Royal Navy Icebreaker Flood 2008

The point appeared to be made that one of the reasons for the flooding was that she was short handed. However, the vessel wasn’t on a war footing and the engine room would probably have been run by an Engineer and an Oiler if it was Merchant Navy manned under the same circumstances.

We have been automating valves on our very old ship and they are all fitted with de-clutchable gearboxes and hand wheel operators, local position indicators and pneumatic solenoid block and vent valves all built into the assembly. It’s two steps to vent the actuator, clutch in the hand wheel and then close the valve by hand.

Not downplaying the lack of experience on display but better design and implementation is called for as well.

The investigation “panel” seems to agree with you.

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Perhaps not on a war footing but underway on an 18 month deployment which places a lot more stress on the crew.

A small mistake with large consequences. The story of the inglorious ending of a good ship and how unnecessary it was…

Endurance was laid up in Portsmouth from 2009 to 2016, following serious damage caused by flooding following an error during routine maintenance on a sea suction strainer. In October 2013 it was reported that she would be scrapped; in July 2015 the vessel was offered for sale for further use or recycling and left Portsmouth under tow to the Leyal ship recycling Ltd. (LEYAL Gemi Söküm) facility in Turkey on 1 June 2016.

This right here. A well sized e-gen that can substitute for a harbour gen is a cheap investment and pays for itself in wear and tear costs of running a larger gen at extremely low loads.

The charterer made a blackout drill a requirement a couple years ago. I didn’t like the idea at all at first but it turned out to be a good idea.

We learned a lot of details about how the emergency bus was set up during the planning for the drill. After we had a much better understanding and more confidence in our setup.

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Blackout restarts are a requirement for both class and flag (SECS) annuals… As a Brit, there was no excuse for this incident. Check, double check and test before you open ‘live’ systems -electrical, hydraulic, pneumatic, sea etc. Undermanned my arse…under thought more like!


Charterer requirement was for blackout drill while underway at sea speed, which I had not done before.

Identifying a risk factor after the fact is not necessarily an excuse unless that factor is used in an attempt to avoid responsibly.

Technically before the incident anyone could have identified the risk related to declining crew effectiveness and several people would have been in position to take steps to mitigate the risk. Anyone in that chain could be considered to be at fault.