STOLT GROENLAND AND BOW DALIAN
This is the real story of what actually happened on that day. This story is narrated by a fellow crew of the Bow Dalian.
On 28th Sep, 2019 , ship BOW DALIAN was moored and tied along with the ship STOLT GREONLAND at Ulsan port, South Korea.
Both were chemical tankers and inter transfer of a chemical cargo was about to begin in few hours.
At around 1055 am, The Stolt Groenland ship was rocked by a massive explosion, which sent up flames as high as 250 metres and sprayed the burning cargo all around.
Bow Dalian ship, being just moored along it, encountered a rain of the burning cargo and caught fire, thus multiple fires started on the Deck of Bow Dalian as well.
The duty watchman on the deck suffered a 2nd degree burn due this rain but managed to come under a shed.
Within seconds, Bow Dalian team sounded the general fire alarm and was ready to combat the fire.
All fire fighting systems, like Foam system and fire pumps were deployed within 2 minutes by the Engineering team and crew began to fight this massive fire on deck.
It seemed as if hell had broken loose and all fire was pouring upon them.
But suddenly ,there were multiple explosions again on the Stolt ship and molten burning chemicals started to engulf ship, as if a volcano had exploded and spurring lava all around. There was thick black smoke all over Bow Dalian. The Engineering team of Bow Dalian again showed exemplary presence of mind and stopped all ventilation systems and closed the vents and flaps, with Chief Engineer and cadet along with him, running through the dense smoke on various open decks md shutting off all ventilation and flaps .
By this time the Korean Coast guard boats had arrived and they asked crew to evacuate.
But Bow Dalian crew first lead the guests and other local agents evacuate in the boats first after donning them with life jackets.
They kept the fire fighting systems running and focussed on the fire, as well as one monitor pointing towards the fire in Stolt ship by the Second mate, but secured all the means of ventilation so that the fire could not spread further.
This action of the Engineering team saved the entire accomodation area.
They disembarked the vessel and went to the shore, so that the local Coast guards could take over the fire extinguishing operation.
The other ship was still running on explosions.
Due to the presence of mind, skills and training, competence and bravery, the selected team of Bow Dalian saved the multi million dollar ship by creating a water and foam blanket and initiating all fire fighting measures on time. All the crew was safely evacuated along with the guests on board.
Though few members froze and contributed nothing, few others set an example of how a seafarer should be, lets be proud of them.
While the crew of Stolt Groenland ran away in their lifeboat without taking firefighting actions, the crew of Bow Dalian first made sure that all the guests onboard disembark first, showing ultimate sense of responsibility and seamanship.
The key personnels involved and whose actions saved the guests, the ship and crew actually were as follows:
Chief Engineer (Indian) – Shalabh Bansal
Chief mate (Filipino) – Jhorbel
2ns Engineer (Filipino) – Robert
2nd Officer (Indian)- Jagminder Dhillon.
Bosun (Myanmar) – Win