MAIB: Loss of control air pressure led to RO/RO slamming into berth

PO Pride Of CalaisJULY 12, 2012 — The U.K. Marine Accident Investigation Branch report finds that loss of control air pressure was a factor in an October 22, 2011 incident in which a P&O Ferries vessel made heavy contact with the berth in Calais, France.

The MAIB report say that the freight RO/RO vessel Pride of Calais impacted the berth at a speed of 2.5 knots. The main propulsion had failed as the vessel approached the berth and, although the starboard anchor was let go, the vessel could not be stopped. Pride of Calais suffered minor damage to her bow but nobody on board was seriously injured and there was no pollution.

The MAIB investigation has identified that the clutches connecting the vessel's three main engines to their shafts had disengaged almost simultaneously as a result of a reduction in control air pressure. Contributing factors included:

  • Of the vessel's two air compressors, one had recently become unserviceable, and the other was defective and operating below its intended capacity.
  • The cause of the reduction in the control air pressure was not accurately diagnosed by the on-watch engineers, and their actions to maintain and then restore propulsion were ineffective.

A delay in informing the bridge team about the loss of control air, denied the master valuable time in which to assess the alternative courses of action available. The investigation also identified that the applicable onboard emergency situation check cards contained insufficient detail, and that the machinery breakdown drills that had been conducted were unlikely to prepare the crew for the scenario which unfolded on the day of the accident.

A recommendation has been made to the vessel's manager aimed at improving the effectiveness of its crews when dealing with similar situations in the

Read the report HERE

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