Emma Mærsk experienced severe sea water ingress into the engine room. Subsequently, FORCE Technology’s experts assisted at finding the cause for the failure.

Emma Mærsk was on its way in a convoy of ships through the Suez Canal. Without warning, all the alarms were displayed in the control panels on the bridge and in the engine control room. The cause turned out to be severe sea water ingress into the engine room, which put the main machinery out of operation within a very short time. 

Thanks to the skilled and resolute crew on board Emma Mærsk the ship managed to be berthed, before all machine power had disappeared. The cause for the water ingress was a stern thruster, which had failed and torn a hole in the hull. Three broken propeller blades and cracked welds allowed the seawater to flood almost unhindered into the ship and on to the main engine room.

Failure analysis to prevent new damages

FORCE Technology has assisted A.P. Møller Mærsk with a failure and damage investigation of the destroyed stern thruster. By means of a number of technical and metallurgical examinations and analyses, performed in cooperation with the stern thruster manufacturer the root causes and the course of failure have been clarified.

The investigation is to determine all the underlying causes for the failure, so that similar failures will not occur again – neither on Emma Mærsk nor on A.P. Møller Mærsk’s sister ships, which are equipped with the same type of stern thrusters.

Highly technical expertise

The results of our technical examinations and analyses have provided A.P. Møller Mærsk with the opportunity to examine and inspect the critical area in other ships and subsequently perform necessary structural changes. 

Solving a task such as this is undertaken in close cooperation with the ship owner, the manufacturer of the component in question, the ship’s classification society and the Danish Maritime Accident Investigation Board.

“During the Root Cause Investigation of  the Stern Thruster damage on Emma Mærsk  FORCE Technology has demonstrated high level technical expertise and delivered a reliable third party investigation” states Ole Graa Jakobsen, Head of Technical Operations Maersk Line Ship Management.