vrijdag 31 januari 2014

EMMA MAERSK: Flooding of engine room [Danish Maritime Accident Investigation Board]


On the evening of 1 February 2013, a severe leakage occurred in the container ship EMMA MÆRSK while the ship, loaded with general cargo in about 14,000 containers, was about to pass southbound through the Suez Canal.

The leakage was caused by a mechanical break-down of a stern thruster situated at the aft part of the ship’s shaft tunnel whereby the shaft tunnel was flooded. The bulkhead between the shaft tunnel and the main engine room could not withstand the hydrostatic water pressure and eventually the main engine room was also flooded.

The situation became complicated because the ship had just initiated a passage in a convoy through the Suez Canal. Loss of the ship’s own propulsion, electric power, steerage and manoeuvrability could be foreseen and eventually occurred.

The main technical sequence of events were a break-down of the forward stern thruster causing a major leakage into the shaft tunnel, a collapse of the watertight integrity of the bulkhead between the shaft tunnel and the engine room, primarily caused by non-effective cable penetration sealings and some undesirable properties of the bilge system and the emergency bilge suction from the engine room. Throughout the course of events, all officers and crew members were constantly disturbed and highly stressed by the sound of countless alarms, which made it extremely difficult to concentrate on the many challenges that ap- peared.

Despite a series of technical breakdowns and system weaknesses, the shipboard organiza- tion remained resilient, and despite the breakdown of the structural barriers, the ship’s offic- ers and crew managed to contain the emergency situation and bring the ship alongside at the Suez Canal Container Terminal without any personal injury or pollution to the environment.

The report contains information about the preventive measures taken by the shipping com- pany, the classification society and other parties involved. The report contains no safety recommendations from the Danish Maritime Accident Investigation Board. 

Full report: http://www.dmaib.com/Ulykkesrapporter/Flooding%20of%20engine%20room%20-%20EMMA%20MÆRSK%20on%201%20February%202013.pdf