'Emma Maersk' Likely Months Out of Service

Press Release
Thursday, February 07, 2013
Afterpart 'Emma Maersk': Photo credit Maersk Line

Palle Laursen, Head of Ship Management for Maersk Line, shares the latest update on the 'Emma Maersk' Suez incident.

Initial inspections by divers show that the water ingress was caused by damage to one of the stern thrusters. Thrusters are used for improving the vessels manoeuvrability and consist of a shaft tunnel fitted with a propeller delivering sideways thrust. It is now known that several propeller blades have broken off and there is severe damage to the propeller mounting, resulting in a crack in the forward stern thruster tunnel which caused the ingress of water.

The water flooded the engine room which consequently led to the loss of main engine power, and Emma Maersk was towed to the quay at Suez Canal Container Terminal.

While it is still unclear what caused the damage, Palle rules out any human error by the crew. “The crew handled the situation very well and did exactly what they should at all stages,” he says.

“The E-class has been sailing well since 2006, and the thrusters are used at every port call,” Palle adds, stressing that for now it is seen as an isolated incident. “Until we know the exact reason, however, we have as a precautionary measure instructed the other vessels in the E-class fleet not to use their stern thrusters.”

At no point was Emma Maersk in danger of sinking. Naval architects have confirmed that a fully loaded E-class vessel can sustain full flooding of the engine room and still stay afloat. Large container vessels have a natural better stability than smaller vessels. Had the incident occurred at sea, it would have been a matter of getting an oceangoing tugboat in place to assist.

Fixing a hole
Making Emma Maersk seaworthy again is a complicated process, and Palle admits it is probably a matter of months before she can enter service again.

The first priority is to preserve the equipment, which ironically means keeping it submerged for the time being. Due to its exposure to salt water, any contact with oxygen will result in corrosion. So the plan is to have underwater welders plug the hole before lifting the vessel further, after which the remaining cargo onboard will be unloaded, water will be pumped out, and the equipment will be washed with fresh water, dismantled and retrofitted.

All this may sound simple enough, but there are several uncertainties, says Palle. It is still unclear whether a full dry-dock operation is needed, for instance. Even if it can be done while the vessel is waterborne, there is the question of location: is Suez suitable for the operation, or is it necessary to tow the vessel to another location?

These and other questions will be determined during the coming days and weeks.

Maritime Reporter September 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds


MARAD Funds Study on LNG As Propulsion Fuel

The Maritime Administration (MARAD) has announced a $900,000 cooperative agreement with Totem Ocean Trailer Express Inc. (TOTE) to further develop knowledge

USS Porter Hosts Career Day

The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Porter (DDG 78) hosted a group of 9th and 10th grade students from the International School of Vlore, Albania

Hempel at 'Danish Maritime Days' in Copenhagen

Hempel will take part in the Danish Maritime Days (DMD) event next week and make presentations at the DMD Technical Conference, which is being held in cooperation with Danish Maritime,


Woman Medevaced from Cruise Ship off SouthWest Pass

The Coast Guard medevaced a 50-year-old woman from a cruise ship 225 miles southeast of Southwest Pass, Saturday. Watchstanders at Coast Guard District 8 received a call at approximately 9 a.

Demands for Icebreaker Tours Spiral

Plans to terminate commercial tours to the North Pole on the nuclear-powered icebreakers of the Atomflot company in 2016 have surged the demand for these tours.

New Chair for Townsville Port

The Palaszczuk Government has appointed one of Queensland’s most respected businesswomen, Renita Garard as the new Chair of the Port of Townsville. In a statement released earlier today,

Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Navigation Pipelines Pod Propulsion Ship Electronics Ship Repair Ship Simulators
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1983 sec (5 req/sec)