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Sun Apr 14, 2019, 02:32 PM

Low Oil Pressure Caused Viking Sky's Engine Blackout

https://gcaptain.com/norway-low-oil-pressure-caused-viking-sky-engine-blackout/

“Our conclusion is that the engine failure was directly caused by low oil pressure,” the Norwegian Maritime Authority said in a statement.

“The level of lubricating oil in the tanks was within set limits, however relatively low, when the vessel started to cross Hustadvika,” it added, referring to the stretch of water where the incident happened.

The heavy seas probably caused movements in the tanks so large that the supply to the lubricating oil pumps stopped, the regulator said.

This triggered an alarm indicating a low level of lubricating oil, which in turn caused an automatic shutdown of the engines.

The engine lube oil level (while within limits) was also a major factor in the sinking of the SS El Faro with loss of all on board in October 2015.

The rules are that the oil system has to be able to maintain pressure at a 15 degree permanent list and 5 degree permanent trim (46 CFR 58.50-80)

Quite often main propulsion engines use dry sumps, where oil drains from the engine into a separate tank below the engine. This tank would have baffles to control oil movement during ship's motion. It is also common to have electrically driven oil pumps instead of engine driven pumps.

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Arrow 7 replies Author Time Post
Reply Low Oil Pressure Caused Viking Sky's Engine Blackout (Original post)
Turbineguy Apr 14 OP
Wellstone ruled Apr 14 #1
Turbineguy Apr 14 #3
Wellstone ruled Apr 14 #5
mitch96 Apr 14 #2
Turbineguy Apr 14 #4
hunter Apr 14 #6
Turbineguy Apr 14 #7

Response to Turbineguy (Original post)

Sun Apr 14, 2019, 03:23 PM

1. Amazing how

deferred Maintenance and Labor Cost will doom your day.

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Response to Wellstone ruled (Reply #1)

Sun Apr 14, 2019, 04:41 PM

3. MV Bright Field

in New Orleans. Company did not want to buy lube oil until the price was right. They moved the ship and all went well until the ship leaned over a little in a turn. Hit the dock at the Riverwalk area. It could have been a lot worse.

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Response to Turbineguy (Reply #3)

Sun Apr 14, 2019, 05:56 PM

5. My guess was right,

crew was expendable at the cost of a few Barrels of Diesel Oil. Great Management Liability Control,hope someone gets promoted right to the Jail House.

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Response to Turbineguy (Original post)

Sun Apr 14, 2019, 04:16 PM

2. "also a major factor in the sinking of the SS El Faro"

I did not know it lost it's engines while in a hurricane. All I read was that it was lost in the storm.. sucks. My father was US Navy, merchant mariner for 50+ years and never had a problem from what he told me...
m

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Response to mitch96 (Reply #2)

Sun Apr 14, 2019, 04:45 PM

4. In the investigation it came out

that a previous Chief Engineer would always run the oil level high while in bad weather. This information never reached everybody.

The oil level was within the engine builder's specs.

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Response to Turbineguy (Original post)

Sun Apr 14, 2019, 07:30 PM

6. Penny wise and pound foolish, perhaps.

Is there any good reason not to keep the lubricating oil tanks topped up?

What percentage of the overall operating cost is lubricating oil, even with moderately jacked up prices in some ports?


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Response to hunter (Reply #6)

Sun Apr 14, 2019, 11:25 PM

7. The last ship I was Chief on...

You rarely changed the oil in the main engine. Over time the oil would become contaminated and you would discard and replace 250 gallons a few times per year. Changing the oil would only happen as a result of a major casualty like an internal engine fire and crankcase explosion. These are extremely rare. The full engine oil change was 10,000 gallons. That's $200,000 sitting in a tank until you need it. Some companies know that's a cost of business. In others, somebody in an office sees that as $200,000 that could be saved.

There are rules about sailing a ship in an "unseaworthy" condition. But there's always room for nuance. Let's say the minimum oil level in the engine is 9000 gallons. That would mean you would be seaworthy and could sail if your storage tank was 1000 gallons short of being full. And it works until your luck runs out.

Shipping companies always look at what they can cut. Cutting here and there relatively small amounts adds up because everything is expensive. There's nothing inherently wrong with being economical. But the ships' senior officers have to stand up to those who may not fully understand the effect of their decision beyond saving some money.

And there are companies that are not sufficiently well-capitalized enough. Large container ships burn over $100,000 per day in fuel. To managers, pretty much the only way to make up for that is to dis-allow crew members to have a second pork chop for dinner. Even though you don't get anywhere near that. But it's how organizations work.

I found the key to long term success is to keep up on the maintenance, focusing on safety, reliability and zero pollution.

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