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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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It is not unusual to replace engines via a cut out in the hull side once in dry dock. Depending on the design o the vessel, this can be far quicker than removing vertically through several decks. Perhaps on a ferry design, the vertical solution is practical up to the level of the lowest vehicle deck?

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2 hours ago, Cabin-boy said:

OK, thanks. How does such a switch affect an engine? Is it a dramatic temperature or pressure change that leads to such a failure? And if so, are they likely to be carefully checking the other three engines for signs of similar problems? Ed. 

MGO has to be kept cooler than ULSHFO due to the difference in viscosity. Switching is usually done through a manual or auto 3 way valve at high power levels over a very short space of time. This can cause gassing in the fuel system if the MGO overheats.

SOLAS  regs mean that ferry's have separate fuel tanks which is fair enough although this can aggravate the process, boilers and steam production heats HFO, coolers are used to maintain a lower temp for MGO... initial premixing is governed by the viscosity control system which controls the temp of the preheaters in the fuel system, as the MGO levels become purer the temps are reduced to stop the above mentioned gassing.

Doing the opposite switching to HFO can cause clogging if the temps are too low, the build up is an explosive risk.

Many older vessels only have the one tank and premix the fuels once the HFO falls to around 15/20% so, by the time the switchover needs to occur residual fuels have been suitably diluted with distillate - or by the time it reaches the valves the chance of volatility has been removed. The overriding problem with this process is the time it takes so it's not realistic for short sea ferries.

Back to viscosity... if MGO is also overheated it looses it lubricating properties,  it's the opposite for HFO, too cold. Engines seize.

You then have to consider the emissions. PA has both scrubbers and SCR's. Scrubbers need high temps to remove SOx, and create sulfuric acid, catalytic reduction for NOx  needs cold temps. If the scrubber gas is too hot it reacts with the ammonia in the catalysers. 

That's (NH4) SO4 and that's is exothermic.

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  • 1 month later...

Not a lot longer than expected really.

How many Etretat sisters are there again? BF may need them all!

Or.. just don't replace it... save a lot of time and money for everyone, and run from Plymouth! :) heh

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  • 5 months later...
2 minutes ago, Mpojacarman said:

Pont Aven now in Antwerp harbour, (25th Dec) presumably for engine repairs.

Noooooo - she's there, with passengers, on the Christmas cruise. Back there next week for New Year

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  • Andy changed the title to Pont-Aven Fire - 29 April 2019
  • 3 months later...

A very interesting report and thanks for posting Andy, it shows how scary the whole incident was. I’ve been reliably informed from crew members on board that it could have been considerably worse but for the brave actions of a few genuine heroes that night.

Chris

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8 hours ago, TonyMWeaver said:

That's my photo in the report too, February 2014

PA1.jpg

And my trolley token could still be the cause of the problem but, hey, I'm happy to let MAK take the blame.

Ed

(Tony, I think you should protest that the photo is unrepresentative of the actual vessel involved given the extra weight her new funnel represents and the consequent extra load placed on her engines trying to shift the thing.)

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I love the part (page 41) that says the crew who were sent to assist in fighting the fire would like to have something to eat beforehand to help with the stress of being disturbed from their sleep . That input had to be from the union shop steward .

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15 minutes ago, Chef said:

I love the part (page 41) that says the crew who were sent to assist in fighting the fire would like to have something to eat beforehand to help with the stress of being disturbed from their sleep . That input had to be from the union shop steward .

A 'Big (end) MAK' perhaps?

Ed. 

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