Accumulation of carbon monoxide in ship’s cargo tanks from coconut oil

It appears that there has been another incident concerning the accumulation of carbon monoxide in a ship's cargo tank, this time involving crude coconut oil.  

After the discharge of a parcel of crude coconut oil, during sweeping operations, the men who had entered the tank suffered some difficulties in breathing and immediately exited it. Investigations revealed that the carbon monoxide level in the tank was high and had reached a dangerous level for human exposure. It appears that, when heated, crude coconut oil will emit CO. 

A previous occurrence of this phenomenon prompted the issuing of a Bulletin by the UK P&I Club in September 2001.

We have been asked by the Federation of Oils, Seeds and Fats Associations (FOSFA) if we are aware of any other incidents of this nature. Thus, in addition to alerting members to the safety aspects, we are also seeking members' feedback regarding any other incidents they may be aware of in order to assist the investigation of this phenomenon. 

Contact: Howard Snaith or Margaret Doyle