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Perhaps a similar problem to the one that toppled in Southampton Water a couple of years ago. As I recall, that was down to ballasting.
 

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Perhaps a similar problem to the one that toppled in Southampton Water a couple of years ago. As I recall, that was down to ballasting.
These vehicle carriers are inherently unstable, and when they roll on the side like this, that's usually the culprit.

The fire is likely from vehicles that broke loose inside.

I think this is the one referenced from the UK a few years back:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/56e9a7afe5274a14d9000000/MAIBInvReport6_2016.pdf
 

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Latest news. ALL FOUR RESCUED. Well done!


I don't think the fire was before the capsize. I don't know what firefighting system but I'm sure it isn't WATER! Those ships would capsize if you spill of coffee you will have loss of GM from 'free surface'.


Stephen
 

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MV Carway

In 1967 or thereabouts the Grangemouth dockyard built the first of these car transporters, at least it was the first I had ever seen.
It was not the nicest looking of ships. Built for Elder Dempster it was about 1500 tons and carried 400 or 500 cars I think. It looked like a shoe box with a pointed end.

I think launch day was postponed because of high winds, launched the next day it was still windy and everything went wrong. A shackle on the drags snapped and the ship slewed round in the river and the stern dug into the far bank of the Carron, a gust of wind caught her and the bow wedged into the near bank. The ship heeled over to starboard and nearly capsized but righted itself a bit.

I was on the ship at the launch as a young apprentice along with my journeyman Eric Day and another apprentice as well as carpenters, caulkers, stagers etc to check the integrity of the vessel after the launch.

As you can imagine it was a scramble for higher ground when it looked like we were going over but when it settled we went down the engine room to do our inspection. Things were all over the place, ladders were almost horizontal, oxy acetylene gear scattered.

The two old steam tugs in attendance, Grangeburn and Kerse couldn’t pull the skin off a rice pudding so the motor tugs Zetland and Dalgrain were sent for. In the meantime the tide had turned and was ebbing at a rate of knots. It looked like it would break its back. I vividly remember a very worried looking yard manager carrying a long ladder to try and get us off, but before the diesel tugs could clear Grangemouth dock gates the foreman stager Eric Day senior had hooked up an electric winch, had an electrician standing by with fuses, tools etc and after a struggle managed, with the two steam tugs, to pull the Carway free. Saving the day without a doubt.

I don’t know how long the incident lasted, I don’t remember feeling afraid or seeing fear in anyone else, it was a sudden burst of adrenaline then a slow come down as we went below and through the engine room.

The ship sailed on completion but the lowest deck was filled with pig iron for ballast and seemed to be a success. There were others afterwards, bigger and bigger, and now it seems there is one in every port.

It was obvious that windage would be a problem when docking and light ship must have been a nightmare.

I remember the Irish chief who wore a toupee and the scouse store man who would whip any half used tins of graphite or stag paste left for a moment.

Happy days, but poorly paid.

Pitcrew.
 

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These vehicle carriers are inherently unstable, and when they roll on the side like this, that's usually the culprit.

The fire is likely from vehicles that broke loose inside.

I think this is the one referenced from the UK a few years back:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/56e9a7afe5274a14d9000000/MAIBInvReport6_2016.pdf
This is the sixth similar incident to Car Carriers this year, as reported by Tradewinds today! There have been many similar well publicised incidents in previous years.
Due to their inherent instability the cargo/ballasting operations need to be flawless and not compromised by commercial expediency under any cir***stances. When compromised you get this result!
Cheers, Chris
 

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Can you just imagine being at sea on one of these, and getting in a position where you have to order the helm hard over while at full speed, would cause a few soiled knickers i suspect
 

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Wouldn't it be better to wait for results of an inquiry rather than speculate, especially as I suspect many comments may come from persons who have never stepped aboard n auto-carrier. There are currently 998 dedicated auto-carriers sailing the worlds oceans, (okay maybe 997 at this precise moment), they will not all be as earlier described as having 'inherent instability'

Yes they are different to other vessels, that does not make them inherently unsafe, like all vessels you have to know their handling characteristics, even sister ships differ, as no doubt those with pilotage experience on here may testify.

Have I been aboard one, yes as a supt and sailing.
 

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My old shore-side company "owned" the Sunbelt Dixie. Toyota's from Japan then changed the car decks over to freezer space and loaded back with pallet fruit. Never sailed on her but onboard many times.....never any problems during my years with Reefer Express Lines.
 

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We have a series of ships from the Trans-Future Line that call into my home port of Nelson, they unload Hondas, Nelson being the distribution centre & back load to Japan several thousand tonnes of MDF, all loaded on the top cargo deck ( A large open space a bit like a Roro vehicle deck). I've often thought that the trip back to Japan would be interesting, especially skirting the edge of a cyclone or similar. I'm sure they are meticulously ballasted but with all the free board, I can't help thinking the course steered must be a compromise between best heading & most comfortable trip?
Steve.
 

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, I can't help thinking the course steered must be a compromise between best heading & most comfortable trip?
Steve.
That would be the quest of any prudent master Steve, regardless of type of vessel, having best interests of crew and cargo in mind.
 

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That would be the quest of any prudent master Steve, regardless of type of vessel, having best interests of crew and cargo in mind.
Absolutely, I guess what I was getting at was the compromise course steered by these vessels compared to a more conventional merchantman would make for interesting comparison. :)
Steve.
 

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I note from the maritime news today that the salvage operation is estimated to cost $200 million. They are planning to cut the vessel up in situ! This is the largest insurance loss in 2019 to date?
I know we haven't yet heard any results from the incident investigation but what a cost for inherent instability and lack of attention to the vessel condition on departure?
 
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