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Nieuw Amsterdam Azipod Technical Discussion

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I have just gained access to the Lloyds Register of Shipping Classification Society records for Nieuw Amsterdam. There is a Note to her Classification status of Imminent Action required related to her inoperative Starboard Azimuth Podded Propulsor. The Imposed Date of this required action was 14 Dec 2019 and the Due Date of this required action is 02 Feb 2020.  While there is nothing new here relative to what we have learned over the last 36 days, it appears that Lloyds would not have let this situation go on for very much longer. (The word Imminent is shown below a red triangle with a red exclamation point encased within it.) The cancelation of the Feb 1 voyage appears to correlate directly with the Feb 2 Due Date of this Note to Class. Again, how this is all fully resolved going forward is still to be determined.  

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As I thought, the insurers have the final word...

 

“The Society printed the first Register of Ships in 1764 in order to give both underwriters and merchants an idea of the condition of the vessels they insured and chartered: ship hulls were graded by a lettered scale (A being the best), and ship's fittings (masts, rigging, and other equipment) were graded by number (1 being the best). Thus the best classification "A1", from which the expression A1 or A1 at Lloyd's is derived, first appeared in the 1775–76 edition of the Register.

 

The Register, with information on all seagoing, self-propelled merchant ships of 100 gross tonnes or greater, is published annually. A vessel remains registered with Lloyd's Register until she is sunk, wrecked, hulked, or scrapped.”

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lloyd's_Register

 

 

Contradicting the claims by some forum experts that the ship could sail indefinitely with one azipod.

 

 

 

 

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Sorry to bust your bubble Van, but the ship could have sailed for extended periods, with class approval, with only one azipod.  As I've said before, Carnival Miracle operated from April 2014 to March 2015 (her scheduled drydock) with only one azipod (also classed by Lloyd's).  And, I never said the insurers (actually the underwriters) didn't have the final say, in fact, I said that their surveyor and his conditions of class would be the determining factor.  However, I have dealt with marine surveyors regarding repairs and conditions of class, while others may not have, and the below comments are how things actually work:

 

To the OP.  Typically, the time frame for rectification of a condition of class is based on discussions between the surveyor and the shipowner as to the practical aspects of the repair (when can parts be reasonably obtained, when can a drydock likely be scheduled, etc), and then a time to complete the repair is set up in the condition of class.  The only exceptions to this are when the problem actually affects the seaworthy condition of the ship, and even then there can be notations relevant to temporary repairs and then final completions.  Some conditions of class are noted as having a set time frame for completion (30, 60, 90 days), some have a time set by scheduling concerns (part availability, etc), and some will be noted as conditions of class, with the notification of "completion at next scheduled drydocking".  I believe that the completion date set by the Lloyd's surveyor was based on a delivery date for the materials needed, and this is why the date on the certificate of class is close to the date of the cancelled cruise.

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Some of the technical info is here...

 

 

 

 

 

Passengers can sail with confidence. LR has a lot of experience with vessel certification and inspection. Over two centuries, they have developed technical knowledge and an understanding of risk assessment.

 

They work with the insurance companies. Therefore, they are the passengers' first line of defense. Not the coast guard, and not congress.

 

 

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7 minutes ago, HappyInVan said:

Some of the technical info is here...

 

 

 

 

 

Passengers can sail with confidence. LR has a lot of experience with vessel certification and inspection. Over two centuries, they have developed technical knowledge and an understanding of risk assessment.

 

They work with the insurance companies. Therefore, they are the passengers' first line of defense. Not the coast guard, and not congress.

 

 

All of the class societies have histories as well.  While I have no particular beef with Lloyd's, or any class society, they are not perfect, and are not equal in reputation, and Lloyd's in particular have a recent history of ships breaking in half soon after their latest class survey.

 

The class societies don't actually work with the insurance companies, and most of the maritime P&I (protection and indemnity, the insurance that covers damages and repairs to ships) are mutual insurance companies, meaning the shipowners are the owners of the insurance club, so no, the class society is not really the passenger's first line of defense.  The class societies ensure that the ship presents the least risk to the shipowners (via the P&I club), not necessarily the safety of passengers.  The USCG and other national maritime agencies are mandated with safety at sea, so more directly interested in passenger safety.

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From wikipedia...

 

"Lloyd's Register is known best for the classification and certification of ships, and inspects and approves important components and accessories, including life-saving appliances, marine pollution prevention, fire protection, navigation, radio communication equipment, deck gear, cables, ropes, and anchors.

 

LR's Rules for Ships


LR's Rules for Ships are derived from principles of naval architecture and marine engineering, and govern safety and operational standards for numerous merchant, military, and privately owned vessels. LR's Rules govern a number of topics including:

 

Materials used for construction of the vessel
Ship structural requirements and minimum scantlings, depending on ship type
Operation and maintenance of main and auxiliary machinery
Operation and maintenance of emergency and control systems


Specific editions of the rules are available to cater for merchant ships, naval ships, trimarans, special purpose vessels and offshore structures. A ship is known as being in class if she meets all the minimum requirements of LR's Rules, and such a status affects the possibility of a ship getting insurance. Class can be withdrawn from a ship if she is in violation of any regulations and does not maintain the minimum requirements specified by the company. However, exceptional circumstances may warrant special dispensation from Lloyd's Register. Any alteration to the vessel, whether it is a structural alteration or machinery, must be approved by Lloyd's Register before it is implemented.

 

Ships are inspected on a regular basis by a team of Lloyd's Register surveyors, one of the most important inspections being a ship's load line survey – due once every five years. Such a survey includes an inspection of the hull to make sure that the load line has not been altered. Numerous other inspections such as the condition of hatch and door seals, safety barriers, and guard rails are also performed. Upon completion the ship is allowed to be operated for another year, and is issued a load line certificate."

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Often, ships are lost to human errors or shipbuilding oversights.

 

At one point, bulk carriers were known as 'coffin' ships. For example, a huge ship like the MV Derbyshire 169k DWT was lost in a typhoon with all hands. Is it possible that a minor part like the cover for a ventilation pipe could have sank the ship?

 

“... Ultimately it was determined that waves crashing over the front of the ship had sheared off the covers of small ventilation pipes near the bow. Over the next two days, seawater had entered through the exposed pipes into the forward section of the ship, causing the bow to slowly ride lower and lower in the water. Eventually, the bow was completely exposed to the full force of the rough waves which caused the massive hatch on the first cargo hold to buckle inward allowing hundreds of tons of water to enter in moments. As the ship started to sink, the second, then third hatches also failed, dragging the ship underwater. As the ship sank, the water pressure caused the ship to be twisted and torn apart by implosion.”

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MV_Derbyshire

 

That's why an expert inspection on the parts of a ship is crucial to the safety of the ship and complement. As well as re-certification after a ship has been altered. I doubt that the USCG does that.

 

 

 

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21 minutes ago, HappyInVan said:

From wikipedia...

 

"Lloyd's Register is known best for the classification and certification of ships, and inspects and approves important components and accessories, including life-saving appliances, marine pollution prevention, fire protection, navigation, radio communication equipment, deck gear, cables, ropes, and anchors.

 

LR's Rules for Ships


LR's Rules for Ships are derived from principles of naval architecture and marine engineering, and govern safety and operational standards for numerous merchant, military, and privately owned vessels. LR's Rules govern a number of topics including:

 

Materials used for construction of the vessel
Ship structural requirements and minimum scantlings, depending on ship type
Operation and maintenance of main and auxiliary machinery
Operation and maintenance of emergency and control systems


Specific editions of the rules are available to cater for merchant ships, naval ships, trimarans, special purpose vessels and offshore structures. A ship is known as being in class if she meets all the minimum requirements of LR's Rules, and such a status affects the possibility of a ship getting insurance. Class can be withdrawn from a ship if she is in violation of any regulations and does not maintain the minimum requirements specified by the company. However, exceptional circumstances may warrant special dispensation from Lloyd's Register. Any alteration to the vessel, whether it is a structural alteration or machinery, must be approved by Lloyd's Register before it is implemented.

 

Ships are inspected on a regular basis by a team of Lloyd's Register surveyors, one of the most important inspections being a ship's load line survey – due once every five years. Such a survey includes an inspection of the hull to make sure that the load line has not been altered. Numerous other inspections such as the condition of hatch and door seals, safety barriers, and guard rails are also performed. Upon completion the ship is allowed to be operated for another year, and is issued a load line certificate."

Nothing that you post here is any different from any of the other class societies.

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9 minutes ago, HappyInVan said:

That's why an expert inspection on the parts of a ship is crucial to the safety of the ship and complement. As well as re-certification after a ship has been altered. I doubt that the USCG does that.

 

Well, to an extent, you are correct, and yet you are not correct.  When a ship is not US flag, then the USCG can only act as a "port state" agency, ensuring that all international agreements (SOLAS, STCW, MARPOL, MLC, and ISM) are met.  This does include the inspection of all safety equipment, and inspection of the ship's records of maintenance (which under the ISM forms the main basis of class surveys, which rely to a large extent on inspections and reports from the ship's engineers of maintenance and repair of equipment).  So, the USCG will ensure that the class society has done the society's job as well.

 

And, yet you use the example of the Derbyshire, a ship that was also classed by Lloyds, and only 4 years old when it sank in 1980.  And you state that it could have been lost due to "shipbuilding oversight", when in fact the plans for the ship, and all construction methods must be approved by the class society prior to building, and the ship is continually inspected during building by the class society.  Given that there is conflicting expert analyses on the Derbyshire sinking, there is one thing to understand, even if the sinking was caused by the failure of the forward vent covers, Lloyds was the party that approved those covers, and knew about the previous failures of those covers to seal properly (it having been reported prior on both the Derbyshire and it's sister ships), it did nothing to require the redesign of the cover.  So, don't think that any class society is fool-proof, nor that it has anything but its own interest at heart, much like any corporation.  They are, after all, a for profit company.

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The Alaska Ranger is an example of a classic disaster where human error and Murphy act together. Re-tasked several times, the vessel was altered. Unfortunately, some of the welding seems to have failed during a storm. And, the variable pitch propellers reversed the ship to her grave.

 

I have no idea who certified the Ranger, and what that rating was. Nothing that LR etc could have foreseen. That's why insurance is needed to spread the risk.

 

Each loss is a learning experience. Its LR's job to verify that the necessary improvements have been made. That's why LR's expert inspection matters to insurers.

 

“... the triggering event in the sinking was the loss of one of the two rudders. This allowed water to pour into the rudder room by way of the 9-inch diameter rudder trunk. ... If the conversion had installed a watertight bulkhead between sections of the fish processing area the ship would not have sunk... At some point the water level became high enough to short out the main electrical distribution panel. This caused the loss of electrical power throughout the ship...

 

With electrical power lost, all 4 hydraulic pumps stopped. With no hydraulic pressure, hydrodynamic forces on the propellers caused the pitch to reverse. This made the ship run full astern. The rearward motion of the vessel drove the sinking aft section further under water. It also exacerbated water entry into the air intake vents on the trawl deck...”

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FV_Alaska_Ranger

 

That's why a cruise ship is at risk in a severe storm, even with the highest LR seaworthy rating (all azipods functioning). The weaknesses in any vessel and crew are thoroughly tested.

 

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Frankly, I am just glad HAL will get the bloody thing fixed once and for all.

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1 hour ago, chengkp75 said:

So, don't think that any class society is fool-proof, nor that it has anything but its own interest at heart, much like any corporation.  They are, after all, a for profit company.

 

Interestingly, as I understand it, LR is actually 100% owned by a UK registered charitable foundation. It’s profits support the foundation.  Not sure that really has any impact on its day to day operations though. 

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23 minutes ago, sleslie said:

 

Interestingly, as I understand it, LR is actually 100% owned by a UK registered charitable foundation. It’s profits support the foundation.  Not sure that really has any impact on its day to day operations though. 

But, of course, the society needs to generate a profit to fund the foundation.

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5 hours ago, chengkp75 said:

Sorry to bust your bubble Van, but the ship could have sailed for extended periods, with class approval, with only one azipod.  As I've said before, Carnival Miracle operated from April 2014 to March 2015 (her scheduled drydock) with only one azipod (also classed by Lloyd's). .......................

 

100% correct, as usual Cheng. In addition, Oosterdam sailed her entire 2006 Mexican Riviera season with one ailing azi-pod from 8 October 2006 until 14 April 2007 with LR's approval

Edited by Copper10-8

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44 minutes ago, chengkp75 said:

But, of course, the society needs to generate a profit to fund the foundation.

If the ship self insures to some amount and then insures with a group policy for another amount and re insures with another company for another amount.

 

Would the final determination be by the ships insurers and not Lloyd's if Lloyd's doesn't have any of the insurance or does Lloyd's still have say if the ship sails or not?

 

 

Edited by AlanF65

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A bit more information from Lloyds Register of Shipping (LR) concerning Nieuw Amsterdam. A Conditional Short Term Passenger Ship Safety Certificate (Harmonized) 2058922 was issued by surveyor Santiago Pomares of the Miami Office on Form Number 1736 with an Issue Date of 13 Jan 2020 and an Expiry Date of 02 Feb 2020. Again, it would appear that LR  was not going to allow this situation to continue past 02 Feb 2020. But, we don't know all the details. How this might compare to the Oosterdam and Carnival Miracle cases cited above would require more information about those particular situations as well. One interesting retrospective question … under what LR certification did she sail from 21 Dec 2019 until 13 Jan 2020?

 

PS Lloyds Register of Shipping is, of course, a different organization than Lloyds of London, even though both may trace their roots back to the same coffee shop in the 1600's.. 

 

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1 hour ago, Copper10-8 said:

 

Oosterdam sailed her entire 2006 Mexican Riviera season with one ailing azi-pod from 8 October 2006 until 14 April 2007 with LR's approval

 

2007???

 

Can you remember what the problem was back then?

 

I'm not an engineer or an expert. I'm not going to second guess management or the experts. It is sufficient that the Immediate Action Flag was raised this December, and HAL will comply. 

 

IMO, the red flag was prelude to a rating change. Therefore, it was generous of LR to extend the flag for 40 days. But, no more than a day after NA is scheduled for the shipyard.

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1 hour ago, HappyInVan said:

 

2007???

 

Can you remember what the problem was back then?

 

I'm not an engineer or an expert. I'm not going to second guess management or the experts. It is sufficient that the Immediate Action Flag was raised this December, and HAL will comply. 

 

IMO, the red flag was prelude to a rating change. Therefore, it was generous of LR to extend the flag for 40 days. But, no more than a day after NA is scheduled for the shipyard.

 

What the problem was in 2006? Yeah, one of the workers at the Victoria shipyard, Esquimalt, BC, left a screwdriver inside the pod during her October 2006 dry-dock and maintenance there. That act alone and the resulting headaches cost HAL a few bucks 

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If I understand what was said in this thread will I earn an extra Mariner Star, 1 to 2 Star ?

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4 hours ago, AlanF65 said:

If the ship self insures to some amount and then insures with a group policy for another amount and re insures with another company for another amount.

 

Would the final determination be by the ships insurers and not Lloyd's if Lloyd's doesn't have any of the insurance or does Lloyd's still have say if the ship sails or not?

 

 

 

Lloyd's Register is a different organization from Lloyd's of London. I'm not an insurance person. This is my layman understanding.

 

LR's function is to be the industry-standard provider of information on ships for the insurance and marine industry. In the process, LR has become the expert on risk assessment. And, provides the inspection services that the USCG etc does not do.

 

This role is vital for providing unbiased certification on ships. It frees individual insurance companies from running their own technical departments. For the shipowners, LR provides clear standards, and facilitates access to insurance markets like Lloyds of London.

 

LR is not the expert on shipbuilding. Rather, they assess the outcomes and analyze safety issues. What caused a ship casualty? Human factor or design flaw? What standards would a ship need to earn a high rating?

 

These standards are continually being updated as the perception of risk changes. The first loss of a class of ship (or pod failure) may not be particularly alarming. But, continuous losses/problems is a very red flag.

 

In the case of the bulk carriers, significant losses may mean that re-insurers would withdraw their support. Whilst private shipowners may be willing to self-insure the vessel, they would not be able to self-insure the cargo.

 

Therefore, it is to everyone's benefits for LR to certify that adequate safety measures have been taken. For this purpose, LR would consult with academia, Boards of Inquiry, shipyards etc.

 

HAL does not have the option of ignoring the red flag from LR. Insurance premiums may shoot up, or coverage may be denied. This is the first line of protection for passengers; meeting the highest standards to date.

 

 

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The Ocean Ranger is what is known as an "uninspected fishing vessel", meaning that it does not have to meet any class society requirements, is not classed by any society, and only has to meet the USCG regulations for minimum safety equipment for an uninspected fishing vessel.

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1 hour ago, HappyInVan said:

 

Lloyd's Register is a different organization from Lloyd's of London. I'm not an insurance person. This is my layman understanding.

 

LR's function is to be the industry-standard provider of information on ships for the insurance and marine industry. In the process, LR has become the expert on risk assessment. And, provides the inspection services that the USCG etc does not do.

 

This role is vital for providing unbiased certification on ships. It frees individual insurance companies from running their own technical departments. For the shipowners, LR provides clear standards, and facilitates access to insurance markets like Lloyds of London.

 

LR is not the expert on shipbuilding. Rather, they assess the outcomes and analyze safety issues. What caused a ship casualty? Human factor or design flaw? What standards would a ship need to earn a high rating?

 

These standards are continually being updated as the perception of risk changes. The first loss of a class of ship (or pod failure) may not be particularly alarming. But, continuous losses/problems is a very red flag.

 

In the case of the bulk carriers, significant losses may mean that re-insurers would withdraw their support. Whilst private shipowners may be willing to self-insure the vessel, they would not be able to self-insure the cargo.

 

Therefore, it is to everyone's benefits for LR to certify that adequate safety measures have been taken. For this purpose, LR would consult with academia, Boards of Inquiry, shipyards etc.

 

HAL does not have the option of ignoring the red flag from LR. Insurance premiums may shoot up, or coverage may be denied. This is the first line of protection for passengers; meeting the highest standards to date.

 

 

Again, you are not correct.  Lloyd's is not the "industry standard", it is nothing more than another classification society.  As for being an expert on shipbuilding, here you are wrong again.  Ships must be designed to meet the class society's rules for shipbuilding, and they are, as I've mentioned above, inspected during building to ensure that all requirements for shipbuilding are met.  The requirements for shipbuilding are included in "Lloyd's Rules and Regulations for the Classification of ships", which includes things like the materials allowed in shipbuilding, the strength of framing, hull plate thickness, and even welding procedures, among a variety of other requirements.

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6 hours ago, AlanF65 said:

If the ship self insures to some amount and then insures with a group policy for another amount and re insures with another company for another amount.

 

Would the final determination be by the ships insurers and not Lloyd's if Lloyd's doesn't have any of the insurance or does Lloyd's still have say if the ship sails or not?

 

 

Lloyd's Register is, as noted by others, not the same as Lloyd's of London.  And even Lloyd's of London is not an insurance company, but instead an insurance broker that brings customers and insurance providers together.

 

As I've said, P&I insurance is mutual insurance.  A group of shipowners get together and form a P&I "Club".  The club looks at the historical amount that the various shipowners in the club have paid out for P&I claims, and then sets a premium to cover this amount.  If claims are less than the accumulated premiums, then the shipowners get a rebate.  If the claims exceed the premiums, then the shipowners are charged an additional premium to cover.

 

What happens is that if the classification society (Lloyd's Register) revokes the "certificate of class", then the P&I club will not cover any claims for the ship, and the flag state can revoke the certificate of registry, and no port will allow entry of a ship without a certificate of class or registry.

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