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Old 08-10-2015, 13:58   #61
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Re: Hurricane Joaquin vs. M/V El Faro's final voyage, weather and decsion-making...

Deck Officer, The El Faro and its sister-ships were built at Sun Shipyards in the 1970's. They were all steamships, I believe. Matson Navigation has two, the MSC has at least three. Tote had a couple, and has one less now. I don't believe that the Northern Lights/El Faro was ever re-engined and converted to diesel.


I went to Calhoon MEBA Engineering School. Many of my best friends and shipmates went to CMA. When were you there?


I hold a C/E, Steam, Motor, Gas Turbine, any H.P. license
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Old 08-10-2015, 14:33   #62
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Re: Hurricane Joaquin vs. M/V El Faro's final voyage, weather and decsion-making...

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Deck Officer, The El Faro and its sister-ships were built at Sun Shipyards in the 1970's. They were all steamships, I believe. Matson Navigation has two, the MSC has at least three. Tote had a couple, and has one less now. I don't believe that the Northern Lights/El Faro was ever re-engined and converted to diesel.


I went to Calhoon MEBA Engineering School. Many of my best friends and shipmates went to CMA. When were you there?


I hold a C/E, Steam, Motor, Gas Turbine, any H.P. license
That was my thought, it was and still is a steam turbine. I went to CMA in my late 40's and thus graduated in 1997. Received a special achievement award from Barbara Boxer at graduation, who was instrumental in our acquisition of the current medium speed diesel T/S Golden Bear. I was in the only class that got to train on both the old steam GB and the new diesel GB.
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Old 08-10-2015, 15:03   #63
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Re: Hurricane Joaquin vs. M/V El Faro's final voyage, weather and decsion-making...

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Yes.....decision making is never simple or static.

It appears that I have just lost some friends in the South China Sea whose new Beneteau Oceanis 60 foundered in what appeared to be a minor depression far away close to land on East coast Philippines and just appearing on departure day.

I am struggling with what their decision making was as the storm quickly jumped into their sea and approached at 22km/h.

What failed on their boat and what punctured their life raft?

Nothing is simple at Sea.
Was it a B60? I heard it was a delivery of a new Outbound.
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Old 08-10-2015, 16:37   #64
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Re: Hurricane Joaquin vs. M/V El Faro's final voyage, weather and decsion-making...

The US Merchant Marine is a relatively small community, and we all know someone who knows someone. Anyway, an engineer acquaintance of mine just posted the following on FB:

Got some info today from someone who knows a port engineer "in the loop", and he clarified about the "loss of power". They had not lost the plant, they had electrical power, but the main engine had tripped on low L.O. pressure. They talked by sat phone, seemed pretty casual, "we are dealing with the water intrusion, etc. Seems it should have been a fairly routine "reset and go", but it apparently wasn't.

Interesting, we'll have to wait and see if this turns out to be true.
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Old 08-10-2015, 17:39   #65
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Re: Hurricane Joaquin vs. M/V El Faro's final voyage, weather and decsion-making...

Thanks Bongo for bringing in the Steam Engineering perspective into the discussion. Have worked with many great Steam C/E on ships......never found a fat one:thumbup:
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Old 08-10-2015, 21:35   #66
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Re: Hurricane Joaquin vs. M/V El Faro's final voyage, weather and decsion-making...

I found this article about this matter... pretty self-explanatory..
https://gcaptain.com/we-wont-learn-a.../#.VhcZ0EKEOUl
The author, Mario Vitone, is a CG diver with a lot of experience on similar situation...
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Old 09-10-2015, 00:34   #67
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Re: Hurricane Joaquin vs. M/V El Faro's final voyage, weather and decsion-making...

Good article, but a bit of a self fulfilling prophecy that....
......'if you put yourself near bad weather, you can die.'

Found that ironic from a CG member who put themselves in harms way all the time...
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Old 09-10-2015, 06:50   #68
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Re: Hurricane Joaquin vs. M/V El Faro's final voyage, weather and decsion-making...

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The US Merchant Marine is a relatively small community, and we all know someone who knows someone.
So very true...
Friend A piloted this boat in Pt Everglades and in the gulf
Friend B was 3m on its Alaska runs, Cm on its gulf runs
spouse of B was 1st a/e on gulf runs
current shipmate of above was good friends of 3rd a/e on this run
Well liked KP grad was on this run...
And so on...

Everybody's affected...
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Old 09-10-2015, 07:56   #69
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Re: Hurricane Joaquin vs. M/V El Faro's final voyage, weather and decsion-making...

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Steady, Thanks.While Steam Turbines are extremely reliable engines, they must be provided with several hundred thousand pounds/hour of superheated/dry steam, and they must exhaust into an almost perfect vacuum. (And boilers are not that reliable.) There is a whole series of pumps and heat exchangers that motivate the H2O in the system. Under steady state conditions they are a quite balanced, but when demands are variable, it is like juggling 10 objects at a time. In extreme storms it is not unusual to be continually be "putting out fires", (figuratively speaking).
I am very curious as to just what the Polish Riding Crew was working on? It could possibly be a factor.

Glad to have someone with practical experience to help shed light on this incident. A couple questions:

There was a crew of 28, plus five additional. Isn't this about twice what most ships employ? Why so many? US Maritime rules?

How many of the crew are typically responsible for propulsion? Is there the knowledge and parts/tools available to resolve conceivable problems?

I am assuming that the steam boiler is high pressure. What are the standard operating pressures?

I am familiar with land based boilers, where the typical low water/high water cutoffs, pressure reliefs, etc., are occasionally missing/defective/bypassed, etc. Despite the very real dangers inherent with pressure vessels, don't plant engineers have work-arounds for these issues, such as fluctuating water levels? With the natural movement of the ship, aren't there problems with steam traps, for example?

Were you suggesting that the Polish team were contractors repairing some equipment while the ship was underway? Could this have been a factor?

If the decision is made to "Abandon Ship", how long would it take to muster the crew at the lifeboats?

Thanks!
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Old 09-10-2015, 12:57   #70
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Re: Hurricane Joaquin vs. M/V El Faro's final voyage, weather and decsion-making...

It was reported on JAX radio that their were 5 polish nationals that were not part of the crew but were aboard as contractors "fine tuning the engine"

It was also reported this captain was very careful and had been fired from a previous command for being too careful and "wasting too much money" also he had run an alternate route previously and been reprimanded by this company.
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Old 09-10-2015, 14:39   #71
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Re: Hurricane Joaquin vs. M/V El Faro's final voyage, weather and decsion-making...

Hi Redsky,The El Faro was a steamship. They typically have a crew of 25-35 people. Most steamships have 24/7 watchstanders in the engine room, and in the wheelhouse. So, right away we have 12 positions there. Then there are the day workers and the stewards department. There is plenty to do, believe me, they are not over-manned. Many Motor Vessels, (diesel), have unmanned engine rooms. With less watchstanders they can have a smaller crew.


The engine dept will have a Chief Engineer and 1st Assistant Engineer, both day workers, (typically). It will have a 2nd a/e and two 3rd a/e's, all watchstanders. It will have 3 QMED's, (qualified member of the engine dept), all watchstanders. It will usually have an electrician and a reefer engineer and a wiper or two as well.


Two boilers are most common. They are usually about 950# and the superheated steam is ~960degF. As boiler automation has become more advanced, it has also become more difficult to override it. In the old days you could jam open a fuel oil solenoid valve with a wooden block, and the boiler could not trip. This was done in storms and to perform certain tests, and one had to monitor everything very closely. Now a days, the people who write the software think they are smarter than everyone else, even though they have no practical experience, so they make it difficult to override the system, even if it is warranted.


With routine maintenance steam traps are fairly reliable. Valves too. The key is maintenance. Staying on top of steam leaks and rust and heat exchangers... is critical.


The Polish riding crew could have been doing many kinds of repairs. I don't know what they were up too, (I'm sure as the investigation proceeds we'll find out). I heard a rumor they were doing steel repairs. Depending on what and where they were working, they may or may not have had a hand in the problems that arose.


It only takes a few minutes to muster the crew at the lifeboats, under drill conditions. On a severely listing vessel being tossed around violently, it could be very difficult to muster everyone. With the severe list and violent seas it could be impossible to launch a boat. The life rafts may have been impossible to board too.
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Old 09-10-2015, 15:21   #72
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Re: Hurricane Joaquin vs. M/V El Faro's final voyage, weather and decsion-making...

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Was it a B60? I heard it was a delivery of a new Outbound.
According to this report, it was a new Baneteau Oceanis 60...

http://www.sail-world.com/Hong-Kong-...elivery/139011
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Old 09-10-2015, 16:24   #73
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Re: Hurricane Joaquin vs. M/V El Faro's final voyage, weather and decsion-making...

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Originally Posted by Boatguy30 View Post
It was reported on JAX radio that their were 5 polish nationals that were not part of the crew but were aboard as contractors "fine tuning the engine"

It was also reported this captain was very careful and had been fired from a previous command for being too careful and "wasting too much money" also he had run an alternate route previously and been reprimanded by this company.

Yep, the way it works is the owner says "get this vessel to San Jaun or we will find someone else that wants your $180k job." It's not easy.


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Old 09-10-2015, 17:24   #74
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Re: Hurricane Joaquin vs. M/V El Faro's final voyage, weather and decsion-making...

Without a doubt companies intimidate Captains. Probably not all companies, certainly not all the time, but, nevertheless, many decisions are made based upon pressure, real or perceived. (And not all Captains respond the same way.)

As far as I'm concerned offshore maritime companies should be run by Engineers and Mates, not THE BEAN COUNTERS! While I realize there is a position for them in the company, they should NOT be at the helm, influencing decisions, when lives are at stake. They have no idea what holds a ship or its crew together.
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Old 09-10-2015, 17:59   #75
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Re: Hurricane Joaquin vs. M/V El Faro's final voyage, weather and decsion-making...

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Originally Posted by Jon Eisberg View Post
According to this report, it was a new Baneteau Oceanis 60...

http://www.sail-world.com/Hong-Kong-...elivery/139011

Yes it was a B60. I got confused when I read the first report because it had an ad for an Outbound in it. Adblocker not working.
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