from the main bridge steering positions.
  • Operation of steering gear using the emergency power supply.
  • Check rudder angel indicator reading with respect to the actual rudder angle.
  • The alarms fitted to the remote control system.
  • Steering gear power unit failure alarm.
  • Steering gear header tank level.

Q. Describe  the procedure for testing the ship’s steering gear and associated equipment prior to departure from port.

Procedure for testing the ship’s steering gear and associated equipment prior to departure from port:

  • Check for oil leaks.
  • Check for loose linkages, pins etc.
  • Run pump individually 30-35 degree in 28 second.
  • Check standby pump power supply.
  • Standby pump should be on when running power failure.
  • Check lubricating oil tank level and low level alarm.
  • Steering gear angle and helmsman angle should be matched.
  • Check communication between bridge and steering gear room.
  • Check emergency steering.