Accession Number:

AD0787181

Title:

SS WILLIAM T. STEELE: Death of Three Ships Officers at Guayanilla, Puerto Rico on 18 November 1972.

Descriptive Note:

Marine casualty rept.

Corporate Author:

COAST GUARD WASHINGTON D C

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

1974-09-26

Pagination or Media Count:

31.0

Abstract:

On November 17, 1972, preparations were being made to receive a cargo of benzene aboard the tankship WILLIAM T. STEELE. Because of an oversight in lining up the cargo-tank valves, benzene was inadvertently loaded into the No. 9 center tank, which was reserved for xylene. The benzene was transferred to a forward tank, and the No. 9 center tank was washed and ventilated. Two crewmembers entered the forward section of the tank to insert a blank between the flanges in the cargo pipeline, while the chief mate entered the aft section of the tank to educt water. When the flanges were opened, benzene began to leak and the benzene fumes forced the two crewmembers to leave the tank without inserting the blank. The chief mate remained in the tank and was overcome by the fumes. In attempting to rescue the chief mate, the master and the second mate perished, as did the chief mate. The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the death was the prolonged inhalation of a highly concentrated mixture of benzene vapor and air within the tank.

Subject Categories:

  • Marine Engineering
  • Safety Engineering

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE