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Spring Ford

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  1. Here is my attempt to identify some key points from the Interim Report. I am not an expert in the field and this is my best effort to extract and summarise information from the report. The report is quite short and I recommend that you should read it for yourself. This is pretty shocking. As usual in such incidents there were multiple "holes in the Swiss cheese"[A] that lined up to permit the path towards disaster to proceed. Eventually a solid bit of cheese was encountered and the disaster was averted. 1. "The lubricating oil sump tanks of all the diesel generators (DG) were maintained at 28%–40% capacity. MAN’s recommendation was to maintain them at 68%–75% capacity." 2. "Between 0500 and 0904, 18 lubricating oil low level and low volume alarms were registered by the operational DGs. Each alarm, having been accepted, cleared within a few seconds." 3. At about 14:00 the DGs stopped automatically due to low lubricant level. I will call this time T. 4. The vessel passed within a ship's length of shallow rocks that would have sunk it. 5. By about T+ 30 minutes the engineering crew had topped up the oil tanks and brought one of the Engines on line and a few minutes later enabled slow ahead power. The vessel was then manouvered away from immediate danger. It was only a few minutes from going aground. 6. At about T+ 65 minutes a helicopter arrived and started an evacuation. 7. Vessel manouvered slowly to facilitate evacuation for 18 hours evacuating about 1/3 of the persons on board. 8. Vessel then proceeded to a safe port. There are some interesting questions that occur to me. 1. why was the vessel operated with a low oil level? 2. Why did the 18 low oil level alarms over a period of 4 hours not result in the oil being topped up before the engines stopped? 3. Why was the helicopter evacuation continued for 18 hours when it seems according to the report that the vessel was able to manoeuvre and head towards port? Finally it would seem that the engineering crew worked swiftly to get the ship back on line and averted disaster. This was an unbelievably close call. [A] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swiss_cheese_model
  2. There will I am sure be an internal Company investigation however I would hope that there will be an investigation by the Norwegian Maritime Authority. This would be made public. It may be for example that since there were no deaths that such an investigation may not be triggered however it would astonish me if there was not such an investigation in this case. The very presence of a safety investigation may make it impossible for the Company to say much for the moment, I am not sure. I am not familiar with the exact rules but Close Things are routinely investigated in the aviation world. Here for example is an Air Accidents Investigation Branch report into an instance where a commercial airliner with passengers on board landed safely at the wrong airport. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/5422f88ae5274a1317000729/Airbus_A320__EI-DIJ_01-07.pdf Persons on Board: Crew - 6 Passengers - 39 Injuries: Crew - None Passengers - None Such reports often take a year or sometimes much more to produce. Here are a couple of marine ones. Sadly in each case members of the crew died, in one case the entire crew. There were no passengers on board. The investigations and reports are very detailed. https://www.theartofdredging.com/Investigation_Report_18_04.pdf 46pp - M.V. ROCKNES 19 January 2004 NOT the original source. Haven't looked for it. Occurred in Norwegian waters but investigated and reported by authorities of registration. Main report is - NTSB/MAR-17/01 https://www.ntsb.gov/investigations/accidentreports/reports/mar1701.pdf 300 pages - El Faro National Transportation Safety Board Finally, for what it's worth, my (fairly uninformed) guess is that it will be found that the engine lubrication oil system left something to be desired. Perhaps a simple calibration error of the oil quantity gauges or a more serious design or construction problem. Or ...
  3. Google translated link. Seems not a bad rendering but not quite as good as for some languages. I guess that is due to the number of documents available in the particular language pair. https://translate.google.co.uk/translate?hl=en&tab=wT&sl=no&tl=en&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nrk.no%2Fmr%2Fxl%2Fden-enorme-redningsaksjonen-1.14494045
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