Norway Hurtigruten in heavy seas / News / The Foreigner

Norway Hurtigruten in heavy seas. As the inquiry into what happened in last week’s MS ’Nordlys’ disaster continues, company Hurtigruten ASA could be facing tougher times for now. Two crewmembers died and 207 passengers were evacuated as a result of the onboard engine-room fire, which crippled the vessel off the coast of Ålesund. There were fears at one point the severly-listing ship could capsize after the vessel started taking on water. ‘Nordlys’ was eventually righted thanks to five pumps installed by Holland-based personnel and the additional skills of Norwegian salvage crews. Exactly why the leaks occurred remains an unsolved mystery at the moment. It is also believed the onboard extinguishing system did not function, and police’s main theory is that the blaze occurred following an explosion. Machine mechanic Bjørn Kristian Berg, who was due to start duty on Sunday, has others, however.

hurtigrutenfireaalesund, msnordnorge, msnordlys



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Norway Hurtigruten in heavy seas

Published on Tuesday, 20th September, 2011 at 14:08 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last Updated on 20th September 2011 at 14:25.

As the inquiry into what happened in last week’s MS ’Nordlys’ disaster continues, company Hurtigruten ASA could be facing tougher times for now.

MS 'Nordlys' in Ålesund, 16 Sept, 2011
MS 'Nordlys' in Ålesund, 16 Sept, 2011
Photo: André Ulveseter/Kystverket/Flickr


Two crewmembers died and 207 passengers were evacuated as a result of the onboard engine-room fire, which crippled the vessel off the coast of Ålesund. There were fears at one point the severly-listing ship could capsize after the vessel started taking on water. ‘Nordlys’ was eventually righted thanks to five pumps installed by Holland-based personnel and the additional skills of Norwegian salvage crews. Exactly why the leaks occurred remains an unsolved mystery at the moment.

It is also believed the onboard extinguishing system did not function, and police’s main theory is that the blaze occurred following an explosion. Machine mechanic Bjørn Kristian Berg, who was due to start duty on Sunday, has others, however.

“There aren’t so many things that can explode down there under operation (...) [but] the crankcase is situated below the engine pistons, where the shaft also lies. There is oil in the crankcase, and what circulates in the engine goes down into the crankcase,” he tells NRK.

Claiming it is unlikely overheating caused the explosion “as the engines would have been stopped when the alarms sounded”, Mr Berg says, “Overheating could occur on the crankcase’s exterior. There could have been a fire beneath or around the engine, which led to an explosion. The diesel supply can also be ruptured, which could cause a fire in the actual engine compartment.”  

Early on Sunday morning, another Hurtigruten ship the MS Nordnorge, 'star' of NRK’s immensely popular 5-day TV transmission, crashed into a loading ramp as it docked in Båtsfjord, Finnmark. Nobody was hurt, but the ship suffered a 5 by 13-centimetre hole in the hull. Inspectors from the Maritime Directorate (Sjøfartsdirektoratet) allowed the vessel to continue its voyage.

Meanwhile, the 'Nordlys' tragedy does not appear to have affected passenger bookings, and “no one [who was aboard the vessel] has said they would not sail onwards,” according to Hurtigruten ASA Communications Director Ragnar Norum.

“Many passengers wanted to do so straight away, but our other ships were full.”

Nevertheless, he admits, “we built up reputation capital after the summer’s broadcast, but this type of situation means it has inevitably declined slightly. It’s too early to say [whether it will affect our brand significantly], but we hope and believe we will win back passengers’ trust. We are completely dependent upon this.”




Published on Tuesday, 20th September, 2011 at 14:08 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last updated on 20th September 2011 at 14:25.

This post has the following tags: hurtigrutenfireaalesund, msnordnorge, msnordlys.


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