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New theory could explain damages to Emma Maersk

On Thursday or Friday a group of shipowners, suppliers, classification company representatives, and consultants will enter the bowels of Emma Maersk, which has been drained. This marks the beginning of the process to place the responsibility for the damage sustained to the ship. ShippingWatch has learned that a new theory is in play.

Photo: Rohde Nielsen

Emma Maersk has been pretty much drained of water in Palermo, where the ship was towed after one of its its rear side port propellers was torn loose, punched a hole in the hull, and filled the container ship with several thousand gallons of water.

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The Emma Maersk hole will now be closed

In the next few days, representatives of Maersk Line, the accident commission AAIB, Rolls-Royce, who supplied the side port propellers, and the classification company American Bureau of Shipping, among others, are headed to Sicily to begin the next chapter about the unfortunate ship, that is, to inspect the damages, which are now visible from the inside of the ship after the water has been drained. There is no real doubt that the propeller was torn loose, causing a hole in the hull. Consequently, the propeller will be removed and sent to Rolls-Royce, which produced propellers for all eight ships in the E series.

Theory about the mystery

One of the mysteries concerns why the engine room was flooded in the process. For logical reasons, the room in the ship where the side port propeller was mounted was flooded, as the hull was breached, but Maersk Line has been wondering why the water continued into the engine room. One theory is now that the plates holding the cables that run between the engine room and the room where the side port propellers are mounted weren't strong enough to keep the water out of the engine room, according to ShippingWatch's sources. As a result, these plates are already being examined on the seven other ships in the series.

Emma Maersk cargo relocated

"Everyone should have access to the same information, and our primary interest is to find out what went wrong," says Group Press Officer Michael Christian Storgaard to ShippingWatch.

Expectations are that it will be another two to four months before Emma Maersk is sailing again.

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