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Preliminary report in near grounding published
Norway’s Accident Investigation Board on Nov 13 released a preliminary report on the near-grounding of the 'Viking Sky'. It reveals that a total of 18 alarms about low lubricating oil levels sounded on board the vessel several hours before “a complete blackout” left the ship at the mercy of stormy seas, with a total of 1,373 people on board. The report from the Norwegian Accident Investigation Board noted that the stricken cruise ship was “within a ship’s length” of grounding on rocks in a “notoriously dangerous area” off Norway’s northwest coast. The situation was extremely dramatic,” William J Bertheussen, director of the Accident Investigation Board said. Bertheussen staated that he and his staff are particularly interested in the “low volume” alarms registered by the operational diesel generators that supplied the 'Viking Sky'’s electricity. They went off between 4 a.m. and 9:04 a.m. on the morning of March 23. Each of the alarms was cleared within seconds after being accepted by the crew. “No more alarms were registered,” reads the report, until 1:37 p.m., when another diesel generator signaled low lubricating oil pressure. Then another generator registered the same and five minutes later two generators shut down, “causing a complete blackout and loss of propulsion.” By that time, the 'Viking Sky' was sailing through stormy seas in what the board’s report notes was the “notoriously dangerous area” called Hustadvika. When the crew in the engine room couldn’t estimate when power could be restored, the captain was summoned to the bridge and he sent out a mayday call at 2pm. He also ordered the crew to drop both anchors but they didn’t hold, leaving the vessel dangerously adrift. A general alarm was issued 13 minutes later, “and the passengers and crew began to muster,” leading to a massive rescue operation. The investigators intended to study the earlier alarms more closely. The new report showed that lubricating oil levels were measured at between 28- and 40 percent of capacity. Recommended levels for a vessel like the 'Viking Sky' are 68- to 75 percent of capacity. Since the oil levels were so low, and the vessel rolled from side to side, three diesel generators failed within 20 minutes and the vessel lost power. It’s not unusual for many alarms to sound during controls of an engine room, where a technician was already on board to service a failed turbocharger on one of the larger generators. It was to be replaced at the vessel’s next port. The board already was recommending that all vessels “fill up on lubricating oil, especially in bad weather.” They will also continue to probe systems for alarm management in the engine room, route planning especially in bad weather, evacuation and safety procedures, and systems for safe return to port. The board said the investigation would continue “as swiftly as possible” and, once complete, a report will be drafted and distributed to “key stakeholders” for a 30-day comment period prior to being published.
Viking Sky to set sail to Copenhagen
After the damages have been rectified in Kristiansund, the "Viking Sky" started towards Copenhagen on Apr 3 at 3.40 p.m. with an ETA as of Apr 5, 10 a.m., to return into regular operation. The Norwegian Maritime Directorate went on board the ship in order to check with the classification company whether the damage to the ship has been rectified. It was expected that the classification society would approve the ship for further navigation. The ship had suffered damage to some windows, a lifeboat and the anchor. The damage has now been repaired either by replacement or by temporary repair. This applied for example to the windows where there is a long delivery time for new ones. Both the shipping company and the classification company have a great focus on the follow-up in relation to the engine breakdwon that created the critical situation. The ship sailed from Copenhagen on April 7 and arrived in Oslo on April 9.
Cruise ship company accused of recklessness
The Norwegian Viking Ocean Cruises have been accused of recklessly putting passengers at risk by setting sail despite storm warnings, forcing an evacuation. Police and other agencies launched an investigation into why the "Viking Sky" was taken out into notoriously perilous waters during bad weather, carrying 1,373 passengers and crew. The risk to the passengers and the vessel was high, according to Dag Sverre Liseth, director of the marine department at the Accident Investigations Board Norway. The Finnish captain chose to set sail despite knowing that the Hurtigruten Coastal Express, that criss-crosses the country's coast, had chosen not to sail that morning. The owner of the "Viking Sky", Torstein Hagen, on March 31 denied that the decision to sail despite the storm was taken due to financial considerations. 20 people suffered injuries and were receiving treatment in Norway.News schreiben