Cruise ship Viking Sky in problem

I suppose that if they had one that it would be impossible to safely land in stormy weather on a helicopter deck of a pitching and rolling ship. Winching under these circumstances is the only practical method.

No helideck, or even suitable landing areas. Some cruise ships (as well as other vessels) have dedicated winching areas, sometime marked with a circle and “winching only”. I have not seen any in the overhead shots of this vessel. In any case, the pilot and rescue swimmer picked the winching zone based on the conditions at the time. They did try to use two choppers simultaneously, but found that too risky.

That is fact. This could have been a real catastrophe if they hadn’t held, or if they didn’t manage to get one engine going to help ease the strain on the chains fairly quickly.

These pilots are used to land and take off from heaving/rolling helidecks and in higher wind speed than here as a matter of routine, but that is on rigs and vessels with trained HLOs etc.

In the Statfjord field they shuttled personnel between the Floatel and platform for shift change, using 3 choppers in round robin in 60 kts and more. At 70 kts. the danger of people being blown off the helideck ( !50 m. elev.) on Statfjord B got too great. The Pilots had no problems continuing. They landed to refuel and returned to shore.

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This ship has azipods.

“The Promas system incorporates the propeller and the rudder in a single unit to increase the hydrodynamic efficiency.”

Very fancy way to describe them

Thanks for your info.

Hoping for a well educated engineering response. Your comment shines a lot of light. The El Faro suffered a catastrophic end when she lost lube oil pressure due to angle of heel in a hurricane. She’s a steam ship, I know. But her propulsion motor has the same lube oil needs (in concept). Now we have a ship built just two years ago and the ‘public statement’ from an authority is low lube oil related problems again. WTF??

So my thought is, was this ship in such dramatically rough weather, ALL her engines failed for the same reason at the same time? Why doesn’t the engineer on watch, if feeling the ship’s dramatic movement, load more lube oil in an effort to circumvent the sensors from ‘thinking’ the oil is lower than it actually is?? I can understand too high oil pressure, but that wouldn’t be a issue (would it?) if the sensors and computer technology is telling the guys on watch “is too low” or is that an oversimplification?

I can’t comprehend that this is the real reason, given the well publicized causation after the El Faro event. Or did everyone just thro their hands up in the air and not care???

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Hmm. My impression of the promas system is that it is a traditional shafted propeller but instead of a fairwater cone on the end it has a cylindrical cap that has a concave dimple on its end that matches up to a bullet shaped protrusion on the leading edge of the rudder. Thus when the rudder is moved there is a smooth transition between the two. Creating greater lift by the rudder, more effective rudder performance, possibly more efficiency at speed as well?

Probably anchored now as the wind is coming in from the front. I don’t suppose this picture was photoshopped? It looks unreal.

No azipods, she has in-line shafts driven by electric motors, with Promas propellers:

Not sure but it looks like the wind is blowing from left to right in both photos. In the next to last photo from the direction of the spray coming off the seas.

Car ships will sometimes jack around a lot in the wind and will sometimes put the wind on the beam, sometimes they drag and sometimes they jack around the other way.

Yes, I suppose that with that large sail a storm wind can play tricks with the heading. Also the wind direction is not entirely steady all the time.

Watching this live on TV at the time she did turn a lot while the anchors were down, but behaved more steady once they got power on one engine restored and could help by using one propeller and rudder, as can be seen on the early overhead pictures from the helicopters:


My guess is in this situation using the engine just to keep the head in the wind would be sufficent to reduce the strain on the ground tackle. One risk on a rocky bottom is breaking a fluke.

Having diesel/electric in this situation instead of a low-speed diesel with limited starts would be very beneficial

The conditions on board the two small vessels that was first on the scene and stayed until the end must have been horrendous.
Here the tug Vivax:

And Coast Guard vessel KV Njord:

The Njord sustained minor damages due to being hit by a freak wave during the operation.

Latest re: Viking Sky:

Nothing about their destination yet.

As unsatisfying as it may be, I seem to be in same position as “still need more information”.

The project guide (application manual) for this engine (CR Tier III) is 470 pages long. It is heavy on the use as a geared drive application and light on the genset application AND there is a similar guide for the non-common rail system (Tier II, 272 pages) that speaks more to the engines use as a genset. Unfortunately they conflict a bit as to whether the engine is operating as a dry sump or wet sump. I’m assuming for now that it is more like a wet sump (as the Tier II guide shows) assuming again it was purchased as a “skid” with engine and generator mounted on a common foundation and the description below applies: (bold face added).

T-001/Lube oil service tank
The engine frame tank has the function of the lube oil service tank. The main
purpose is to separate air and particles from the lube oil, before being pum-
ped back to the engine. Even a low oil level should still permit the lube oil to
be drawn in free of air if the ship is pitching.

Regardless, the pump is never supposed to draw in air. If the sump is “built-in” so to speak the arrangement of pump suction in a well and location of alarms is more directly controlled by the engine builder whereas a dry sump would require the ship builder to build the “service tank” (as MAN calls it) including a pump suction well, suction piping, strainer, low level alarms , vents etc. More room for an issue to come up later.

Just as info, the manual shows it should be covered up to 7.5 degrees in dynamic pitching and to consider trim and list conditions (22.5 deg dynamic) could be simultaneous.

So really at this point I just have more questions.

  • How many DG’s were online at the time? Were remaining units in Standby?
  • Did all DG’s truly shut down simultaneously? If not what actions did power managament system take upon loss of first DG? etc, etc.
  • Had the ship operated in these conditions before?
  • Were low sump level alarms common and tolerated (normalizing the anomaly)? (“that light always comes on and off when we roll”)
  • Was ship pitching and rolling near the limits of the pump suction before the loss of propulsion?
  • Was any action requested to alter heading / speed to accommodate the limits? Did that have any effect?
  • If they were getting low level alarms what was the reaction to this? This time.
  • Did they get low LO pressure warning alarms before the shutdown pressure was reached?
  • What was the “real” experience of this crew with blackout recovery? (as opposed to table tops and exercises). How well do they know the plant?
  • Was the purifier in operation at the time? Is there one per engine or do they shift it around batch style?
  • What was the status of the LO transfer pump (if any)? Ready to go and add oil to an engine if needed even if purifier was normal way of adding oil?

Hoping they have looked into and will report on some of this as opposed to “oil level was too low”. I hope NTSB issues a report as well since they went to observe the proceedings.



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As per the website:

All scheduled sailings for the Viking Sky will be operating as planned from April 6.

So that I would think this is Copenhagen to Amsterdam as per the itinerary. This cruise states it is sold out.

She needs to get underway on the afternoon of the 4th to make Copenhagen early on the 6th.

4 posts were split to a new topic: Anchored Vessels Behavior in Wind

Topic is the Viking Sky incident and it is suggested that there was a lubrication oil problem. All engines stopped, ship drifted, nobody died, etc. The proximate cause of the incident is still not known. Design fault that could not have been spotted by due diligence? Crew negligence? Heavy weather? Was the Master competent? Was the ship seaworthy for an inland trip Bodö/Stavanger? Nobody has so far been arrested or jailed. Had the Master drowned, it would have been easy to blame him for everything. When cruise ship M/S Costa Concordia contacted a rock January 2012 and almost sank, the Master was arrested at once. He was later sentenced to 16 years in jail for having killed passengers, etc. I consider him innocent. I look forward to the investigation of this incident. Maybe we can learn something.I am surprised that the ship can continue trading before the cause of incident has been clarified.

Thanks for that. Excellent clarification. Ive read a lot of conflicting comments since the event. I have NEVER seen this installation on such a ship, usually this kind of thing is “media worthy” and I have seen nothing. Especially since she is relatively new.

However, maybe this sheds some light on the accident overall. Since she drifted into such shallow waters, perhaps we start seeing the truth?? Was her rudder appendage subject to grounding at some point?? This might explain why power to three engines was restored, but she could not get underway on her own. Three of four gensets on this size ship is ample enough to get her propulsion on. It seems a bit more than just a ‘lube oil’ issue.