MSC Opera hit by engine explosion in Baltic

16th May 2011, 09:56
Report from sky news Ship has been completely disabled and is being towed into port. No electricity, no toilets etc.

Peter Eccleson
16th May 2011, 10:02
Bit more here

16th May 2011, 15:51
Sounds similar to what happened on Carnival Splendor.

Don Matheson
16th May 2011, 16:03
First thing mentioned was the lack of toilets, due to the engines being down. Why exactly, is there a big paddle that goes round with the engines beating the sh*t and throwing it over the side.
I would have thought a modern ship would have a more modern system


Jeff Taylor
16th May 2011, 16:59
vacuum flush=electricity. No lights, no poop.

Don Matheson
16th May 2011, 17:03
Jeff I sort of figured that out. My point being that all the reports say she had lost propulsion as her engines were down. I would assume that like other ships she has emergency generators. If she is DE and has lost everything then they have a serious problem, something for the builders as I believe she is brand new.


16th May 2011, 18:09
Don, the problem appear's to be with a Switchboard(s), as forthbridge has indicated it is not the only vessel of this style to have this problem.

Satanic Mechanic
16th May 2011, 18:12
Don, the problem appear's to be with a Switchboard(s), as forthbridge has indicated it is not the only vessel of this style to have this problem.

This is another one that sometimes puzzles me - it must be one wild malfunction to take out both boards - not say it can't happen but it is pretty unlucky.

Jeff Taylor
16th May 2011, 18:13
One press release mentioned fire in the switchgear, and other sources mentioned an explosion in a main engine. Somewhat confusing, but the implication seems to be that whatever the initial problem--probably the engine explosion--it must have knocked out the remainder of the plant, and I suspect the emergency generator(s) are not sized to pick up much besides communications and some other minimal items. a la Carnival, it sounds like deja vu all over again. As for the toilets, besides vacuum what else could you do other than a gravity system, and that would require a good deal more water for flushing I would think.

Don Matheson
16th May 2011, 18:38
The passengers were complaining of no lights, surely that is a major function of the emergency generator! If its not supporting lights then why have it. Worked with lots of EGs over the years. Ships, Oil rigs and ashore in hospitals and the like everyone supported lighting.
Also if you have lights you can see that the toilet is not working!


16th May 2011, 18:41
This is very interesting.
They must normally run everything from their main boards and diesel generators, stepped down to auxiliary boards through transformers.
If they had auxiliary diesels, they would be able to run their auxiliary boards seperate from the main by not closing the tie breakers.

Or else they have had a big control failure that is not allowing the auxiliary board to be powered up, if they have aux DGs.

They are on their emergency diesel and the emergency is not supporting the potable and sanitary vaccum system. I expect also they only have emergency lights, which would be alleyways and stair towers.

Ron Stringer
16th May 2011, 20:14
I would assume that like other ships she has emergency generators.

She surely must, they are required to do so under SOLAS. However the emergency generators have only to power a reduced sub-set of the normal, at sea, full load. Circuits not essential for the safe navigation of the vessel need not be powered.

(Sorry for the delay in responding, my wife insisted that I left the PC and had my dinner!).

16th May 2011, 20:41
The highly complex circuitry and control ofpopulsion motors distribution of power and complex process control of prome movers I would not try even making a guess what the cause was untill al the evidence was gathered.

Don Matheson
16th May 2011, 20:53
I would hesitate to suggest that a passenger ship that carries people unused to ships and their layout would require lighting to get them from a darkened cabin to boat decks and that there should be lighting available at the boats. Last big platform required that 1 light in every four was lit by emergency generator and then became the battery set.
I am not suggesting that every light should be lit but I do say that some of
them must be.


22nd May 2011, 10:53
MSC = More Scrap Coming

fred henderson
23rd May 2011, 21:06
I seem to remember a switchboard failure disabling Canberra many moons ago.

24th May 2011, 06:27
Only because the reverse current trip didn't trip on the outgoing turbo alternator which then started motoring; the Third Engineer levered the breaker out and lived. The resulting arc and fire put Canberra out of service for several months in 1962 or 63; made it to Malta.

24th May 2011, 23:28
MSC Opera is back at sea already. Passed through the Dover Strait bound for Southampton this evening.

Chief Engineer's Daughter
27th May 2011, 14:16