(www.MaritimeCyprus.com) A ship power failure is a situation in which power generation or distribution is temporarily interrupted or disturbed. Failure or overload in the ship's electricity distribution system can result in a partial or complete loss of electrical power, i.e. a blackout. Ship power failure might occur when the generation or distribution of power is dysfunctional resulting in blackout. In critical ship manoeuvering time if such failure occurs can have results with huge consequences. Collision, contact damage with a shore structure or running aground are example of some worst power failure cases. Depending on circumstances, however, if power can be restored immediately a ship may avert such a disaster.
This safety study report describes the investigation process, gives general information about power failures on ships and presents acts and regulations concerning power failures on ships.
The reports on specific cases as well as a joint analysis on them are included. At the end of this report safety recommendations are presented. By implementing them, similar accidents and incidents can be avoided in the future, or their consequences can be mitigated.
The purpose of safety investigation is increasing public safety, preventing accidents and incidents as well as mitigating damages caused by accidents. Safety investigations do not consider possible liabilities or obligations to compensate for damages. The use of investigation reports for any purpose other than to improve safety must be avoided.
Power failures in narrow fairways and in areas with dense traffic can cause very serious sea and environmental accidents. The safety study strived to identify causes for power failures on ships. An evaluation concerning factors that decreased or increased safety was also conducted. These are presented in the incident reports included in this safety study.
Information about the power failure cases included in this safety study was received from the Finnish Transport Safety Agency, the Finnish Transport Agency, Finnpilot Pilotage Ltd. and shipping companies. 12 cases of power failures, or incidents with similar consequences, were investigated.
The scope of the investigation of individual cases was limited to the component, system- and operational- levels. None of the investigated cases did result in a very serious sea accident or environmental accident.
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Source: Finnish Transport Safety Agency