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El Faro: NTSB findings so far, EL Faro's boilers needed servicing

Discussion in 'YachtForums Yacht Club' started by Capt J, Oct 20, 2015.

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  1. Norseman

    Norseman Senior Member

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    The report on an over-pressure shut down of a boiler certainly adds to questions of why the ship lost power.
  2. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    Because that is what people do on a forum. They speculate, the form ideas and possible conclusions, they brainstorm and come up with various ideas. That is what a group does.

    Take the NTSB. It is not 1 person who looks at all of the information from the El Faro and makes a Sole decision as to the cause. It is a group of experts who meet as a group and review all of the data and information, they then throw around their individual idea's and experience to formulate a conclusion or theory as to what happened. In the group, various members are experienced in different areas, together all of those experts form a whole, not just 1 PERSON.

    It's like when a mechanic cannot get a motor to run right, one that's a real problem child. The mechanic has tried this, has tried that, cannot solve the issue. The mechanic then may call upon several other mechanics and possibly one has come across the same issue and solved it on a different motor and knows that this year intake gasket had a tendency to leak air, or a manufacturer had this weird computer issue on that year, but only x amount of motors were effected, or this connection tends to get corroded, or the wiring harness on this motor tends to chafe here.
  3. captholli

    captholli Senior Member

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    Gobsmacked would be the proper adjective at this juncture after that post.
  4. chesapeake46

    chesapeake46 Senior Member

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    Speaking of "Fair Game", on the local Baltimore station they reported that a couple of the victims were from that area and have retained laywers in preparation of wrongful death suits. The news referred to the quotes of former employees stating the ship was old and rusty.

    I could not hear the entire quote they were referring to but the " old and rusty" part stuck out.
  5. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    At last count, I knew of four suits that have been filed. One of the wives was left with 5 children she's trying to take care of alone now. I don't know specifics of others. With each of those filings, there have been more statements made regarding the condition of the ship, previous trips with problems, and the way the company was run. Since those come from plaintiff's, they're obviously prejudiced and probably some true, some not. There have also been public statements by other former employees. As to their objectivity, I don't know.

    Then there's a certain amount we know from the Company itself relevant to the sinking and statements by the company regarding the plans they had for the ship.

    These statements bring up many things, but whether any of them had anything to do with the sinking, we don't yet know. We do know factually however that water was coming into the boat and that it was without power. We also know the time frame of when it left and the fact it was caught in a hurricane. Recognize just as those suing may have agendas, so does the Company and they have also filed suit themselves saying they did everything they should have and should bear no financial responsibility to the families of those who died. All this while when asked about the suits of others, they say they're not concentrating on those, just on helping the families. Within their suit, Tote has also pushed the blame in the direction of the captain, claiming any decisions he made in terms of direction were made by him and they had nothing to do with them. That is termed by attorneys not involved to be very strange as he was still operating as their employee and they'd be responsible under errors and omission. It was shocking to many that they filed suit so quickly, but the impact of that is until that's resolved other families are prevented from filing more suits.

    Tote has also cited an archaic 19th century maritime law, which most think would not apply in this situation, but which says that their limit of liability is limited to the value of the ship (currently $0) and $420 per gross registered ton of pending freight which would make their total responsibility $15.3 million or $464,000 per life lost.
  6. Marmot

    Marmot Senior Member

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    What "report" is that? If you can cite that "report" then we might have something to talk about, otherwise it is nothing more than your personal recollection of something you may have read or heard somewhere. If it was published anywhere it will be online somewhere. If it was published it should have a cite as to the source of the "report." If no one can find a cite for that "report" then it is what I said it probably is ... rumor and gossip.

    At this point we do not even know if the boiler(s) shut down, or if there even was an overpressure shut-down intalled in the boiler automation. Overpressure is probably the least likely reason to have boiler problems. It is not all that easy to raise boiler pressure high enough to lift a safety valve when testing, much less while underway and using steam. There are at least 2 safety valves that will lift and release steam at a rate around 10 percent higher than the boiler can produce it at maximum firing rate. If there was an overpressure shutdown it would shut the boiler down by tripping the burners. If that shutdown (if there was one) failed and shutdown the boiler prematurely, it is a simple matter to block the burner trips so that they will continue to fire. That action is taken very often while testing and troubleshooting automation and is hardly unusual.

    Considering the following information from the NTSB, much of the speculation about the condition of the ship to date might be shown to be anything but relevant.

    http://www.ntsb.gov/news/press-releases/Pages/PR20151103a.aspx
  7. Marmot

    Marmot Senior Member

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    With regard to the plans TOTE had for the ship, the run from Puget Sound to Anchorage is not exactly putting an old horse out to pasture. Some of the worst weather the North Pacific has to offer is regularly experienced on that run. Compared to running from JAX to San Juan I would say it was going into a far more demanding service. Having spent a great deal of time on steamships sailing between Alaska and west coast ports, I do not believe that a shipping company is going to put a worn out rustbucket on that run. It is not like the U.S east coast where tugs and assistance are readily available. The weather makes the Jax to San Juan run look like a yachtie's paradise. Shipyards or other sources of assistance are few and very far between after leaving Juan de Fuca.

    The El Faro spent 15 years running between Puget Sound and Anchorage as Northern Lights so it is not as if the owners are unaware of the conditions that ship was going back to. Regardless of what people might think of TOTE's lawyers and its corporate response to the loss, they are not amateurs who don't know how to manage a ship.

    As far as comments from former crew, yes, old ships are not like new cruise ships, they require a lot of work, they might have more rust than the SIU unlicensed crew members prefer to deal with and the company is not the highest paying ... SIU and AMO are not exactly high status unions with the best contracts that attract the best crews. Take their comments with a large grain of salt, be very skeptical about an unlicensed crewmember's evaluation of a ship's physical or technical condition.
  8. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    Latest i saw last night wast that the ROV found a missing bridge and data recorder can't be found... They re going to go back to Side scan sonar to try locate the missing chunk... No link handy, it was on ********
  9. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    The El Faro was scheduled for an extensive refit before putting it back on the Alaska run. They had the poles working for months, before this final voyage doing welding and other jobs just to prepare it for the refit.

    Had the El Faro followed the FL coast, tugs and assistance would have been readily available on it's last voyage as well.
  10. Marmot

    Marmot Senior Member

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    Really? When did they join the ship? Where was that date published?
  11. Marmot

    Marmot Senior Member

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    Speculation seems to be fun ... what is this?

    example.jpg
  12. Norseman

    Norseman Senior Member

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    You probably know a report can be verbal, written or shouted right?
    If not, read up on definitions, you should be good at Google by now.

    Indeed, personal recollection of a news report, good enough for me, if you don't like it, find something else to read.

    You are speculating again. :rolleyes:
  13. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    "In August, in order to prepare for this change, TOTE began making modifications to the vessel. Welders and machinists performed these modifications over many voyages, including the voyage where the El Faro sank in the Atlantic Ocean."

    It was published in the NTSB thread I posted in post #1 or #2 at the BEGINNING of this thread.
    http://www.ntsb.gov/news/press-releases/Pages/PR20151020.aspx
    (in case you don't have your glasses or aren't aware of how to go back to post #1+2.):D
  14. Beau

    Beau Senior Member

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    What a useless thread this has become. I know...someone's going to tell me if I don't like it, don't click. Well, I click because I have the waning hope that I can learn something about this tragedy.
  15. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    NTSB Update on El Faro Investigation

    11/3/2015

    The National Transportation Safety Board has contracted with the U.S. Navy to locate the El Faro, document the wreckage and debris field and recover the voyage data recorder (VDR). Below is an update of recent activities.

    ·The Curve 21 remote operated vehicle (ROV) was used to confirm that the vessel found was the El Faro.

    ·The ROV documented both the port and starboard sides of the vessel.

    ·The vessel is oriented in an upright position with the stern buried in approximately 30 feet of sediment.

    ·The navigation bridge and the deck below have separated from the vessel and have not been located.

    ·The voyage data recorder has not been located.

    ·The team has reviewed sonar scans of the nearby debris field and has not identified any targets that have a high probability of being the missing navigation bridge structure.

    ·Future plans are to redeploy the Orion side scan sonar system to generate a map of the debris field to locate the navigation bridge structure.
  16. Kafue

    Kafue Senior Member

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    Ditto that.
  17. Norseman

    Norseman Senior Member

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    Agree, taking a vacation, don't need the constant condescending attitude.
    Ciao
  18. Marmot

    Marmot Senior Member

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    Sometime in August. The ship departed on its final voyage late on 29 September, it sank at the end of September, 7 or 8 hours into October ... that is far from "months" of work. Words have meanings, using the word "months" to describe the length of time something has been happening implies much more than what might have been 60 days at most or 31 days at least and that is assuming work started on August 1st.

    Words can be used like statistics, the choice of how they are used depends on what the writer wants the reader to believe ... rightly or wrongly and in this case the term appears to have been used to create drama where quite possibly none exists. It certainly did not add information or validate any of the uninformed and highly speculative posts we have read here and on other sites.

    The NTSB link in post #106 provides some very interesting facts that might provide insight to the last hours or moments of the ship and its crew. The text is published in post #115. That information provides a wealth of feedstock for more speculation of the type described here as "... what people do on a forum. They speculate, the form ideas and possible conclusions, they brainstorm and come up with various ideas. That is what a group does."

    The sudden lack of speculation about such an astounding discovery is rather surprising. What phenomenal conditions might have lead to that degree of destruction? How does this impact the timeline? Where is the bridge? How far from the hull is it located and what does that say about the sequence of events?

    Why the "condescending attitude"?
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2015
  19. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    A month is one month. The definition of months, is 2 or more months. Are you now going to argue with the NTSB in what the NTSB defines many voyages as? "Welders and machinists performed these modifications over many voyages" BTW, this was just preliminary work they were doing to prepare it for it's refit.

    You're picking at straws, a 3 paragraph post of nonsense. I am not going to engage you anymore over symantics. Unless you have new information to add, or knowledgable insight, please stay out of the thread in which I created.
  20. Marmot

    Marmot Senior Member

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    My highly knowledgeable insight and experience with the subject of discussion is the reason I even bother to post in this thread. My knowledgeable insight leads me to ask why you even started this thread since it is founded and even titled with no real information or insight. It has contributed nothing more than add your own extremely ill informed opinions about technology and operations which you have amply demonstrated absolutely no background or experience. It has been an exercise in sensationalist speculation for no conceivable purpose.

    Your condescending attitude and rude remarks contribute nothing and appear to be in violation of the site rules. If you have a counter argument to any of my points, or informed opinions or knowledge of the operation or technology you are certainly free to submit them and discuss them in the manner you described in post #102, otherwise your posts come across as merely rude and argumentative.
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