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Lessons From The Grounding Of Cruise Ship

Continued from last week’s article Mahesa Abeynayake Head of Quality/ Consultant Marine Engineering Fiji Maritime Academy Continuing from last week’s article, the 247.37 meter long, 114 GT vessels ran floundered
22 Mar 2017 11:00
Lessons From The Grounding Of Cruise Ship
A tug boat leads the way for the world’s largest passenger ship Harmony of the Seas, owned by Royal Caribbean, as it makes her way up Southampton Water.

Continued from last week’s article

Mahesa Abeynayake
Head of Quality/ Consultant Marine Engineering
Fiji Maritime Academy

Continuing from last week’s article, the 247.37 meter long, 114 GT vessels ran floundered on Scole rocks near Giglio’s Island at 21.45.07 HRS.  Out of the 3208 passengers and 1030 crew, 32 lost their lives.

Considering that the ship was so near to shore why there was loss of lives at all is a puzzle.

Murphy’s Law was in action here. Everything that could go wrong did.

One of the most events happened at 22.06, approximately 21 minutes after the accident the authorities were contacted by the mother of a passenger who received a frantic phone call from her son the portion of the ceiling had collapsed and the passengers were ordered wear life jackets.

21 minutes is eternality when you want to get 4229 souls safety from a sinking ship, and at this stage, no distress calls from the Captain.

Only at 22:25 the master, when contacted by the authorities, reported the ship had a hull breach.

By this time catastrophe was well under way. Although the initial the master was that only three watertight compartments were breached, two others WTC 6&7 were also affected. These compartments housed critical equipment causing a blackout of the vessel.  All ships are equipped with the emergency system to provide power in case of power failure. On this vessel, the emergency power failed to make ships pumps useless.

Only at 22:55 almost half an hour later the master called “Abandon Ship” at this stage the ship was well heeled on the side trapping about 100 people under water.

The investigations reveled that muster list was in disarray and the master was on a life boat when many of the passengers were still on board.

How a vessel that is built and operated with full Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) 1974 Convention compliance meet with such a disaster.

The human factor played the biggest part by the lack of Bridge team Procedure, Poor Communication, delays in action and general unawareness of disaster management.

This is why training and education plays an important part in the safe operation of vessels.

Fiji Maritime Academy conducts several safety courses and well as impart valuable knowledge in the main training programs.

 

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