Two catastrophic engine failures, one resulting in a fire, on board a ro-ro passenger ferry
On 26 August 2018, a ro-ro passenger ferry suffered a catastrophic main engine failure as it prepared to enter a river on its regular crossing. This was the ferry’s second catastrophic main engine failure in less than a year, the failed engine being the replacement for the previous failure that had resulted in a fire and serious injuries to an engineer officer. On 14 December 2018, the vessel suffered a third catastrophic engine failure. On this occasion, the failed engine was a new build and had been in operation for just 389 hours..
- insufficient technical oversight of the engines’ operating parameters
- standards of maintenance management and quality control
- engine component and auxiliary system design problems
- a lack of clear ownership for engine maintenance and engine condition monitoring
We are grateful to the UK Marine Accident Investigation Branch for providing details. We acknowledge their commitment to sharing learning to benefit others. If you have similar operations, please share this information with managers, operatives and any potentially affected third parties as appropriate. Please also review any of your relevant operations for similar hazardous conditions, risks, and controls.
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