Jump to content
Strawberry Orange Banana Lime Leaf Slate Sky Blueberry Grape Watermelon Chocolate Marble
Strawberry Orange Banana Lime Leaf Slate Sky Blueberry Grape Watermelon Chocolate Marble

NEW: Following member feedback, we now have a Mooring & Marina Review forum. Post your review here.

Alan de Enfield

Norwegian Cruise Ship Mayday Call

Featured Posts

I think the most likely changes will be to regulations and company operating procedures around close to shore operation in adverse weather with regard to maintaining sea room. Decisions as to whether to leave port, and if at sea whether to make for shelter, or make for open sea may end up being  more codified. There was a recent case of a cruise ship that struck a rock adjacent to a New Zealand sub Antarctic Island when an onshore wind blew it into an uncharted and expressly prohibited area whilst retrieving sightseeing tenders. Fortunately only an underwater dent was the only damage, as a sub Antarctic rescue would have been extraordinarily difficult. There was also the real danger to an extraordinarily fragile environment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mike, I'm a long time out of the industry but I think those orange blobs you refer to are just launches used to transport pax and crew to shore when the ship can't actually come alongside.  Evacuation at sea would more likely be via rafts - those pods you can see below the orange boats.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

_106161477_hi053150761.jpg

 

Are those orange bits in the middle, a lifeboat installation for 3,000 people?

They are not. In the event of abandoning ship the vast majority of people are expected to be accommodated in un powered inflated life rafts. The powered tenders, / life boats,  to act as mother boats rounding the rafts up. Workable? in open sea but totally unworkable in this situation 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

_106161477_hi053150761.jpg

 

Are those orange bits in the middle, a lifeboat installation for 3,000 people?

Cruise ships can provide a mixture of lifeboats or, in this case dual purpose tenders (dual purpose vessels also used to take passengers ashore in anchoring situations. )They provide a maximum of of 75% of total capacity of passengers and crew, 37.5% on each side.

The remaining 25 % is made up with life rafts. Embarkation would be done on the boat deck, prior to lowering. If you look on Youtube you may find film of this very operation taking place for real on Costa Concordia when she was in trouble a few years ago. 

 

I would suggest that the boats weren't used because the sea state was nearer to a 10 metre swell which would have made it very difficult to launch them without causing serious damage or accident/injury. However, I wasn't there so this is just surmise.

 

The ship was in very close proximity to a lee shore in gale plus winds and heavy swells - you may recall that local lifeboats turned back because of the weather. The ships boats would have had great difficulty in getting the passengers ashore, and My opinion is that the Master made exactly the right decision by using helicopters.

 

Howard

 

 

Edited by howardang
  • Greenie 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, howardang said:

The ship was in very close proximity to a lee shore in gale plus winds and heavy swells - you may recall that local lifeboats turned back because of the weather. The ships boats would have had great difficulty in getting the passengers ashore, and My opinion is that the Master made exactly the right decision by using helicopters.

I like extreme boating, but I know for sure I would not want to be in an inflatable liferaft heading for those rocks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Murflynn said:

Hard to believe that the whole electrical system was so vulnerable to a fire in a control board.  In my experience (oil and gas installations - pumping, storage, safety systems, etc.) it would be designed such that there was sufficient redundancy that a single fire would not shut down all the main power.  I fondly imagined that passenger vessels would have at least the same level of redundancy for all components of the system.

On several occasions, Terry Pratchett said that his experience of working as a press officer in the nuclear bit of CEGB taught him to react to the phrase “three totally independent fail-safe systems” with hysterical laughter.

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 24/03/2019 at 22:14, David Lorimer said:

A sensible post at last!  Agree entirely, with emphasis on "very close thing".  Transferring mostly elderly persons from a ship to a boat in still water is perilous enough; doing so in a 2m swell is close to suicidal and, in the weather this ship was in, unthinkable.  I do rather doubt whether any changes to safety regs will come about.  Quite simply, difficult to imagine how much safer cruise shipping can be made without putting it far beyond the pockets of its market.   

According to Lloyds List, seas were up to 15 metres. No chance of launching lifeboats/rafts in anything like that. Even in calm water, an emergency evacuation into lifeboats is statistically hazardous with fatalities likely. Evacuation by helicopter is always preferred if logistically possible. Reduction of p.o.b. prior to a possible grounding on a rocky lee shore was the logical course of action. This vessel is diesel electric with four diesels and two electric propulsion motors. Suggestions in some reports that the violent vessel motions could have resulted in contaminated fuel, also that cooling intakes were drawing in air so resulting in overheating. The engineers on board did a splendid job in getting the ship going again.

Speaking as an ex passenger liner chief engineer and offshore installation O.I.M.

  • Greenie 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, yabasayo said:

According to Lloyds List, seas were up to 15 metres. No chance of launching lifeboats/rafts in anything like that. Even in calm water, an emergency evacuation into lifeboats is statistically hazardous with fatalities likely. Evacuation by helicopter is always preferred if logistically possible. Reduction of p.o.b. prior to a possible grounding on a rocky lee shore was the logical course of action. This vessel is diesel electric with four diesels and two electric propulsion motors. Suggestions in some reports that the violent vessel motions could have resulted in contaminated fuel, also that cooling intakes were drawing in air so resulting in overheating. The engineers on board did a splendid job in getting the ship going again.

Speaking as an ex passenger liner chief engineer and offshore installation O.I.M.

Here is a post from a shipping  forum I belong to quoting the reality of the situation and emphasising how close a call it really was. This was not a situation for taking to the lifeboats!

 

That "whisker off the rocks" has been defined today, (quoting a Norwegian press report):-
"The ship lost power on Saturday and came perilously close to drifting onto the rocky shore in seas described as 8 meters (26 feet) high and winds of 38 knots. Norwegian Coast Guard officer Emil Heggelund told newspaper VG that the ship was 100 meters (328 feet) from striking an under the water reef and 900 meters (2,953 feet) from shore when was able to anchor in Hustadvika Bay. For context, as the ship is 228 m (748 ft), it was less than a half a ship-length off the rocks before it was able to anchor. "
A little bit close for comfort!"

 

For those who don't know the area, the ship was about 2 miles off the shore but there are many submerged rocks and reefs lying offshore and I have said all along that the lifeboat/life-raft option was a non-starter and would have been hazardous in the extreme. The reason why she lost propulsion is still subject to conjecture, but fuel contamination must remain a strong favourite. It will be extremely interesting to hear the conclusions of the enquiry but one thing is clear. I agree with you that the engineers appear to have done a great job in getting her underway and indeed I have heard nothing but praise for the crew in general from the Master down. I for one am glad that I wasn't in his shoes! One thing is very likely: this incident may well lead to changes in the design and operation of similar cruise ships.

 

Howard

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 24/03/2019 at 22:58, howardang said:

Cruise ships can provide a mixture of lifeboats or, in this case dual purpose tenders (dual purpose vessels also used to take passengers ashore in anchoring situations. )They provide a maximum of of 75% of total capacity of passengers and crew, 37.5% on each side.

The remaining 25 % is made up with life rafts. Embarkation would be done on the boat deck, prior to lowering. If you look on Youtube you may find film of this very operation taking place for real on Costa Concordia when she was in trouble a few years ago. 

 

Howard

 

 

Thanks for this Howard.

Just one point to clarify, do you mean MAXIMUM of 75%?  If so they could fit 1% per cent lifeboats and 99% life rafts.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, Grebe said:

Thanks for this Howard.

Just one point to clarify, do you mean MAXIMUM of 75%?  If so they could fit 1% per cent lifeboats and 99% life rafts.

 

Thanks for that. That comes of trying to shoot off something quickly!. To simplify:-  the requirement for this type of passengers ship is for lifeboat capacity for 50% in total passengers and crew on each side, (100%) plus a further 25% capacity using life-rafts. That equates to a capacity to accommodate 125% of crew and passenger carried, in total.

 

I hope that clarifies it!

 

Howard 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, howardang said:

Here is a post from a shipping  forum I belong to quoting the reality of the situation and emphasising how close a call it really was. This was not a situation for taking to the lifeboats!

 

That "whisker off the rocks" has been defined today, (quoting a Norwegian press report):-
"The ship lost power on Saturday and came perilously close to drifting onto the rocky shore in seas described as 8 meters (26 feet) high and winds of 38 knots. Norwegian Coast Guard officer Emil Heggelund told newspaper VG that the ship was 100 meters (328 feet) from striking an under the water reef and 900 meters (2,953 feet) from shore when was able to anchor in Hustadvika Bay. For context, as the ship is 228 m (748 ft), it was less than a half a ship-length off the rocks before it was able to anchor. "
A little bit close for comfort!"

 

For those who don't know the area, the ship was about 2 miles off the shore but there are many submerged rocks and reefs lying offshore and I have said all along that the lifeboat/life-raft option was a non-starter and would have been hazardous in the extreme. The reason why she lost propulsion is still subject to conjecture, but fuel contamination must remain a strong favourite. It will be extremely interesting to hear the conclusions of the enquiry but one thing is clear. I agree with you that the engineers appear to have done a great job in getting her underway and indeed I have heard nothing but praise for the crew in general from the Master down. I for one am glad that I wasn't in his shoes! One thing is very likely: this incident may well lead to changes in the design and operation of similar cruise ships.

 

Howard

There is obviously a question over the mechanical reliability of this ship in bad weather. However another question is why did a cruise ship on a non essential voyage sail into this weather in the first place ? The ship's master should have the final say on that, but no doubt under huge pressure from the accountants in the company as a delay would have a significant cost in terms of several thousand delayed passengers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From the same shipping forum that Howard quoted from, below is a link with a few thoughts on what might be the reasons for the failure of the engines.  It's many years since I set foot in an engine room, but my initial thoughts were fuel problems.  However, a few folk relate about issues with the advanced automation on board vessels these days.  Is there a parallel with modern cars and the ECU running the show?  Finally, there is a post on that thread about the loss of the 2 737Max planes possibly caused by issues with automation.

 

 

https://www.shipsnostalgia.com/showthread.php?t=292323

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 24/03/2019 at 13:43, bizzard said:

Probably Diesel electric and just a blown fuse of which they forgot to buy spares from Wilco's.

Perhaps they filled up from a marina that had not sold much since the end of last summer cruise season and the ship was attacked by diesel bug . . . 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, davem399 said:

reasons for the failure of the engines. 

No expert but I would still propose a potential cause as 'mucky tanks'

 

Tanks not been cleaned out for years, normally just 'fair-weather- cruising. 

1st time the boat starts rolling +/- 20 degrees the engines stop.

Muck stirred up and filters blocked.

 

A few hours later after the filters are changed the engines start again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
42 minutes ago, yabasayo said:

There is obviously a question over the mechanical reliability of this ship in bad weather. However another question is why did a cruise ship on a non essential voyage sail into this weather in the first place ? The ship's master should have the final say on that, but no doubt under huge pressure from the accountants in the company as a delay would have a significant cost in terms of several thousand delayed passengers.

I remember many years ago having a discussion with an engineer about diesels versus steam propulsion and efficiency/reliability, and the engineers point was that a diesel is much more efficient than, for example, a steam reciprocating engine, or turbine installations. I tried to convince him that my view was that while a steam engine may be less efficient on first principles, when you compare the incidence of minor and major breakdowns compared to the reliability of the steam engine, then the gap was narrowed significantly in economic and punctuality terms. I didn't win the argument, but considering the ever increasing complexity of engine installations these with a huge reliance on electronic systems I wonder if it is maybe time to revisit the discussion! I think I am correct in saying that since 2012, passenger ships have to have a system of engine redundancy/duplication where, in case of total breakdown, one engine should be back on line within 1 hour, which explains some of the multi engine set-ups on modern passenger ships. 

 

I would agree with you that in the prevailing weather it does beg the question why the ship was travelling so close to shore an area which is known for bad conditions in heavy weather. See my earlier post (#61 above) which includes a comment from a Norwegian Coastguard which, if accurate,  purports to show just how close the vessel was to a very serious incident. It may well be schedules are a factor and also, possibility that with such sophisticated vessels there may a degree of complacency about weather. I am sure that all these questions, and more, will be investigated in the coming weeks and months and it will be interesting to see the outcome.

 

Howard

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With diesel electric propulsion constantly waves lifting the props either fully, or partially would be a  challenge to the electrical system . The propulsion motors, and therefore the entire electrical generators and the coupled engines would be subjected to load variations and power surges at wave frequency . At any thing above the dead slow ahead , power settings there could be massive amounts of power ramping up and then having to be shed every wave. Once one engine system tripped, the transferred load could easily progressively overload the remaining units, exactly analogous to those cascading  power grid failures that are not unknown in distribution networks.

In this case limited sea room may well have removed the option of lowering the propulsion power,  to the minimum required to keep the head into the sea.

  • Greenie 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know that some people on this forum are interested in the propulsion issues suffered by Viking Sky. The link is to an article inMarine Propulsion magazine whic goes into the events leading up to the incident and mentions the ongoing enquiry.

 

https://www.mpropulsion.com/news/view,authorities-to-probe-cause-of-cruise-ship-engine-failure_57290.htm

 

Howard

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some news this morning indicates a shortage of Lubricating oil, presumably low lube oil tank level exacerbated by rough seas led to a low level fail safe shutting down all 4 engines.

Who in their right mind would have designed that system?

 

So they managed to restart only one engine, presumably they didn't have a few tinnies of 20w50 spare.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Boater Sam said:

Some news this morning indicates a shortage of Lubricating oil, presumably low lube oil tank level exacerbated by rough seas led to a low level fail safe shutting down all 4 engines.

Who in their right mind would have designed that system?

 

So they managed to restart only one engine, presumably they didn't have a few tinnies of 20w50 spare.

Blows my theory out of the water, but raises even more basic questions. Were all four engines drawing from a common supply? which raises redundancy issues, or was it a design issue on all four engines and that all four had coincidently  sailed on low, but at that stage acceptable levels, but at a level too low to maintain pump suction in high seas.

Incidents like this though will result in greater safety as standards will be upgraded.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is the article explaining the cause of the low lube oil level.

 

https://www.mpropulsion.com/news/view,low-lube-oil-caused-iviking-skyi-shutdown-says-nma_57319.htm

 

"Levels were within set limits, although low, when the vessel began to cross Hustadvika - the 10-mile stretch of coastline within which it later lost power. But heavy seas caused movements in the tanks which stopped the supply to the lubricating oil pumps, triggering the alarm."

 

Seems like the tanks either need baffling or have linked sensors to average the content kevel out when the ship rolls and pitches.

Edited by cuthound
Missing space
  • Greenie 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.