US 3906880 A
An apparatus for recovering oil from a ruptured oil carrying tank compartment of a tanker consisting of a container manufactured of flexible vinyl sheeting affixed to the top of the tank of a size to be released to completely line the sides of the tank, a flexible wire mesh barrier affixed to the top of the tank and adapted to be dropped into the tank in a manner overlying the inner hull of the tanker within the tank compartment to protect the vinyl container from the jagged edges of the ruptured steel hull, and a transfer pump having an inlet end disposed in the tank compartment and an outlet end disposed in the vinyl container for transferring the contents of the tank compartment to the vinyl container when it is released to occupy the space within the tank compartment.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
[4 1 Sept. 23, 1975 OIL RECOVERY APPARATUS FOR A TANKER  Inventor: Floyd E. Hebert, 7748 52nd South,
Seattle, Wash. 98118  Filed: Dec. 19, 1974  Appl. No.: 534,457
 US. Cl. 114/74 R; 114/68; 220/85 B  Int. Cl. B63B 25/08; 8633 43/10  Field of Search 114/74 R, 74 A, 74 T, 68,
3,785,321 1/1974 Backstrom 114/74 R Primary Examiner-Trygve M. Blix Assistant Examiner-Sherman 1D. Basinger Attorney, Agent, or FirmMarden S. Gordon  ABSTRACT An apparatus for recovering oil from a ruptured oil carrying tank compartment of a tanker consisting of a container manufactured of flexible vinyl sheeting affixed to the top of the tank of a size to be released to completely line the sides of the tank, a flexible wire mesh barrier affixed to the top of the tank and adapted to be dropped into the tank in a manner overlying the inner hull of the tanker within the tank compartment to protect the vinyl container from the jagged edges of the ruptured steel hull, and a transfer pump having an inlet end disposed in the tank compartment and an outlet end disposed in the vinyl container for transferring the contents of the tank compartment to the vinyl container when it is released to occupy the space within the tank compartment.
4 Claims, 9 Drawing Figures US Patent Sept. 23,1975 Sheet 1 of 2 3,906,880
#5 2}? I iej g US Patent Sept. 23,1975 Sheet 2 of2 OIL RECOVERY APPARATUS FOR A TANKER BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates generally to oil carrying ship type tankers and more particularly to a novel oil recovery apparatus intended for use on such tankers within each of the individual tanker compartments should the hull of the ship be ruptured in such compartment so as to avoid loss of a major portion of the oil carried in such compartment to the sea.
2. Description of the Prior Art In recent years the prevention of pollution in the air and water has been of a major concern, with it being determined that coastal waters have been seriously affected by oil pollution such as occurs when the hull of a tanker ship is ruptured so as to lose the oil carried in the tanker compartment to the surrounding seas. This problem is of increasing concern in view of the greatly increased mammoth size of tankers used today as when a tank is ruptured a huge quantity of oil is lost to the sea.
A further problem in todays world is the greatly increased and high cost of oil so that it is highly desirable to prevent loss of oil from a ruptured tank compartment to the sea both for pollution purposes as well as for economic reasons in view of the high cost of the oil which would be lost.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention provides a novel oil recovery apparatus intended for use in independent tanker compartments carrying oil therein for transference of oil from the damaged compartment into a flexible vinyl sheeting container which is disposed in the damaged compartment in times of emergency and which is protected by a wire mesh from the ragged ruptured metal of the ruptured hull of the compartment.
It is a feature of the present invention to provide an oil recovery apparatus for a tanker.
A further feature of the present invention provides an oil recovery apparatus for a tanker which is completely self contained on the tanker such that it can be readily handled by the crew of the tanker in a manner posing no danger or undue risks to the crew.
Still a further feature of the present invention provides an oil recovery apparatus for a tanker which is secured in an out of the way position adjacent the top surface of the tank and which does not in any way reduce the oil carrying capacity of the tank, and which when deployed is operable to save approximately seveneighths of the oil in the damaged tank which would otherwise be lost to the seas through the rupture.
Yet still a further feature of the present invention provides an oil recovery apparatus for a tanker which is of a rugged and durable construction, which is easy to use and reliable and efficient in operation, and which may be guaranteed by the manufacturer to provide re quired standby pollution protection equipment on tankers to the satisfaction of the general public as regards anti-pollution devices.
Other features and advantages of this invention will be apparent during the course of the following descriptron.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS In the accompanying drawings forming a part of this specification. and in which like reference characters are employed to designate like parts throughout the same:
FIG. .1 is a side elevational view of a tanker with eight individual'tank compartments each equipped with the apparatus of the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the tanker;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged cross-sectional view taken along line 3-3 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is a diagrammatic perspective view of the vinyl container in its collapsed storage position;
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary cross-sectional view similar to FIG. 3 and illustrating the wire mesh in position over the ruptured tanker hull;
FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view similar to FIG. 5 with the vinyl container being initially released preparatory to the transference of oil thereinto;
FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view similar to FIG. 5 with the transference of oil into the vinyl container completed and with the vinyl container thus lining the tank compartment;
FIG. 8 is a top plan view of one of the tanker compartments; and
FIG. 9 is a diagrammatic perspective view of a typical tanker compartment with the vinyl container in the operative position lining the same.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now to the drawings in detail there is illustrated a preferred form of an oil recovery apparatus for a tanker constructed in accordance with the principles of the present invention and which, for purposes of illustration, is illustrated on a typical tanker ship 11 having eight individual oil carrying tank compartments 12 which are covered by a deck 14. Each of the tank compartments 12 are formed of a flat horizontal top surface 21, a flat horizontal bottom surface 22, a flat vertical inner wall surface 23, a vertical outer wall surface 24, a front vertical wall surface 25, and a back vertical wall surface 26.
A vinyl container 30 manufactured of a vlexible sheeting of vinyl material having a twelve mill thickness and being of a size and configuration to completely line the surfaces 22-26 of the tank compartment is provided and has its top edges 31 attached to the interior of the side walls 23-25 of tank 12 and with its top edge 32 being spaced slightly forwardly of back wall 26, this being all as illustrated in FIG. 9. The container 30 is affixed to the side walls 23-25 in any suitable manner, such as by bolts 33. The container is flexible such that the side walls are foldable in an accordion-like manner onto themselves with the bottom surface 34 of the container thus being disposed immediately adjacent the tank top surface 21 and is supported in position by three cables 41, 42 and 43 which extend over respective aligned pairs of pulleys 44 and 45 rotatively affixed to the side walls of the compartment with the ends of the cables passing through the deck 14 of the tanker 11 to be affixed to hand operated or motor operated cranks 46. The cables 41-43 are henceforth referred to as the vinyl container lifting cables and are used to both support the container in its collapsed storage position as well as to retract the container to its storage position after use thereof. In this regard it is to be understood that lifting cable 42 extends transversely of the tank to support the middle of the container and with cables 41 and 43 each being equally spaced outwardly from cable 42 in a manner to support opposite end portions of the container.
Affixed in tank 12 adjacent top surface 21 beneath vinyl container 30 is a wire mesh type net 50 having one edge 51 extending completely along the top interior of the outer wall surface 24 of tank compartment 12, and having its opposite edge 52 of a sufficient distance from edge 51 so as to completely extend along the interior of outer wall surface 24 when in its operable position extending therealong as will be later described. The mesh net 50 is affixed by cable 53 to a hand or motor operated crank or winch 54 mounted on deck 14 for operation thereof.
Disposed along interior tank back wall surface 26 and extending completely to bottom surface 22 thereof is a wire mesh cage approximately three feet by three feet in cross-sectional measurement designated generally by reference numeral 60, the cage receiving thereinthe intake port 61 connected by pipes 62 extending vertically upwardly through tank 12 out of top surface 21 and connected to the motorized transfer pump 63 mounted on the deck 14. Appropriate valves 64 and piping 65 are provided in association with said pump 63 such that the outlet 66 from the pump discharges into the vinyl container 30.
It is to be understood that an appropriate cutout for the mesh cage 60 is provided in the mesh netting 30 such that the mesh cage will move through the crude oil in the tanker compartment 12 without encountering any obstructions to form a protection around the damaged ruptured area 70 of the tanker hull.
The intake 61 of pump 63 is positioned in tank compartment 12 approximately one-third of the way down into the tank compartment as the oil will rise upon rupturing of the tank and the flow of sea water thereinto, and if the intake were further down into the tank it is envisioned that too much sea water would be transferred into the vinyl container 30.
Further, the cage 60 is provided around intake 61 to protect the pump intake suction and allow free movement of crude oil to the pump suction without obstructing the same by the suction drawing portions of the vinyl container 30 thereagainst in a manner to block the same.
In operation, upon the ships hull being ruptured in any of the independent tank compartments 12, such as the rupture designated by reference numeral 70, the wire mesh net 50 is released by crew members on the deck 14 so as to swingably fall into the tank compartment and line the interior of the compartment outer wall surface 24 in a manner to overlie the jagged metal edges of the rupture 70 and to thus provide a smooth interior surface against which the vinyl container 30 will be received. After release of the mesh 50, the crew members release the vinyl container 30 in the compart ment and simultaneously energize the transfer pump 63 so that oil 80 of tank compartment 12 is pumped into the vinyl compartment which expands to occupy the tank compartment in a manner to form a vinyl lining thereabout to thus transfer the oil from the ruptured tanker compartment 12 to the now opened and operable vinyl container 30, such oil in the vinyl container being designated by reference numeral 81 in FIG. 7.
In this manner less than one-eighth of the oil from tank compartment 12 will be lost to the sea water, this minimizing the pollution effect of the ruptured tanker.
Further, asthe wire mesh 50 protects the vinyl container 30 from the ragged edges of rupture 70, there is no danger of the rupture rupturing the vinyl container 30 so that the tanker can continue on its selected course of travel with no fear of the oil being lost from the vinyl container into the sea.
After the tanker reaches port and oil 81 is pumped from the vinyl container 30, winch 46 is operated to draw cables 41-43 up thereabout in a storage manner to return the vinyl container 30 to its stored collapsed position adjacent the top 21 of the tank compartment, after which winch 54 is operated to draw wire mesh net 30 back into its storage position adjacent the vinyl container along the top surface of the tank. The rupture 70 is then repaired in the normal manner with the oil recovery apparatus ready for future emergency use in the tank.
It is to be understood that the form of this invention herewith shown and described is to be taken as a preferred example of the same, and that this invention is not to be limited to the exact arrangement of parts shown in the accompanying drawings or described in this specification as various changes in the details of construction as to shape, size, and arrangement of parts may be resorted to without departing from the spirit of the invention, the scope of the novel concepts thereof, or the scope of the sub-joined claims.
Having thus described the invention, what is claimed is:
1. Oil recovery apparatus for a tanker ship having a multitude of independent crude oil carrying tank compartments, each tank compartment having a top surface, a bottom surface, an inner wall surface, an outer wall surface adjacent the ship hull, a front wall surface, and a back wall surface, each of said compartments disposed beneath the tanker deck, said recovery appara' tus comprising, in combination:
a container manufactured of a strong flexible vinyl material having its top edges secured to portions of said compartment side walls adjacent the top surface thereof, said container being ofa size and configuration adapted to substantially fill said compartment to line said wall and said bottom surfaces thereof;
means operatively connected to said vinyl container for retaining the same in a storage position adjacent the top surface of said compartment, and releasable to permit said container to line said compartment in its operable position;
a wire mesh net type screening of a width and length to completely overlie said outer wall surface of said compartment, said mesh being hingedly connected at one edge to a top edge portion of said outer compartment wall with said mesh extending across said compartment in a position immediately beneath said vinyl container;
means releasably securing said mesh in its storage position extending across said compartment, said means operable to release said mesh to swing about its hinged edge to drop into said compartment and completely overlies said compartment outer wall surface;
a motorized transfer pump mounted on said tanker ships deck and having an inlet port and an outlet P means connecting said transfer pump inlet port to a position interiorly of said compartment;
means connecting said transfer pump outlet port to ment.
a position inwardly of said vinyl container; and 3. The oil recovery apparatus as set forth in claim 2 whereby operation of said transfer pump after release wherein said means releasably securing said wire mesh of Said Wire m sh n t an a i yl Container n net in a storage position are further characterized by: their operable position effects transference of the 5 a fl ibl bl h i one d ffi d t id i crude oil from said tanker compartment into said h dj t th ed e thereof furthest from said vinyl container which lines said compartment with hinged edge th f;
said wlre mesh net overlying sflid Fompamiqem rotatable winch means mounted on said tanker deck; outer wall surface to protect said vinyl container and from jagged edges of a ruptured outer f 10 a free end of said cable affiixed to said winch means T recovery apparatus as forth "1 clam] 1 such that rotation of said winch in a first direction wherein said means releasably securing said vinyl conretains Said Wire mesh in its storage position tainer in its storage position are further characterized tending across the top of said tanker compartment by: with release of said winch permitting said wire three Sets. of horizontally ahgn.ed pairs of pulleys mesh to drop into said tank under the force of graveach pair of pulleys Spaced axially away .from eacil ity and protectively line said tank outer wall surother such that one set of pulleysapproxrmately b1- face to cover y j gg edges from ruptures sects said tank compartment with the remaining therein t f I] d' d l d t' W0 pan-s 0 pu eys lspose at equa 1S ances on 4. The 011 recovery apparatus as set forth in claim 3 each side of said middle pair of pulleys intermedia wherein said means connecting sa1d transfer pump mlet ate said middle set of pulleys and adjacent wall surfaces of Said tank compartment. port to said tank compartment for pumping crude Oll therefrom comprises:
three independent lifting cables, each cable trained Over one pair of Said pairs of pulleys and passing an mlet p1pe extending vertically into said tank ad acent said back surface thereof and terminating beneath said vinyl container; rotatable winch means mounted on said tanker deck about one'thlrd of the dlstance down mto sald rotation of said winch in a first direction winding said lifting cables thereabout in a manner to pull said vinyl container into its stored collapsed position supported by said cables immediately beneath said top surface of said tank, and release of said winch means permitting said vinyl container to expand tank; and
a vertically extending wire mesh enclosed chamber affixed along said compartment back wall surface completely surrounding said inlet pipe and extending vertically downwardly to said tank bottom surface, said wire mesh screening protecting said inlet pipe from said vinyl container to prevent drawing portions of said vinyl container into said inlet pipe into its operable open position lining said wall surunder the suction of said transfer pump.
faces and bottom surface of said tank compart-