Author Topic: Transatlantic Pipe Break Incident (21-22 May 2002 engine room flooding)  (Read 11201 times)

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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

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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

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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 »
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Offline Thomas Hypher

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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

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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

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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
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Offline June Ingram

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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. 
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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!!!!!

 

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