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Briji04

Epic Interrupted

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4 minutes ago, chengkp75 said:

 

With all due respects, I don't know what you mean by a "challenge".  Yes, documentation is required, but from personal experience, I know that CBP very readily gives out PVSA waivers (and it is the PVSA, not the Jones Act) for missed ports due to mechanical difficulties.  The biggest is probably the Norwegian Star back in 2004, when she lost one azipod, and could not make it to Fanning Island, the closest foreign port to the Hawaiian Islands, so she continued to sail a strictly Hawaiian Island itinerary for 2-3 months, carrying a couple of thousand passengers each week, until a drydock berth could be arranged.

 

With all due respect, were you on the bridge of the Epic?  Whether the Captain or Staff Captain would have taken the conn for the docking is not a given.  It depends on the Captain, the pilot, the familiarity between the two, and the local harbor regulations.  While most NCL Captains will take control of the helm, telegraph, and thrusters on the bridge wing for docking, it is quite common for the pilot to still have the conn, and be directing the Captain on how to maneuver the ship, particularly when tugs are involved, as they were here.  I don't know the tidal currents in San Juan harbor, but there was some unusual condition that necessitated the actual use of the tugs, rather than the more common "just standing by" that most cruise ships use, since they don't like the tugs dirty, black tires rubbing on their pristine white hull.  I'm home from my ship now, so I will try to see all the video of the incident, to see if your statement of the incorrect turn into the berth is correct or not.

 

I am sorry, I have all respect for every who has served and your background in the maritime industry .  I do have some background from this business myself.  In general no pilot ever actually docks a cruise ship.  The only place where you have this is in New York where you have the option to board a docking pilot just before you reach the berth.  Sometimes this docking pilot handles the control and dock the ship, sometimes he takes the ship towards the berth and the Captain/Staff Captain may take over the Con the last 10-50 meters before the ship reach the required position for docking.  In San Juan the pilot never actually docks the ship or handles the controls.  The handover is done shortly after passing the Coast Guard Station inbound for the berth.      

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12 minutes ago, chengkp75 said:

If there is nothing wrong with either the steering or the actual propulsion system, as opposed to the diesel generators, which is what has been stated in the past, then no, the USCG will not require a tug escort, as the ship will have its original redundancy in propulsion and steering, and nothing affects the navigation of the vessel.  Even with only 4 diesels, the ship has more than sufficient power for all harbor evolutions.

Not my experience with the Coast Guard.  I guess the webcam in Port Canaveral will be showing the Epic arriving this afternoon.  

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“Obviously, from some of the comments on this thread, people cruise without good trip insurance...

 

The best cruise insurance isn’t going to help much if you thought you were staying on board and all the hotels in the area are sold out. 

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35 minutes ago, happysailor1001 said:

 

I am sorry, I have all respect for every who has served and your background in the maritime industry .  I do have some background from this business myself.  In general no pilot ever actually docks a cruise ship.  The only place where you have this is in New York where you have the option to board a docking pilot just before you reach the berth.  Sometimes this docking pilot handles the control and dock the ship, sometimes he takes the ship towards the berth and the Captain/Staff Captain may take over the Con the last 10-50 meters before the ship reach the required position for docking.  In San Juan the pilot never actually docks the ship or handles the controls.  The handover is done shortly after passing the Coast Guard Station inbound for the berth.      

Actually, in my experience, ships take docking pilots in most East Coast ports, most notably the Northeast, not just NYC.  Any time there are tugs involved in the Northeast, the tug company will require a docking master as part of the tug service.  And, no, the docking master, the same as the harbor pilot, will not "handle the controls", as they are precluded from doing as they are not company employees.  No pilot ever handles the controls of any ship.  Elsewhere in the US (Gulf Coast and West Coast), the harbor pilot will dock the ship right up until it is against the dock, again when tugs are used, the pilot's association has agreements with the tug companies to allow the pilot to direct the tugs.  As I've said, some cruise ship Captains will take over the conn, but not always.

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40 minutes ago, happysailor1001 said:

Not my experience with the Coast Guard.  I guess the webcam in Port Canaveral will be showing the Epic arriving this afternoon.  

If there is nothing wrong with the vessel that affects its maneuverability, or safety within the confines of the harbor, there is no responsibility for the vessel to report any deficiency like a generator out of service, and without this reporting, what does the USCG know about the vessel's condition.  You are required to report any condition that affects the vessel's ability to maneuver, but if we reported every time a pump or a generator was out of service, the tug companies would need to triple the number of boats in every harbor.

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1 minute ago, Mechman1971 said:

She's close but stopped. bottom right circle

image.png.5f7a48a36fda53a7d3f5551f7d454c22.png

Waiting on a berth.

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late to the party but a few technical tidbits

 

1. Curiously AIS shows EPIC only 20 miles outside PC right now (noon) and basically drifting/loitering .....

 

2. Speed increase last night is easily explained ... one tends to get a kick of 2 or 3 knots and sometimes more when sailing WITH the gulf stream

 

3. To ME, it is sounding more and more like EPIC is running on one SHAFT for some reason. All the engines may be FINE, but ether the electric driver is busted or a problem with a shaft itself preventing its use. This would explain the tugs ... if the ship is entering/leaving port with 1 shaft down, standby tugs are not only prudent but typically required by local authority.

 

4. WRT was the 'approach' to the pier correct? The video does not give a full perspective, IMO. Go to Google Earth and get a good overview of the pier .... 

 

{guys in the CG operations office are about 1/3 of a mile away with a pretty good view of the piers .... I've sailed in and out and moored at the CG Base MANY times, usually at the 'diagonal' berth just below the boat slips at my arrow}

San Juan Port.jpg

Edited by Capt_BJ

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2 minutes ago, Mechman1971 said:

She's close but stopped. bottom right circle

image.png.5f7a48a36fda53a7d3f5551f7d454c22.png

 

 

With all that's happened to her on this cruise, she may have hit an iceberg!

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2 minutes ago, Capt_BJ said:

late to the party but a few technical tidbits

 

1. Curiously AIS shows EPIC only 20 miles outside PC right now (noon) and basically drifting/loitering .....

 

2. Speed increase last night is easily explained ... one tends to get a kick of 2 or 3 knots and sometimes more when sailing WITH the gulf stream

 

3. To ME, it is sounding more and more like EPIC is running on one SHAFT for some reason. All the engines may be FINE, but ether the electric driver is busted or a problem with a saft itself preventing its use. This would explain the tugs ... if the ship is entering/leaving port with 1 shaft down, standby tugs are not only prudent but typically required by local authority.

 

4. WRT was the 'approach' to the pier correct? The video does not give a full perspective, IMO. Go to Google Earth and get a good overview of the pier .... 

 

{guys in the CG operations office are about 1/3 of a mile away with a pretty good view of the piers .... I've sailed in and out and moored at the CG Base MANY times}

 

As noted, I believe she is waiting on pilot/berth availability.  Looks like 2 or more cruise ships in the port at the time.

 

If the shaft was a problem, I agree that is the reason for the tugs.  But I don't believe they could get 14+ knots out of one screw, even with the dead screw free-wheeling.  If it was locked for mechanical failures, then they definitely would not make 14 knots.  You would also get greatly increased vibrations, which have not been reported, nor has anyone commented on seeing only one wake.  But, I am only going on onboard reports of "two engines" being down, which can be correct or not.

 

I haven't reviewed some of the video that I thought I saw from astern of the ship, just the one from the ship already docked alongside, and that certainly does not give any impression of when the turn was initiated, or where.  I think I'll look at the harbor like you say, Capt, to see where they could have initiated the turn, which really should have been completed well before she got close to the end dolphin, and then just run in parallel.  Is there enough harbor room at the bottom of your pic to swing a ship that long?

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I live a few minutes from PC, the berth for EPIC is empty (she's supposed to be in it) and no ship movements scheduled until 4 ish which is the normal departure for the two cruisers here 

 

enuf room off those piers in San Juan? Absolutely ... wasn't EDGE at the next berth parked nose in? She has enuf room to back straight out then turn (cast) to port and head out ... over 1/2 mile of good water.

 

IMO the turn was WAY early (initial story is they got hit by sudden wind and were pushed to port) ... should have been parallel to the pier face to drive straight up then thrust or be pushed to port. Should not have been anywhere near those dolphins.

 

and in the end the Master is responsible ... it comes with the title.

 

at least they don't have this

 

 

fantasycrunch.jpg

shipcrunch.jpg

Edited by Capt_BJ

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EPIC is heading towards the sea buoy at 12 knots and web cam shows two tugs heading down the channel in that direction

 

1249

 

make that 3 tugs and a pilot boat moving now

Edited by Capt_BJ

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Did the ship ever stop in Freeport?  If not, will the passengers still have to pass through customs?

Edited by johare

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Any idea why the Epic slowed to 2 knots and turned sharply at approx 0800 UTC?  Pilot getting on or off in the Bahamas?

Screen Shot 2019-02-16 at 9.50.28 AM.png

Screen Shot 2019-02-16 at 9.51.56 AM.png

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28 minutes ago, Capt_BJ said:

 

enuf room off those piers in San Juan? Absolutely ... wasn't EDGE at the next berth parked nose in? She has enuf room to back straight out then turn (cast) to port and head out ... over 1/2 mile of good water.

 

 

I was in Jan Juan at the end of January. Here is a picture of the port clearly showing the EDGE and the OASIS docked at the same pier that the Epic hit. Those are much larger ships. 

IMG_6575.JPG

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1 hour ago, chengkp75 said:

Actually, in my experience, ships take docking pilots in most East Coast ports, most notably the Northeast, not just NYC.  Any time there are tugs involved in the Northeast, the tug company will require a docking master as part of the tug service.  And, no, the docking master, the same as the harbor pilot, will not "handle the controls", as they are precluded from doing as they are not company employees.  No pilot ever handles the controls of any ship.  Elsewhere in the US (Gulf Coast and West Coast), the harbor pilot will dock the ship right up until it is against the dock, again when tugs are used, the pilot's association has agreements with the tug companies to allow the pilot to direct the tugs.  As I've said, some cruise ship Captains will take over the conn, but not always.

Panama Canal......

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42 minutes ago, Capt_BJ said:

EPIC is heading towards the sea buoy at 12 knots and web cam shows two tugs heading down the channel in that direction

 

1249

 

make that 3 tugs and a pilot boat moving now

Could you link the cam at port Canaveral please?

 

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40 minutes ago, highcruiser said:

Panama Canal......

Incorrect, having transited the canal many times.  The difference with the Panama Canal is that the pilot in the canal does not only have the "authority" of the conn, but also the "responsibility" for the vessel.  The Canal Authority accepts financial responsibility for anything the ship does, either to itself, or any other ship or the canal, and so the pilot assumes "command" of the vessel.  However, again, the pilot does not handle the controls of the vessel, any more than any other pilot in the world does.

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