Letter: Shetland disaster: tanker controls, safety at sea, UK fleet's decline

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The Independent Online
Sir: Having worked for a number of years in the engine rooms of diverse vessels, I find it extremely hard to believe that, as has been claimed, the Braer's fuel was contaminated by water due to ingress of seawater from the engine room ventilation system.

The engine room department would have had ample time to jury-rig a temporary clean fuel supply and keep at least one main engine running on slow ahead. All main engine and auxiliaries fuel is fed to day tanks which must be drained of water at least once an hour - these tanks must hold enough fuel for at least 24 hours. There is no way seawater could directly enter any of these tanks.

Yours faithfully,


Emsworth, Hampshire

5 January