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Cruise ship sinking in Antarctic waters

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by Ju52, Nov 23, 2007.

  1. Ju52

    Ju52 Senior Member

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  2. jwash

    jwash New Member

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  3. AMG

    AMG YF Moderator

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    Swedish media reports say it did not hit an iceberg but was navigating in ice when starting to take in water. The captain is from Sweden, as is four other crew members and one passenger, so we will probably hear more later when they are transported back to Argentina.
  4. OutMyWindow

    OutMyWindow Senior Member

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    The Ship: GAP Adventures is a Canadian owned Vessel, it's hard to believe that a "fist size" hole could not be contained.
    On the opposite pole, although the North West Passage is and will be navigable, I doubt insurance companies will allow commercial traffic through there any time soon.
  5. AMG

    AMG YF Moderator

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    This was a strange event, the captain at first thought they could have hit a whale! The damage was midships on starboard side, probably from floating ice, but just a small hole. Pumps were working fine they said, until a power blackout and then engines stopped working, why they sent a distress message and started to evacuate. They managed to restart the engines and released all rafts and lifeboats. After a while the ship started to go backwards out of control and the captain and engineers also left the ship.

    The captain was happy that all went well, calm and as right from the book he said. It nevertheless took almost six hours before all in the life boats were taken onboard a Norwegian cruise ship and got blankets and hot soap to start with... Webcam pictures from "Nordnorge" here; http://www.bt.no/kamera/nordnorge.html

    Passengers and crew are taken to King George Island and will probably fly back from there tomorrow.

    The Explorer was the first purpose built Explorer Cruise Ship and has navigated in these waters for twenty years, once called Lindblad Explorer.
  6. Time

    Time New Member

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    AS an intresting side note due to a number of australians on this vessel the Local reports in Aussie land here stated that the water was a crispy -2.1degrees C
  7. Ju52

    Ju52 Senior Member

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    bye bye

    Explorer on ground. All saved.
  8. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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    Hi,

    Ju52- I am at a loss to understand the finer meaning of your post above.
  9. DocRon

    DocRon Member

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    I am staying in a crew house in Ft Lauderdale with a captain who worked for this company before and he quoted in the New Zealand Herald as saying that the company had a shady reputation and he left his vessel because of safety concerns that the company were not willing to address.
  10. Francois

    Francois New Member

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    I have also been following this event down there from my bed as I been flue ridden.
    This ship was built in the sixties and I think as it hit something sharp below it gave in .I read it was a small hole .
    Glad they are all safe though and thats whats important .

    Francois
  11. Loren Schweizer

    Loren Schweizer YF Associate Writer

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  12. airship

    airship Senior Member

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    The last photo in AMG's link shows that the antifouling at least, appears to be in excellent condition...?!

    I remember having read an article in some yachting magazine at least 20 years ago which explained that just a Ø2 inch hole (say, complete loss of a thru-hull fitting) 4-5ft below the waterline would be sufficient to sink a modern 40ft GRP sailboat in under 5 minutes. I'm not 100% sure of the facts, but I'm sure that our resident naval architects will be able to elaborate...?!

    When it comes to larger, ice-classed double-hulled steel vessels equipped with bilge pumping systems on a wholly different scale to the average Johnson / Jabsco / Rule etc. pumps found on a 40 footer, they still share the same constant: the seawater pressure applied on a hull at a certain depth...

    It's one thing to know that you've got a breach in the hull somewhere. And quite another to identify exactly where it's located in order to try to plug it. All bilge-pumping systems have their limitations (said with a Dirty Harry frown). Double-hulled vessels (where the fuel, water and ballast tanks) form part of the double-hull are not a panacea. Double-hulled oil super-tankers won't completely shield us from Exxon Valdez or Torrey Canyon-like oil spills in the future. They all rely on the gap created between the outer and inner hulls being of sufficient distance and the "inner hull" resisting the initial impact / grounding or whatever.

    What we need to have is some form of 3rd "sensitive skin" that could be applied all-over the internal hull surfaces of at least passenger vessels opearating in far-flung areas in hostile conditions. Which when breached, would be able to alert the crew of both the size and precise location of the breach. It's one thing to know that there's at least a "fist-sized" hole in the hull "somewhere in a certain space" which contains a water-level sensor. Quite another to have rapid access to the damaged area in order to try and plug it. How many square metres of bilges (or m3) does the average water-level sensor cover? Just how are today's crews expected to identify and gain access in order to try to plug any breaches? I'll tell you: they probably don't / cannot. And once the water level reaches the deck plates, can you blame anyone for abandoning ship...?!

    Lots of yachts are effectively double-hulled too. But as they get older, one wonders whether the methods used to conduct metal-thickness tests on the outer hull are also used on the tank-tops too? But just supposing new yachts were all equipped with these "3rd skins", how many engineers or crew would take a sledge-hammer to the marble-floor of that guest bathroom...?! :eek:
  13. Innomare

    Innomare Senior Member

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    chain of events

    Plugging holes in the hull is something for the military. It's not normally done in commercial ships.

    I don't know the details of this incident, but normally a hul rupture like that is not a problem. It is only a problem when it is combined with watertight doors not working properly and/or insufficient crew training.
    While fire drills and abandon-ship drills are quite common, crew often don't know how to handle with flooding.
    I've been confronted with officers onboard 240 m+ cruise ships who didn't know what the purpose was of the section valves* for example.

    (* section valves: these prevent so-called "progressive" flooding from one compartement to the other through pipes which go through the WT bulkheads (such as grey/black water, etc.))

    Bruno
  14. Ju52

    Ju52 Senior Member

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    sorry for my very short message

    Sorry for the very short message, misunderstandings or if I missed the good quality in this forum.
  15. airship

    airship Senior Member

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    Well, that's food for thought but not entirely surprising given the conditions under which any damage control would have to be effected. What superyachts might have as a reasonably cost-effective solution could simply be multiple airbags like on cars (but which stay inflated) ready to activate in all void spaces aboard...?!

    Coming back to the Explorer, at least the weather was clement. Without any of the conditions where you might have to confront rogue waves:
    What is the depth where the Explorer sank? It would be interesting to know if an ROV might be able to ascertain the true damage sustained (and whether or not there might have been problems with interior bulkheads failing or watertight doors not closing...?!
  16. AMG

    AMG YF Moderator

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    I read today that it is around 1.400 meters deep there....
  17. JWY

    JWY Senior Member

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    "Sunken ship in ‘black box’ spat - By Bob Rust 'Salvors working for Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen claim they have succeeded, using robot submarines, in grabbing the black box from the 2,400-gt expedition cruiseship Explorer (built 1969), which sank 4,000 feet beneath Antarctic waters more than three years ago/ The well-publicised and rapid sinking of the Explorer took place on 23 November 2007 after the Det Norske Veritas (DNV)-classed ship struck a “wall of ice” during the hours of darkness. The 100 passengers and 54 crew were all rescued.'"