The cause of the engine failure and fire onboard Lithuanian registered ro-ro cargo vessel Finlandia Seaways, which caused serious structural damage to the engine in 2018, are poor overhaul practices, MAIB said.

To remind, the vessel was hit by an engine room fire on its voyage from Zeebrugge to Rosyth on April 16th, 2018.

The vessel’s third engineer, who was on duty in the engine room at the time, suffered serious smoke-related lung, kidney and eye injuries during his escape.

The investigation carried out by the UK Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) identified that the standard and management of maintenance carried out by the vessel operator’s maintenance support contractor was a significant causal factor.

Specifically, the engine’s connecting rods had not been maintained in accordance with the engine manufacturer’s instructions. Hence, the defects introduced during component overhauls had not been identified by the ship’s crew or the company’s technical superintendents.

Furthermore, MAIB found that the significance of the damage caused to the connecting rod small ends during overhaul was not fully appreciated and although a Class survey item, Class was not kept informed.

What is more, there were no emergency escape breathing devices on the secondary escape route used by the third engineer.

A recommendation was made to MAN Energy Solutions and Lloyd’s Register to provide technical advice to DFDS on the actions to minimise the risk of a similar catastrophic engine failure, and any other vessel operators whose MAN engines might have been subjected to similar maintenance practices.

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