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Coast Guard: Ship fire
caused by leak in fuel line

Associated Press, by Staff

Original Article

Posted By:earlybird, 2/18/2013 4:45:58 PM

MOBILE, Alabama - A Coast Guard official says the cause of the engine-room fire on the Carnival cruise ship Triumph was a leak in a fuel oil return line. In a teleconference Monday, Cmdr. Teresa Hatfield estimated that the investigation of the disabled ship would take six months. She said the Bahamas is leading the investigation, with the Coast Guard and National Transportation Safety Board leading U.S. interests in the probe.

      


Post Reply  

Reply 1 - Posted by: ronbet, 2/18/2013 5:01:58 PM     (No. 9183596)

Perhaps I should not invoke logic here, but, if they now know the cause of the fire and have interviewed the crew, why should the investigation take six months?? Just wondering.

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Reply 2 - Posted by: coldoc, 2/18/2013 5:14:17 PM     (No. 9183616)

Thank you #1. I was thinking exactly the same thing. "We jumped to obvious conclusions so we could get our name in the paper but we don´t have the courage to make a decision" is what it sounds like to me.

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Reply 3 - Posted by: Mushroom, 2/18/2013 5:17:10 PM     (No. 9183621)

Agreeing with #1, the paperwork must be intense!

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Reply 4 - Posted by: franq, 2/18/2013 5:20:23 PM     (No. 9183632)

More like: there´s good money to be made investigating things. Milk it.

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Reply 5 - Posted by: bullhead, 2/18/2013 5:47:05 PM     (No. 9183674)

Determining what caused the fuel leak and how to prevent its recurrence will take time.

Most time consuming will be getting all participants in the investigation (Bahama government, NTSB, USCG, Carnival Cruise Lines, and probably others, e.g.- insurance companies)to agree to the findings and recommendations. In my experience, the NTSB seems in the past, to be the most politically driven and uncooperative with other agencies.

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Reply 6 - Posted by: virbots, 2/18/2013 7:12:50 PM     (No. 9183802)

#1, A partial list of remaining questions:
1. Why was the fuel return line leaking in the first place?
2. Was required preventative maintenance on the fuel system being done?
a. If so, why did this maintenance fail to find the leak? Poor training? Non-compliance with procedures? Do the procedures need to be modified?
b. If not, why was it not being done.
4. What actions will be taken to prevent a similar issue in the future?
5. What was the hot surface near the fuel return line that the oil contacted?
6. Can that hot surface be shielded from the fuel return line?

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Reply 7 - Posted by: CaptainLibra, 2/18/2013 8:51:42 PM     (No. 9183910)

As a retired USCG officer, it almost goes without saying that the fire was a result of a fuel line rupture. Dahhhh? Fuel under pressure in a line shoots out all over hot engines, etc. and burns. It sure wasn´t caused by a water line leak! Not sure why it takes six months to come to this conclusion.

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Reply 8 - Posted by: Rama41, 2/18/2013 9:38:34 PM     (No. 9183966)

Number 6 is absolutely right.

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Reply 9 - Posted by: Islander, 2/19/2013 10:28:06 AM     (No. 9184693)

Leaks happened, besides trying to prevent them, one of the responsibilities of the marine designer is to mitigate the effects of them when they do happen.
IMHO -- and I was a marine design engineer -- what is needed is what is called a "Split" engine room. These ships are diesel electric drive, not 1-engine direct drive like tankers. The Triumph as 6 "Main Engines," all driving electric generators which supply power to both propulsion and hotel loads; NOT separate AC gens for hotel.
It costs a bit extra, but is worth it IMHO, to divide the engine room in two with a firewall and a main A/C bus breaker so you can isolate either side, then run electric distribution lines both port & starboard as is done on warships.

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