The Norwegian Maritime Authority (NMA) recently concluded that low oil pressure caused the engines to fail on the Viking Sky cruise ship, which forced 479 passengers to be airlifted from the vessel off Norway’s western coastline on March 23, 2019.
Although relatively low, the level of lubricating oil in the ship’s tanks was within the set limits when the vessel started to cross Hustadvika. The heavy seas likely caused significant movement in the tanks, which stopped the supply of oil to the pumps. This triggered an alarm, indicating a low level of lubricating oil, which in turn caused an automatic shutdown of the engines. Dozens of people suffered injuries as a result of the incident, including 36 who were hospitalized.
The NMA has issued a general safety notice about ensuring a continuous supply of lubricating oil to engines and other critical systems in poor weather conditions. This action is recommended to be done in cooperation with the engine supplier and included in the ship’s risk assessments as part of the safety management system.
Viking Ocean Cruises responded to the findings of the investigation with the following statement: "We welcome the prompt and efficient investigation carried out by the NMA, and we fully understand and acknowledge their findings. We have inspected the levels on all our sister ships and are now revising our procedures to ensure that this issue could not be repeated. We will continue to work with our partners and the regulatory bodies in supporting them with the ongoing investigations."
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