M/V Dali Chief Makoi Video Analysis

Did the ship lose its main engine or not? I would think even if it lost electrical power the Main engine would still be running.

The black smoke made me think they were trying to go full astern.

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You’re thinking like a tugboat man, not a big ship engineer.

We tugboat men are accustomed to gear driven pumps on the main engines. That makes the main engines independent of the generators, except maybe for computers and controls (which are usually on 24 volt battery backup with a consta-volt and or alternators. H

Ships (and some huge tugs) have electrically driven lube oil, fuel and water pumps, and apparently hydraulic pumps (that one is new to me). These engines are highly automated.


No, I did not know that. It seems to take away redundancies IMO.

Sorry but I’m not seeing whatever point you are trying to make. Are you trying to identify the source of or reason for the black smoke or claiming they did start the main engine in the approx 3 minutes between the lights coming on and impact or that it is no big deal to start a main engine like this one after a total black out of the main switchboard?

Actually, I think its gives them more redundancy because they have multiple electrically driven fuel, lube oil, and water pumps.

It also makes the engines easier to work on because there is less stuff in the way.


I got too deep into the weeds regarding whether the stand-by SSDG or the EDG came on line first. Doesn’t matter that much, but it’s odd that both failed. They are 100% independent except, what? The power management system? Switchboards etc?

from the transcript:

the emergency generator should kick in within 45 seconds as per SOLAS requirements. Here we see the electric power was restored at 31 seconds past 0125. That’s 59 seconds. Wait a minute, does that mean the emergency generator did not run and automatically connect on time?

Well, there were signs that it didn’t go online within the required time. If you look closely, for the entire duration that the lights were out, the nav lights were also out, and they never came on until all the other lights went on. The navigation lights are powered through the emergency switchboard, which is supposed to be powered by the emergency generator during blackouts. Also, according to the initial transcript of the timeline, the VDR stopped recording the ship’s data, except for the audio in the wheelhouse. It resumed a little over a minute later. Those are telltale signs that even the emergency power didn’t kick in within 45 seconds. What we’re seeing here, when the lights came back on, was probably just the emergency generators. I might be wrong, but I’m very familiar with the sequence when restoring power after a blackout, so I say there’s a big chance that that’s the case.

A post was merged into an existing topic: Dali Engineering Aspects - various and sundry

Posted this on the other tread, thought I’d repost here along with the explanation

: Risk Focus: Loss of power



“Human error” is considered to be procedural errors such as pushing the wrong button or stopping an on-load generator.

Errors like starting a bow thruster or mooring winches with insufficient generators on-line is categorized as “Electrical failure”.

Contaminated fuel or clogged filters etc. is categorized as “Lack of Fuel”.

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Dear Sir.
From the thread re ISM code I know You are ISM Auditor. You have performed several hundreds audits lastng 3-7 days each. Hence from this statement of yours i gather You have not got a truck load of experience, You have a freight train of experience or 20 000 TEU equivalent of experience . I am not axaggerating here. Such experience generates RESPECT. And I greatly respect you opinion.

Therefore my question is , how many times during your audits have You requested ship command to simulate a black out and recovery from it during the night or during the hrs of darkness . Have You made a walkaround the superstructure and main decs to check /verify what lights are powered during the emcy gen operation?

I Must honestly say I have never done the walk around on main decks but I did on superstructure only as part of a drill and to satisfy my curiosity which was mainly focused on nav bridge equipment and lighting .

Nedless to say one has to overcome the resistance of Cheng and Engine Dpt as they are not happy to fulfill “whims” of a curious asshole - meaning me . But with some cajoling and sweet talking they do, to get the asshole off their back and keep the old idiot happy.

I think I do not have to tell any engineer here where I can find info regarding what is supplied by emcy gen or not . Suffice to say here we all know where and it is not in master’s office. But very easy we can find what it must supply in SOLAS or in CFR .

I will grab Solas as I am more familiar with it . And honestly I think the whole discussion here should start with wiewing the regulations instead of only talking abt it.

quote" Some deck lights are typically also emergency lights analysing the EGen coming on/off based on deck lights would be an imperfect method" end quote.

I have no problem with ISM Auditor statemnt . It is imperfect method , and each of us " home or armchair-investigators " is imperfect. So what the hell are all doing here for the last two weeks ?

We have been analysing the video because of " what you see is what you got " and we have got nothing else except our experience and thoretical knowledge , which in my case is getting stale and ready for mothballing.

" some deck lights are typically also emcy lights " - what it means to me is “some” is LESS then all . Would You agree?? In most cases MUCH LESS.

I see it has been agreed here that Chief MAKOi excellent video presentation and “Steam man” videos of American Cheng serving on similar size vsl as M/V Dali are considered as "Golden Standards " . I am fine with that .

Pls note that both Gentleman are frequently using " i am not sure" , " I am not certain" , “we do not know” etc, etc which as far as I am concerned is an indicator of their wisdom and professionalism . They are both very smart .

I will follow their golden standard and repeat after them " I do not know for sure, I am not certain , I may be wrong " and all I say from here is my wild guessing , hypothesis which must be debunked by all concerned.

I will not tresspass engineers teritory as I am a complete ignorant . I will say only what i see as others did before me.
Source of pictures : screen shots of Full Video that can be found somewhere in the related to Dali topics and SOLAS

A. Exhibit 1

Solas regulation 43

Carefull scrutiny of the content is recommended.

B- Exhibit 2

Composition of lights before EVENT . I see various main deck decklights iluminating bays , i see stb side pilot laddder light ( i may be wrong) , I see aft mast nav light and I do not see forwrd nav light as it is obscured by a strong glow of frwd ilumination of forecastle working area. Pls comment if You see differently. I must assume all this is supplied from main source.

C) Exhibit 3

dark Dali

I see all lights gone - ship is dark . No power supply.

D) Exhibit 4

I see lights after recovery. The same lights as before EVENT. Aspect is different as vsl veers to sbd. What is different is marked with yellow circle. Blow up the picture and one can see a mysterious light below frwd mast nav light . It is not mystery, it is frwd illumination of forecastle working area after recovery and one can see on the video as it’s glow is intensifying changing color to yellow . I will vote and even bet it is all suplied from main source and not from emcy gen. But engineers surely know better and hope will comment. Rem :Emcy gen should start after 45 sec .It lseems it did not .

E) Exhibit 5

One can see the yellow glow intensifying and upon achieving full luminosity it will again obscure frwd mast nav light. I am still voting for main source power supply. Aspect is changing continuously.

Qustion to Engineers. Is it possible that upon failure of emcy gen start as per regulation, the engine team after restoring main source of power, have started manually emcy gen in anticipation of further consecutive blackouts ?? I have no idea then pls explain and/or elaborate.

F) Exhibit 6

I see different lights composition after 2nd EVENT some lights on main deck + pilot ladder light( i may be wrong ) . Clearly visible both masts nav lights .

Note that after second EVENT the lights visible on this pic were restored almost instantaneously (flickered once) . Hence my question to engineers under exhibit 5. regarding parallel runing of the emcy gen .

I will vote now that deck lights and nav lights are on emcy power source . The apparent flickering/disappearance of nav lights later on is caused by obstruction of visibility caused by bridge construction .

G ) Exhibit 7

In comparison with exhibit 6 I see additional deckligts on, including visible glow of frwd illumination of forecastle working area . I see aft mast nav light .Frwd mast nav light is obscured by bridge construction and will soon reapear while the video clip is rolling.
I will vote now that Dali’s deck and nav lights are back on main source of supply.

H) Exhibit 8

Exhibit 8 is a continuation of exhibit 7 32 seconds later. During this time there was no flickering of lights but they appeared and disappeared due to bridge construction elements .

Aspect now is almost head on. Forward mast nav light is obscured by a strong glow of frwd illumination of forcastle working area. I will vote again for deck and nav lights supply from main source.

I) Exhibit 9

I see the moment of allision , main deck lights appear on port side but due to aspect one can not count them. I do not see aft mast nav light as it is obscured by bridge construction, frwd mast nav light is obscured by strong yellow glow of frwd illumination of forecastle working area.

I will vote again for deck and nav lights supply from main source at the moment of allision .
If i see wrong please correct me. I have no problem with being informed i am wrong.


I never do a blackout test because the test itself is not really within the scope of an audit. What is in the scope of an audit is have they done the tests when they are required to by regulation and/or company policy. If yes, then there is no need for me to do it. If no, the most correct course of action in an audit is to write a non-conformity and leave it at that. They would typically conduct the test as part of their immediate corrective action but there is no real reason for it to be in front of me or before I leave the vessel. It would depend on what their SMS says as for how long they have to complete the required corrective action.

The “whims of a curious asshole” are not within the scope of an ISM Audit.

As for emergency lights I typically ask them to turn them all on and then I look at them as I walk around the vessel. Within the scope of my visit as long as the lights are on I am satisfied. One or two out not a big deal to me, they could have blown when they were just turned on, but several and that is evidence of a lack of maintenance.

The CFR most likely matches SOLAS. Much (not all) of the CFRs are copy/paste of SOLAS, MARPOL, etc.

I can’t disagree with your interpretation because I have never been on the DALI and so don’t know anything about what their exact arrangement is on board as it pertains to emergency lights. I never said anyone was wrong, only that relying on the video alone is imperfect. I agree the deck lights being on are most likely evidence of the auxiliary generators being back on line and main power restored, I just would not consider it slam dunk evidence that it is the AuxGens and not the EGen. I have never counted specifically but my rusty recollection tells me it is every 3rd or 4th deck light is an emergency light typically.

I think the most telling evidence was the NTSB investigators statement on the timeline of the VDR recording. For just over a minute the only thing the VDR was recording was the bridge audio. The only thing the VDR is required to record when there is no main or emergency power is the bridge audio. If there is nothing but bridge audio that alone points to the EGen never coming on and combined with the video of the lights points very strongly to the EGen never coming on.



Thank You. That was very enlightening , concise & precise.
Greatly appreciated.

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