Inspections on Viking Sky continue

Paul Gunton

Paul Gunton · 26 March 2019


Three inspectors from the Norwegian Maritime Authority (NMA) are continuing their checks today (26 March) on the cruise ship Viking Sky followed their initial visit yesterday.

More inspectors from other organisations have also joined the investigation. In a statement on its website, Accident Investigation Board Norway (AIBN) said that it has now started its investigation and that the US National Transportation Safety Board and the UK’s Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) will also be taking part, because a number of passengers were from the US or the UK.

The MAIB confirmed its involvement in a tweet, saying that it had “deployed technical staff to support AIBN’s investigation.” James Hotson, head of external communications at the MAIB, told ShipInsight today that it has sent two members of staff, one of them an expert in voyage data recorders and the other with “a nautical engineering background”.

Mr Hotson explained that, because of the number of UK passengers on the ship, “we have declared ourselves a substantially interested state in the ongoing investigation,” but he said that AIBN will determine how best to use the two MAIB staff.

Viking Ocean Cruises has also begun its own internal investigation. It has updated its online statement since ShipInsight’s report yesterday and advises that its goal is to “establish a complete and thorough understanding of what happened. We welcome the investigations that have been launched, and will fully support them.”

It also said that the operator will not make any further comments until the investigations have been completed.

They are all investigating engine failures on the ship on Saturday that led to a helicopter evacuation of several passengers in bad weather before the ship was escorted into Molde on Sunday afternoon.

In a statement prepared yesterday evening, the NMA said that its team is carrying out further inspections and follow-up today, in cooperation with the police and AIBN’s marine department.

Its statement said that it was too soon to draw any conclusions on what may have caused the ship to lose its engine output outside Hustadvika on Saturday afternoon. “Nevertheless, it is a fact that there has been a blackout and we have not yet been able to determine the cause.”

The ship was examined by a diver to check for damage below the waterline; none was found. The cooling water inlets were also inspected and these “have been confirmed by the diver to be open and seemingly in order.”

Today’s inspections will also involve the ship’s classification society, Lloyd’s Register. “We will then thoroughly inspect the documentation, in order to also get a full overview of the damage to the ship that will need to be repaired,” the NMA said.

Its statement paid tribute to the ship’s crew, saying that their “competency and efforts … played an important role in the fortunate outcome.” It also commended their cooperation during yesterday’s inspection. “They facilitated a good and constructive review of the situation onboard the vessel today,” the NMA said.

Torstein Hagen also thanked the ship’s crew “for their efforts and dedication”. In his online statement he acknowledged that “the past few days have been stressful and hectic for both guests and crew” and apologised for their experience. He also thanked “the national rescue services, rescue personnel, local authorities and the people along the Møre coast” for “the concern and generosity they have showed our guests”.

NMA also provided a situation report about another ship that had run into difficulties during the weekend weather. The cargo vessel Hagland Captain was towed to Averøy, where it arrived around 1500 on Monday. It will be boarded by the classification society DNV GL today.

“As far as the NMA knows, the vessel has not touched ground, but this will be determined as part of the classification society’s follow up. The vessel is currently being unloaded,” it said.

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