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Precis File
source ATSB
type D
dead 0

Brand new, highly automated French ship built at Gydnia. As a result, BV allowed 18 man crew for a 165239 dwt ship. Has a battery based, system for maintaining 24 V DC power to generator control circuits. The power from the automatically charging batteries is passed thru a voltage stabilizer. The stabilizer tripped on overload for reasons the Australians could not ascertain. System was not fail safe, so it shut off, and all three generators shut down.

The emergency generator started automatically and synced into the emergency swbd in 8 seconds. However, due to a loose connection in a control box, the rudder would not turn to starboard which is what they needed. Apparently, this circuit had never been tested. The ship had discovered a number of other loose connections in the first few months of service.

The Master let go the anchors; the ship ran over the starboard anchor as it grounded, holing No 4 water ballast tank.

source CTX
type L

This casualty is reflective of at least three major problems withg the current regulatory system.

  1. The drive to reduce crew size down to ridiculously low levels, in part by replacing crew with more and more complex automation. In this case, crew was 7 French, 11 Turks,
  2. Totally ignoring interdependencies to save a few dollars. There is little point in having three generators if a single fault takes all three down.
  3. The quality of the yard trials and tests accepted by CLass.

The decision to let go the anchors was a mistake, especially since the bottom was soft. The ship was initially at 10.2 knots. There is no way anchors are going to slow down a fully load 165,000 ton ship materially. The only thing the anchors could do is make things worse.

It is interesting that emer gen started in less than 10 seconds. SOLAS allows 45 seconds. Clearly the SOLAS requirement is unnecessarily lenient.