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Pont-Aven Fire - 29 April 2019


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Has anyone got more details about what actually went wrong on PA? As someone who was on the crossing, I must say how professional the crew was during the incident.  It was good and very comfortin

Incident involving Pont-Aven 29 April 2019 Just before 04:00 this morning, crew on board Brittany Ferries Pont-Aven were alerted to a fire in the ship’s engine room. The incident occurred while P

Sorry Ed,  but I've gone in to the use of mixed fuels, scrubbers, sulphuric acid and the corrosive damage it does together with the internally explosive risks involved in switching them over on numero

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1 hour ago, Paully said:

you`ve usually plenty of time, in the summer especially weekends, to remember old times as you sit in one of their regular jams..Its the main reason I would`nt consider Plymouth sadly.

They've done a lot of work along the route. The M5 was clear at the end of March, we had a pleasant trip south to the Tiverton turn off. We're off on the Broads this weekend and have to go via Liverpool, I'm dreading the M6 on Friday morning... typical now that the M1 & A1 are clear. I feel a strategic maccy's breakfast coming on at Sandbach.

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4 minutes ago, Solo said:

It seems to be slipping back, earlier it was 12th.  Obviously more damage than thought.

Pehaps they are just playing things safe. When she had that propeller issue a year or two back, I think they cancelled crossings week by week which caused some confusion. By cancelling three weeks worth in one go they can rebook all the affected passengers and still sell any extra space without worrying. Ed. 

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30 minutes ago, Cabin-boy said:

Pehaps they are just playing things safe. When she had that propeller issue a year or two back, I think they cancelled crossings week by week which caused some confusion. By cancelling three weeks worth in one go they can rebook all the affected passengers and still sell any extra space without worrying. Ed. 

They may not have actually cancelled the crossings, by stopping new bookings it will give them more flexibility to move affected passengers.

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1 minute ago, ferrymancork said:

Armorique is showing on Port of Cork arrival system for Saturday 04th May at 20h00

 

Ed's right - that's fantastic.  A full set for the old girl, great versatility.

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38 minutes ago, David Williams said:

They may not have actually cancelled the crossings, by stopping new bookings it will give them more flexibility to move affected passengers.

I think that not running the ferry as initially advertised equates to it being cancelled, or at the very least out of service, but we can agree to disagree on the semantics. Ed

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11 minutes ago, ferrymancork said:

Armorique is showing on Port of Cork arrival system for Saturday 04th May at 20h00

 

It's interesting they have decided to do that. They didn't last time around, which was also early May from memory, and instead used the landbridge option to get people back. I wonder if they now have so much extra capacity not being used due to the Brexit delay that they can get away with diverting Armorique from one of her sparsely booked crossings. Ed

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3 hours ago, Gareth said:

Ed's right - that's fantastic.  A full set for the old girl, great versatility.

Nooooo, don't call her an old girl Gareth, she's the youngest in the fleet. It's a shame you can't book straight through from the U.K. site I have a feeling that there's a few members who may have changed their weekend plans for that trip.

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6 hours ago, jonno said:

It's a shame you can't book straight through from the U.K. site

It doesn't appear to be bookable on the French site either. They are not taking or bringing back anyone who wasn't already booked on PA. Ed. 

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Has anyone got more details about what actually went wrong on PA?

As someone who was on the crossing, I must say how professional the crew was during the incident.  It was good and very comforting to see.  They must have been worried too.

The first indication that something was wrong was when we were wakened by extreme vibration of the boat.  Much, much more than the usual thrusters operating!  Then an announcement that smoke had been detected in the engine room and to await further announcements.  Then the emergency sounded and we had to dress and go to our Muster Stations.  A crew member checked each cabin and fitted a red 'evacuated' card into the keyslot to show that it had been checked empty.  At the muster station we were issued with lifejackets.  When put on, they were individually checked by a member of crew.  After a while, we were advised that the fire had been extinguished and we could remove the lifejackets and return to our cabins.  Then the long 11-hour haul at half speed back north to Brest. Rather than the 1000 mile journey to out destination in NW Spain we opted to get the Roscoff to Plymouth ferry back to UK that evening.  This was very efficiently organised at Roscoff and we then set off on the long journey back to Edinburgh.

An interesting 6-day journey to nowhere.  Now we must plan the trip again for a future date.

Malc

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4 minutes ago, Malc said:

Has anyone got more details about what actually went wrong on PA?

As someone who was on the crossing, I must say how professional the crew was during the incident.  It was good and very comforting to see.  They must have been worried too.

The first indication that something was wrong was when we were wakened by extreme vibration of the boat.  Much, much more than the usual thrusters operating!  Then an announcement that smoke had been detected in the engine room and to await further announcements.  Then the emergency sounded and we had to dress and go to our Muster Stations.  A crew member checked each cabin and fitted a red 'evacuated' card into the keyslot to show that it had been checked empty.  At the muster station we were issued with lifejackets.  When put on, they were individually checked by a member of crew.  After a while, we were advised that the fire had been extinguished and we could remove the lifejackets and return to our cabins.  Then the long 11-hour haul at half speed back north to Brest. Rather than the 1000 mile journey to out destination in NW Spain we opted to get the Roscoff to Plymouth ferry back to UK that evening.  This was very efficiently organised at Roscoff and we then set off on the long journey back to Edinburgh.

An interesting 6-day journey to nowhere.  Now we must plan the trip again for a future date.

Malc

Thanks for the report Malc, glad to hear that you were well taken care of.

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Excellent report from someone who was there..One thing that does become apparent is that BF train their crews to a high degree to cope with these emergencies. Training costs money and one of the reasons for the higher ticket price, which only now becomes clear to see (well to most). A further point in the safety chain is that the crew operate to a single language that all are familiar with, hence orders are readily recognized and carried out. I`ll continue paying their higher prices, you never know, you`re life might depend on it. A very well done to the crew of the Pont Aven.

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Yes, I was thinking that.  And also.....I was quite surprised that they mustered everyone into lifejackets in the middle of the night if it was a small fire easily brought under control.  Did they do that on Normandie?  There must have been a time when they thought it might be quite serious.

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I would imagine getting everyone into muster stations and checking that the cabins are clear would be a standard for any fire in the engine room. Its the most vulnerable part of the vessel. At least they did it when full power and light was available, not knowing if that was going to continue to be available to them. But we are second guessing a very able Master who showed leadership and brought the Pont safely home.

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My husband has just been on the phone to them to make a booking, and the lovely lady he spoke to said they were very busy rebooking everybody due to sail over the next two weeks, and she was going to be at it until 7.30, so a lot of extra work still going on for them

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Seen on social media; "It appears that the fire started in one of the two port side engines which is irreparable and needs to be replaced". There are rumours around the Twittersphere that 'Pont-Aven' could miss most of the summer season.

Edited by TonyMWeaver
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1 hour ago, Paully said:

I would imagine getting everyone into muster stations and checking that the cabins are clear would be a standard for any fire in the engine room. Its the most vulnerable part of the vessel. At least they did it when full power and light was available, not knowing if that was going to continue to be available to them. But we are second guessing a very able Master who showed leadership and brought the Pont safely home.

Yes, far better to have people in one or several place(s) designed for the purpose where you can manage them, deal with any panic attacks or medical needs and make sure the distribution of updates and instructions reaches everyone. Those simulation videos we occasionally get to see (the last one was in St Malo I think) really prove their worth. Ed. 

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Well, that explains the vibration. Maybe the engine threw a con rod or something similar with a consequential fire. BF will have to decide if they can carry on with three until the winter or take her out of service.

As the ship is basically overpowered for normal service they might deide to carry on.

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Well that’s all fine in theory, but precautionary musters would probably be warranted every other passage by that reasoning.  Things are always going wrong on ships, and most of the time we don’t know anything about them.  I still maintain the fact that they mustered here, in the middle of the night, is an indiction they thought it was serious.  They wouldn’t do that just as a precaution.

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  • Andy changed the title to Pont-Aven Fire - 29 April 2019

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