Author Topic: Anchoring Problems  (Read 2895 times)

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Offline Bruce Nicholls

Anchoring Problems
« on: Nov 05, 2012, 08:44 PM »
Having just watched MSC Divina (139,400 GT) get into some difficulty recovering her anchor here in Kotor fjord I wondered how often other ships have similar problems.

Divina had been anchored all day off Kotor using her thrusters and engines to maintain position due to the restricted space. All was fine until anchor recovery began. At this point the autopilot or whatever system they were using to maintain position appeared to be disengaged. She started to drift back and sideways pulling her anchor chain across and over her bulbous bow. The anchor crew continued to haul the anchor, removing a fair bit of paint from the forward hull in the process, pulling the anchor up until it could be seen sitting on top of the bow with the bow wedged between one of the flukes and the stock. Attempts to drop the anchor again resulted in it remaining firmly wedged in place. Divina then withdrew to the far end of the fjord out of our sight to allow Seabourn Spirit to leave the quay. This was at 16.45. I did not see Divina move out of the fjord on AIS until 20.40 and can only speculate as to what they had been doing to try and shift some tons of anchor for the last 4 hours.

Is this sort of thing common. I could see it coming from my position on our terrace so why couldn't they?

Offline Rod

Re: Anchoring Problems
« Reply #1 on: Nov 05, 2012, 10:00 PM »
Bruce, it is not common. You have to understand one thing about ships.....if something can go wrong...it will! Usually at the most inconvenient time.
That having been said, in a fijord, with next to no wind or current, seems to me that somebody made a boo boo! The idea is to never  raise the anchor from a position that allows the anchor to touch the ships hull. If necessary you manoeuver to pay out more cable then use the capstan to move the ship. This can sometimes be difficult in confined waters......but thats the idea!

Offline Bruce Nicholls

Re: Anchoring Problems
« Reply #2 on: Nov 06, 2012, 10:16 AM »
Rod, the thing that surprised me was that this all happened in front of their eyes and they still carried on.
By the time the cable was being dragged over the ships hull, it sounded more like the ship breakers were at work but they still carried on. The noise must have been pretty loud aboard the ship. You would have thought the bridge would have noticed and stopped operations temporarily at least. I would hate to see how they reacted to a real emergency situation.

Online Peter Mugridge

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Re: Anchoring Problems
« Reply #3 on: Nov 06, 2012, 09:49 PM »
Do these things come up with enough force to be able to actually puncture the bottom of the hull if the ship had drifted forwards slightly?
"It is a capital mistake to allow any mechanical object to realise that you are in a hurry!"

Offline Rod

Re: Anchoring Problems
« Reply #4 on: Nov 07, 2012, 12:25 AM »
It is possible but highly unikely. Almost impossible. On the way down....YES!

Offline Bruce Nicholls

Re: Anchoring Problems
« Reply #5 on: Nov 07, 2012, 10:19 AM »
It is possible but highly unikely. Almost impossible. On the way down....YES!
Is this the voice of experience?

Offline Rod

Re: Anchoring Problems
« Reply #6 on: Nov 07, 2012, 10:08 PM »
Yes!
At one time QE2 carried a "Stem" anchor. If you do not know that is the pointy end of the ship where port and starboard sides meet. It was carried as a spare with only a short length of cable attached.
The idea being if you lost one of others then you could do a bit of rigging and still have 2 as required by law.
During a T/A to NY, about 2am during a very stormy night, the OOW saw an awesome fireworks display coming from that area! The stem anchor came loose and away it went. On the way down it punctured 2 holes in the bulbous bow. The bulbous bow was actually used as a ballast tank and was full at the time. The holes were found by divers and repaired temporarily in NY.
Some time after that in Nassau, the ship found an uncharted reef that came out of nowhere and attacked the bulbous bow. More holes!!!!
Bulbous bow was empty for that one. Technically at one point we were sinking after that one, because we were taking on water faster than it could be pumped out. Speed was reduced the bulbous bow filled and we carried on to Everglades where the bow was raised out of the water, pumped out and filled with concrete. Emergency docking in Norfolk to get the holes welded over.
Incidentally, we were in the dry dock next to the Carrier JFK which was being fitted out. No pics please you will be shot!
At our annual dry dock in Southampton, the bulbous bow was cut off and a new one fitted. The old bow was then used for test cranes at Vospers! They estimated it weighed over 100 tons! The stem anchor hawse pipe was covered over and the "spare" spare anchor positioned on 1 deck forward!