Apr 132010

image Norway’s AIBN has issued its report into the grounding of the ferry Richard With on 6 January 2009. The full report is only in Norwegian but and English language summary is included.

Says the summary:

During the night leading up to 6 January 2009, Richard With was heading south from Rørvik to Trondheim. There were 153 passengers and 47 crew on board. In the morning, when the ship was approaching Trondheim, the officer of the watch considered the wind conditions to be bordering on the limit of the vessel’s available manoeuvring capability.

The vessel was manoeuvred into position off pier 1 in Trondheim. The officer on the watch realised that the vessel was drifting in an easterly direction and that it did not have sufficient power to manoeuvre astern into position along the planned berth in the basin between piers 1 and 2 at Brattøra. The attempt was aborted and the vessel sailed towards the alternative berth at Ila pier. The captain was notified and arrived on the bridge.

He observed that the wind force now was within the vessel’s manoeuvring capability and decided to return to pier 1 and make a new attempt at berthing. During the period up until the vessel grounded (approximately 1 hour), several attempts were made to berth the vessel alongside pier 1, without success.

Just before 0800 hrs, the captain took over the manoeuvring from the officer of the watch. The captain observed an increase in the wind force and felt that the wind caught hold of the vessel and that they were drifting broadside towards the southern end of the breakwater and pier 2, whereupon he then decided to abort the attempt at berthing. The captain set both engines to full speed ahead.

Shortly afterwards, the vessel ran aground at the southern end of the breakwater. It was reported that there was ingress of water, through the stern tube, into the engine room, and the captain issued orders to start the bilge pumps. In the course of the morning, the crew, assisted by the local police and fire service, were able to set the passengers ashore.

During the morning period, the vessel received considerable assistance in the form of pumping equipment and personnel, from the port authorities, fire service, rescue vessels and Norwegian Coast Guard. During the course of the day, the engine for the emergency generator overheated as the ventilation dampers for the emergency generator room had closed accidentally. The crew was able to force the dampers open, thereby ensuring the intake of cooling air so that the emergency generator could continue to generate power. In the course of the afternoon, the leakage from the starboard stern tube was stopped and the bilge pumps were able to empty the engine room of water.

The ship refloated and was, in the evening, towed and berthed alongside pier 1.

In accordance with its terms of reference, the Accident Investigation Board Norway (AIBN) has conducted a safety investigation in order to determine the course of events and identify the underlying causes of the accident with a view to proposing safety recommendations to prevent the future recurrence of similar accidents. Pursuant to its terms of reference, AIBN can conduct investigations relating to the rescue operation. Since there were no personal injuries or significant environmental damage involved in the passenger evacuation and salvaging of the vessel, AIBN has not found it appropriate to spend resources on investigating those matters. With the exception of the ventilation dampers that shut off the air intake to the emergency generator room, the investigation of the accident has been limited to factors linked to the course of events before the grounding of the vessel. AIBN found that there were safety problems relating to the ship owners’ facilitation of port calls.

The investigation also revealed that the vessel’s emergency power system was not self-contained and that this may also be the case on other vessels. AIBN proposes four safety recommendations.

They are addressed to Hurtigruten ASA, the Norwegian Maritime Directorate and Det Norske Veritas.


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