- Watts Shipping Register
Biggest Container Ship in Trouble
Stern thruster ban after Emma Maersk engine room flood.
Reefer boxes given priority as cargo discharged from damaged ship
Janet Porter and Craig Eason Tuesday 5 February 2013 Lloyds List
MAERSK Line has ordered the largest ships in its fleet to stop using their stern thrusters until investigators have discovered the cause of a flood at the weekend that left the Emma Maersk’s engine room under 18 m of water. Divers have spotted the place where water gushed into the containership, leaving it adrift in the entrance to the Suez Canal, and have now sealed off the area around one of its stern thrusters that appeared to be the source of the leak. This move will keep water in the engine room, which will only be pumped out gradually in order to minimise further damage. The 15,550 teu ship, which is classed by ABS, was towed into Suez Canal Container Terminal on Saturday after it lost power, but there were no injuries or pollution. The terminal is operated by sister company APM Terminals and Maersk is considering plans to keep the ship there while repairs are carried out, if possible. The Denmark-registered ship was heading from Europe to Asia and had just entered the canal at the time of the incident on Friday night. It was carrying 13,537 teu at the time. Half the boxes on board are empty. All will now be discharged and loaded on to other vessels, with priority given to refrigerated cargo, a spokesman told Lloyd’s List. Investigators have found that water entered the ship through one of the stern thrusters openings, and then flooded through the 120 m long propeller shaft to the engine room, which is located below the accommodation block in the middle of the ship. The 14-cylinder engine remains submerged and will be left under water until the situation has been fully assessed, rather than risk further problems by exposing it to oxygen. Maersk Line is still making the arrangements for the cargo on board and considering whether its own ships have space for all the containers that need to be delivered, or whether to charter a vessel. News of the incident first surfaced on social media sites, with some tweets claiming Emma Maersk was at risk of sinking. However, the Danish line said there was never any risk of that. “The initial assessment is that the vessel was not at any time in any danger of sinking, nor was the crew at any time in danger. However, the main engine lost power and the vessel was not able to sail on its own,” the line said. The 397 m long, 56 m wide Emma Maersk was the first of a new class of containerships that were the largest in the world in terms of cargo capacity until a few weeks ago.. Maersk has never experienced an incident of this nature with one of its big ships before. Emma Maersk, which has seven sister ships, was drydocked last year. The ship is fitted with a 14-cylinder Wärtsilä RT-flex96C engine with an output of 80,080 kW (108,920 bhp).
Subject TagEmma Maersk