Author Topic: Transatlantic Pipe Break Incident (21-22 May 2002 engine room flooding)  (Read 11206 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline highlander0108

For those who may not have heard about this "little" event that happened onboard May 21/22, 2002, this is facinating if not done right horrifying read on just how close the ship came to being in serious peril and how the ingenuity of the ship's engineers averted a serious incident. Was anyone here onboard during this crossing?

http://www.maib.gov.uk/cms_resources/qe2.pdf
« Last Edit: Aug 04, 2017, 01:18 PM by Rob Lightbody »
"There will never be another one like her" QE2's last Master Ian McNaught
My Blog:  http://qe2-prideoftheclyde.blogspot.com/

Offline Andrew W

Re: Transatlantic Pipe Break Incident
« Reply #1 on: Mar 01, 2009, 08:47 PM »
That's really interesting. Shows you that there are some really resourceful people around. It's good to see that the investigators praised the QE2 engineers so heartily.

KEV

  • Guest
Re: Transatlantic Pipe Break Incident
« Reply #2 on: Mar 17, 2009, 09:13 PM »
Don't recall this being a very public story at the time. Sounds like parallels to a seagoing version of Apollo 13-rigging up ingenious bladder repair kits with the bits available on board. The statement on P25 if the flange had detached makes one shudder to think. The important moral of the story and incident to me is no matter how well designed and  built a ship (and QE2 is surely one of the best) or any other engineering masterpiece is it can only take one relatively small part to fail and have serious consequences. Constant vigilance using the latest techniques (x ray-/ultrasound?) whatever the cost aswell as regular (2.5 years seems a long gap) good old fashioned visible inspections where possible to reduce the risk is the only way to go. Let's rejoice that everyone did  a great job on board and nothing worse happened

Offline Andrew W

Re: Transatlantic Pipe Break Incident
« Reply #3 on: Mar 17, 2009, 10:52 PM »
It is amazing when you consider the story of the Oceanos cruise ship off South Africa. The same thing happened - the pipe for one of teh evaporators to one of the sea boxes broke due to corrosion. On that occasion, the crew were not as resourceful as the QE2 engineering staff and the water rose, the engines, generators and pumps stopped and the ship sank slowly. The crew and officers were evidently not steeped in maritime law and got the bit about the captain going down with his ship wrong as he and most of the crew baled out in the life boats leaving the passengers in the hands of the entertainment staff. Finally they were all (but one I think) rescued by the helicopters of the South African airforce.


Offline highlander0108

Re: QE2 Engineers saved the day
« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2009, 04:34 AM »
I posted the full report here (see initial post)  The full read is downright frightening what could have happened.  Ken

https://www.theqe2story.com/forum/index.php/topic,216.0.html
« Last Edit: Aug 08, 2014, 09:43 AM by Lynda Bradford »
"There will never be another one like her" QE2's last Master Ian McNaught
My Blog:  http://qe2-prideoftheclyde.blogspot.com/

Offline Malcolm

Re: Transatlantic Pipe Break Incident
« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2009, 08:54 AM »
I wasn't about when you posted the link originally. I'm interested to have seen it now though. :)

We must be grateful that what could have happened didn't happen because of the skill of the crew. I wonder if a similar thing could happen again or is current practice id ship design would prevent it?

Offline Waverley

2002 Engineroom flooding
« Reply #7 on: Aug 22, 2009, 10:59 PM »
Good job that it did not reach the possible stage reported on page 25 of the report "Safety of the vessel"

http://www.maib.gov.uk/cms_resources.cfm?file=/qe2.pdf
Robert

Offline Scott Ebersold

Re: 2002 Engineroom flooding
« Reply #8 on: Aug 23, 2009, 03:44 AM »
this is really fascinating.  Where'd you find it?

Offline Jem

Re: 2002 Engineroom flooding
« Reply #9 on: Aug 23, 2009, 04:25 AM »
Many thanks for that. Just goes to show what excellent engineers were onboard.

Offline Beardy Rich

  • QE2 Crew member
  • Britannia Grill Diner
  • *****
  • Posts: 262
  • Total likes: 17
  • Engineering Department 1984-1988
Re: Transatlantic Pipe Break Incident
« Reply #10 on: Aug 30, 2009, 10:27 PM »
Have to agree with Jem, whoever thought of using a bladder filled with compressed air to stem the water ingress into the engine room was very clever. Can you imagine having to deal with a situation like this? Very scary to say the least.
Does anyone know whos idea it was that saved the ship from further damage? Nice to see that the MAIB also recognised the ingenious nature of repairing the hole and the resourcefulness of the engineers.
Rich Drayson. Ex Snr Mechanic QE2 1984-1988.

Offline Twynkle

Re: QE2 (Engines) and flooding
« Reply #11 on: Jan 09, 2010, 05:49 PM »
 
Did many floods take place on QE2?
It's almost incredible to think that any ship doesn't flood,
given both the conditions under which the piping joins etc need to remain in tact
and the fact that there's so much piping etc?
I wonder - what constitutes a flood
and might it (only) come to the attention of the engineering crew via readings on the gauges etc?
Then - on from there - how serious does the leak have to be, before it gets reported to say,
the owners, or the MAIB, or Lloyd's Register et al, or the insurers?
Was there always a surveyor on board on QE2?

Having seen a small quickly-dealt-with flood (quite extensive, and quite impressive) on another ship,
I wondered at the time, when or if it becomes 'reportable', as opposed to simply put in the log!



« Last Edit: Jan 09, 2010, 11:45 PM by Twynkle »

Offline Beardy Rich

  • QE2 Crew member
  • Britannia Grill Diner
  • *****
  • Posts: 262
  • Total likes: 17
  • Engineering Department 1984-1988
Re: Transatlantic Pipe Break Incident (2002 engine room flooding)
« Reply #12 on: Jan 25, 2010, 10:45 AM »
Floods weren't uncommon Rosie. Fortunately, most were minor and were quickly dealt with by ships services staff (in crew or passenger accommodation). Flood alerts were put out over the tannoy system with the words "Niagara, Niagara, Niagara".
Any floods in the machinery spaces were dealt with by the engineers.
Rich Drayson. Ex Snr Mechanic QE2 1984-1988.

Offline pete cain

Re: Transatlantic Pipe Break Incident (2002 engine room flooding)
« Reply #13 on: Jan 25, 2010, 07:52 PM »
Rosie, I bet it becomes 'reportable ' when, quite a few passengers sorry customers have seen it , unfortunately that's the usal way of things :-X

Online Lynda Bradford

Highlander's initial post with the report investigating the break in the pipe makes interesting reading and as mentioned before as it had not been for the ingenious action taken by engineers the safety of QE2 was in question. 

http://www.maib.gov.uk/cms_resources/qe2.pdf

I was proud to be involved with planning QE2's 50 year conference in September 2017 in Clydebank
www.qe2event.com

Online Andy Holloway

On arrival into New York divers were contracted to repair this 'slight issue', which on any other turnaround in New yore would have been no problem, however this wasn't just 'any' turnaround in NY, this one coincided with Navy week, and the harbour was full of USN ships!!!

As such they were being protected with 'passive sonar' being run to protect the USN ships from underwater attack. As a result of this the USN had to be contacted every time a diver was put in the water to work on this damage, they then sent an officer to the berth who radioed his HQ informing them when the diver was ready to enter the water. The USN then switched off the sonar and the USN Officer gave permission for the diver to enter the water. As soon as he diver left the water the same procedure was carried out in reverse, resulting in the sonar being switched on again!
This routine went on several times as the repairs were carried out.
By normal sailing item at 1645 the repair had not be completed, but the normal sailing routine carried on, with all passengers and crew back onboard and clearance given.  The deck 2 gangway into 'The Rotunda' was removed and Security was transferred to 'Sailor's Square'.

'Guesses' at sailing time were taken but each came and went without a mooring line being removed!

Finally the repair was completed and sailing was confirmed for 2330!

By the time the pilot disembarked it was almost 0100 then, being an EastBound Trannie, it was 'advance clocks', by 1 Hour at 0200!

So as Chief Security Officer i finally got into bed at 0315, having been up and about since 0400 the day before!!

The next day was Crew Cabin Inspection and, before i left the Bridge, the Captain said that he'd see me at 0955 outside the crew office ready for Rounds, he was going to have a 'lie in', and advised me to do likewise!

A good idea, unfortunately my Gurkha Staff didn't think likewise!!

At 0755 my cabin phone rang and it was one of my MAAs 'worried' that i'd overslept! I usually was in the Security Office on sea days by 0730!!

Ah well, bed time that night was very early!!








Offline Thomas Hypher

  • Queens Grill Diner
  • *****
  • Posts: 2870
  • Total likes: 5555
  • QE2 started a dream to go to sea - now a reality!
Another incident of a valve to the sea catastrophically failing was with HMS Endurance in 2008 while she was in the South Atlantic and off the coast of South America. She almost sank as documented in an episodic documentary, which happened to be being filmed at the time, which I cannot find on YouTube anymore. Only one crew member was injured (an engineer) but luckily not too seriously when the cap or top of said valve failed and went into his forehead as he was working on it at the time. Luckily no deaths occurred either.

I have however found an amazing video of HMS Endurance in Antarctica as filmed from the two Lynx helicopters she had, filmed from 2005 to 2008):




HMS Endurance was later sold for scrapping in Turkey in 2015, having sat laid up and unrepaired in Portsmouth Naval Base's inner basin along with the likes of HMS Invincible after her own decommissioning in 2005.

Thomas

First sailed on QE2 in August 2003 aged 6 years old. Last sailed on QE2 in July 2008. Last saw the seagoing QE2 in person from the decks of QM2, on QE2's last Transatlantic crossing (Eastbound tandem) in October 2008. Visited QE2 in her new life, in Dubai, in January 2020 and August 2022.

Offline Rod

Although I had not heard of this incident, something like this was always at the back of your mind when walking round the machinery spaces.

Online Rob Lightbody

  • Administrator
  • Queens Grill Diner
  • *****
  • Posts: 12287
  • Total likes: 15726
  • Helping to Keep The Legend Alive
    • Rob Lightbody dot com
I've read it before, but it still makes fascinating reading to revisit.

I'd like to ask our engineers what they think would have happened next, had it come to the worst  quoted below. Would the aft engine room have containrd that amount of water indefinitely? 
Would the engines in the forward engine room have been able to run indefinitely?  Apart from being extremely uncomfortable, would those on board have been safe?

Quote
Loss of the bilge injection would have allowed the water level to rise at an uncontrolled rate. Flooding into the motor room, aft of the engine room, would have followed. In spite of the four main engines in the forward engine room continuing to run, loss of vessel propulsion would have resulted.

In this state, the vessel would have been disabled and drifted in poor weather conditions with a major compartment flooded. Even in this condition, the vessel would have retained sufficient freeboard and stability to remain a safe haven for those on board, but it was clearly a state that was undesirable and one having the potential for generating unforeseen risks.
« Last Edit: Aug 04, 2017, 03:10 PM by Rob Lightbody »
Passionate about QE2's service life for 40 years and creator of this website.  I have worked in IT for 28 years and created my personal QE2 website in 1994.

Offline Thomas Hypher

  • Queens Grill Diner
  • *****
  • Posts: 2870
  • Total likes: 5555
  • QE2 started a dream to go to sea - now a reality!
Just to add, at this point if the worst had happened and the aft engine room etc were completely flooded causing a loss of propulsion etc but QE2 had survived as safely as possible, her fate may have been sealed as the flood damage would be very significant and may have been considered uneconomical to repair (particularly with QM2 coming along shortly at this point, being well into building) mirroring what happened to the MV Bahamas Celebration (a cruise ferry) in November 2014.

The above is pure speculation and luckily plus thankfully never really got close to happening thanks to the ingenuity of the engineers!

Are their any members of the forum who were engineers on QE2 during this incident?


Thomas
First sailed on QE2 in August 2003 aged 6 years old. Last sailed on QE2 in July 2008. Last saw the seagoing QE2 in person from the decks of QM2, on QE2's last Transatlantic crossing (Eastbound tandem) in October 2008. Visited QE2 in her new life, in Dubai, in January 2020 and August 2022.

Offline Rod

One has to remember, QE2 as all ships, are divided up into watertight compartments. When originally built I believe the ship was designed to still float with 3 compartments flooded. After re-engining it would probably have been similar. So they could have lost an engine room and the power but would still float.

Online Rob Lightbody

  • Administrator
  • Queens Grill Diner
  • *****
  • Posts: 12287
  • Total likes: 15726
  • Helping to Keep The Legend Alive
    • Rob Lightbody dot com
One has to remember, QE2 as all ships, are divided up into watertight compartments. When originally built I believe the ship was designed to still float with 3 compartments flooded. After re-engining it would probably have been similar. So they could have lost an engine room and the power but would still float.

Thanks Rod. Obviously testing a watertight compartment isn't possible, so how confident are you that had it been required, would it have held and been completely watertight?
Passionate about QE2's service life for 40 years and creator of this website.  I have worked in IT for 28 years and created my personal QE2 website in 1994.

Online Andy Holloway

With all the independent, technical inspections that QE2 underwent during her years post re-engining, both in UK and around the World, although mainly the UK's MCA with the formidable Mr Alan Fairley as Senior Inspector , you can be perfectly confident that, if she was designed to operate with 3 watertight compartments flooded, then she definitely would have done 'what it says on the tin'!

Offline Rod

Thanks Rod. Obviously testing a watertight compartment isn't possible, so how confident are you that had it been required, would it have held and been completely watertight?

Come on Rob. It was built on the Clyde!!!
But seriously, I would be about 95% confident. You never know for example, if 1 compartment was full of water, what extra stresses and strains would be put on other unfound weak pipes.
But what strikes me about the report is that the pipe was found to be "bad" before the break and nothing was done?

Online Chris Thompson

Just read the report, fantastic job from the Engineering staff!
BUT!!!! what is the current condition of all those 'thru hull' fittings?????
Bearing in mind the ship being converted to a hotel the sensible approach would
be to drydock her and weld covers over these, however I don't think this was done.
Could she spring a leak and sink at her berth?????

Offline Rod

Then you have the 5 deck aquarium rooms!

Online Rob Lightbody

  • Administrator
  • Queens Grill Diner
  • *****
  • Posts: 12287
  • Total likes: 15726
  • Helping to Keep The Legend Alive
    • Rob Lightbody dot com
Just read the report, fantastic job from the Engineering staff!
BUT!!!! what is the current condition of all those 'thru hull' fittings?????
Bearing in mind the ship being converted to a hotel the sensible approach would
be to drydock her and weld covers over these, however I don't think this was done.
Could she spring a leak and sink at her berth?????

Both the times she's been dry docked in Dubai, they were still planning on sailing her under power again, therefore they must not have been removed and covered them up. I'd imagine they'll need to attend to that at her next dry docking.
Passionate about QE2's service life for 40 years and creator of this website.  I have worked in IT for 28 years and created my personal QE2 website in 1994.

Offline Trevor Harris

Both the times she's been dry docked in Dubai, they were still planning on sailing her under power again, therefore they must not have been removed and covered them up. I'd imagine they'll need to attend to that at her next dry docking.
Aren't you supposed to have lifeboats before sailing or..?   :o
Enjoyer of classic cinema, literature, and music.

Offline June Ingram

  • Global Moderator
  • Queens Grill Diner
  • *****
  • Posts: 9465
  • Total likes: 6393
  • Beautiful, elegant QE2 - forever Queen of the Seas
The plans to sail her again were way before the lifeboats and davits were removed.  And I believe she was still on warm lay up at that time. 
QE2 - the ship for all of time, a ship of timeless beauty !

Online Chris Thompson

Quote
Both the times she's been dry docked in Dubai, they were still planning on sailing her under power again, therefore they must not have been removed and covered them up. I'd imagine they'll need to attend to that at her next dry docking

That's what I thought Rob, she was being prepared for possible sailing, hope they don't botch up the 'waterproofing' and ballasting the way it was done with the old Queen Mary, the surveyors reports on her are getting scary!!!!!

Offline Rod

I am not positive about this......but I do not think lifeboats are required for sailing. With no passengers. Life rafts would probably do, depending on the amount of crew. You would need one on each side with a radio, but a portable radio might do.

Online Andy Holloway

I am not positive about this......but I do not think lifeboats are required for sailing. With no passengers. Life rafts would probably do, depending on the amount of crew. You would need one on each side with a radio, but a portable radio might do.

I suspect that it'll depend on what the 'port state' [country of registration] have to say and, being Vanuatu anything could be possible!!

Offline Trevor Harris

I am not positive about this......but I do not think lifeboats are required for sailing. With no passengers. Life rafts would probably do, depending on the amount of crew. You would need one on each side with a radio, but a portable radio might do.

Oh! I had no clue. Did American star have lifeboats when being towed or no?
Enjoyer of classic cinema, literature, and music.

Offline Thomas Hypher

  • Queens Grill Diner
  • *****
  • Posts: 2870
  • Total likes: 5555
  • QE2 started a dream to go to sea - now a reality!
Oh! I had no clue. Did American star have lifeboats when being towed or no?

American Star (SS United States' running mate but not sister ship as often stated when SS America - since she was much older and smaller and slower) had all her davits and lifeboats/tenders removed some time before her final voyage since (if I recall correctly, and correct me if I'm wrong!) she was sold for scrap before being bought to become a static hotel.
First sailed on QE2 in August 2003 aged 6 years old. Last sailed on QE2 in July 2008. Last saw the seagoing QE2 in person from the decks of QM2, on QE2's last Transatlantic crossing (Eastbound tandem) in October 2008. Visited QE2 in her new life, in Dubai, in January 2020 and August 2022.

Offline June Ingram

  • Global Moderator
  • Queens Grill Diner
  • *****
  • Posts: 9465
  • Total likes: 6393
  • Beautiful, elegant QE2 - forever Queen of the Seas
QE2 - the ship for all of time, a ship of timeless beauty !

Offline Thomas Hypher

  • Queens Grill Diner
  • *****
  • Posts: 2870
  • Total likes: 5555
  • QE2 started a dream to go to sea - now a reality!
SS American Star was one of the first shipwrecks I learnt about due to a 1999 year issue (can't remember the month) of Sea Lines (the magazine of the Ocean Liner Society) I remember reading around 1999. Coincidentally this issue or another from 1999 also reported the sinking of the SS Sun Vista (the old Italian ocean liner SS Galileo Galilei) due to an engine room switchboard fire, somewhere in the Straits of Malacca. I'll have to dig this issue out and photo the front cover (with copyright permission of course!) when I'm next home since it shows the wreck SS American Star around 1999 (she was wrecked in 1994).

Thomas
First sailed on QE2 in August 2003 aged 6 years old. Last sailed on QE2 in July 2008. Last saw the seagoing QE2 in person from the decks of QM2, on QE2's last Transatlantic crossing (Eastbound tandem) in October 2008. Visited QE2 in her new life, in Dubai, in January 2020 and August 2022.

Offline Boris

  • QE2 Crew member
  • Britannia Grill Diner
  • *****
  • Posts: 178
  • Total likes: 329
  • F&B in the early 70's
... reported the sinking of the SS Sun Vista (the old Italian ocean liner SS Galileo Galilei) due to an engine room switchboard fire ... Thomas
The Merch is a small world.

I caught up with an ex-shipmate of mine about 2 months ago in UK: an ex-QE2 F&B Officer from the early 70's. He left Cunard in 1977 to take both the Galileo and the Raffaello from La Spezia to Bushehr. to serve as floating barracks for the Imperial Iranian Navy. He then managed these up until the fall of the Shah. The stories he can tell of his overland escape from Iran at that time would make your hair curl.

Offline Thomas Hypher

  • Queens Grill Diner
  • *****
  • Posts: 2870
  • Total likes: 5555
  • QE2 started a dream to go to sea - now a reality!
The Merch is a small world.

I caught up with an ex-shipmate of mine about 2 months ago in UK: an ex-QE2 F&B Officer from the early 70's. He left Cunard in 1977 to take both the Galileo and the Raffaello from La Spezia to Bushehr. to serve as floating barracks for the Imperial Iranian Navy. He then managed these up until the fall of the Shah. The stories he can tell of his overland escape from Iran at that time would make your hair curl.

Sorry to be pedantic and correct you here, but the Galileo and Raffaello were not sister ships. Michelangelo and Raffaello were sister ships and were sold together to the Shah. Galileo Galilei and Guglielmo Marconi were sister ships who went on to have very different lives as cruise ships with very different cruise lines. However, both pairs of ships were completed at around the same time and were withdrawn from their original liner services at around the same time.

Would you be in a position to share your friend and ex-shipmates stories of his escape (in another topic perhaps in the chat area of the forum)? They would make interesting reading!

Thomas
First sailed on QE2 in August 2003 aged 6 years old. Last sailed on QE2 in July 2008. Last saw the seagoing QE2 in person from the decks of QM2, on QE2's last Transatlantic crossing (Eastbound tandem) in October 2008. Visited QE2 in her new life, in Dubai, in January 2020 and August 2022.

Offline June Ingram

  • Global Moderator
  • Queens Grill Diner
  • *****
  • Posts: 9465
  • Total likes: 6393
  • Beautiful, elegant QE2 - forever Queen of the Seas
It does not appear that Boris called them sister ships. 
QE2 - the ship for all of time, a ship of timeless beauty !

Offline Twynkle

Highlander's initial post with the report investigating the break in the pipe makes interesting reading and as mentioned before as it had not been for the ingenious action taken by engineers the safety of QE2 was in question. 

http://www.maib.gov.uk/cms_resources/qe2.pdf

Hi Lynda - It does indeed!
Thanks to Ken for posting.
Just wishing that we could find the results of the  final Lloyds' Survey as well as a good copy of QE2's Deck Plans.
Please, did anyone by any chance make copies of both, or either document?
Sorry - this post is also somewhat off topic!
Rosie.

 

QE2 Transatlantic crossing when Princess Diana died (31 August 1997)

Started by Rob LightbodyBoard The 1990s

Replies: 3
Views: 1400
Last post Nov 15, 2017, 03:27 AM
by Thomas Hypher
Final Westbound Transatlantic Crossing: 10 to 16 October 2008

Started by Michael GallagherBoard QE2's Final Season and Final Voyage (2007/2008)

Replies: 26
Views: 4773
Last post Oct 11, 2021, 09:33 AM
by Lynda Bradford
A New Transatlantic Blue Riband Liner?

Started by KEVBoard Sea Shanties

Replies: 10
Views: 4690
Last post Apr 15, 2009, 12:03 AM
by KEV
Peter Marlow - QE2 1996 Transatlantic Photos

Started by Rob LightbodyBoard The 1990s

Replies: 4
Views: 1598
Last post Nov 12, 2018, 08:20 PM
by June Ingram
Winter transatlantic - a dream come true

Started by andrewBoard Passengers & Enthusiasts Introductions

Replies: 22
Views: 9275
Last post Jan 24, 2021, 11:17 PM
by Andy Holloway