FEBRUARY 18, 2013—Immediate repairs have been completed on the world’s largest container ship, Emma Maersk, after the ship experienced an ingress of water into its engine room on February 1. The ship has now departed Port Said, Egypt, after spending 15 days berthed at the terminal. Maersk Line says the Emma Maersk is now being towed to a repair facility. The full extent of damage to the engines will then be assessed and the work of restoring her back to full health will begin.
Palle Laursen, Maersk Line’s Head of Ship Management in Copenhagen, says, “We are delighted that Emma is on the route back towards full service. However, this only the beginning of a long journey—once she gets to the repair facility it will still be several months before repairs are completed.”
Adds Laursen, “The efforts of the crew, the local Maersk Line, SCCT, and Svitzer organizations and the underwater repair teams should be fully recognized in enabling this. We also appreciate the full support of the Suez Canal Authority in making this happen so quickly.”
On February 1, Emma Maersk experienced an ingress of water into the engine room. The ship had just commenced its southbound transit through the Suez Canal en route to Asia. The captain decided to terminate the planned voyage and go alongside the nearby Suez Canal Container Terminal (SCCT). While the exact cause of the incident is still being investigated, it has been confirmed that the water came in through a breach in the stern thruster tunnel.
According to Captain Marius Gardastovu, there was never any real danger or panic at any point. “Of course it is a shocking experience when you look back and consider what could have happened,” he says. “But given the circumstances, everything was handled as well as possible because of a close-knit crew who knew exactly what to do.”
The ship was loaded with containers equivalent to 13,537 TEU of which 6,425 were full.