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Preliminary report

Summary

Preliminary report published: 27 April 2017

The information contained in this Preliminary report is released in accordance with section 25 of the Transport Safety Investigation Act 2003 and is derived from the initial investigation of the occurrence. Readers are cautioned that new evidence will become available as the investigation progresses that will enhance the ATSB's understanding of the occurrence as outlined in this Preliminary report. As such, no analysis or findings are included in this report.

What happened

On 9 February 2017, the passenger cruise ship Norwegian Star departed Melbourne, Australia, on a scheduled cruise to Dunedin, New Zealand. There were 2113 passengers and 1017 crew on board. On departure, the starboard propulsion unit (Azipod[1]) was operational and the port Azipod was under repair.

At about 0134 on 10 February, the vessel was about 18 nautical miles south-west of Cape Liptrap, Victoria, when the starboard Azipod failed. Propulsion power could not be restored and two tugs were deployed from Melbourne to tow Norwegian Star back to Melbourne. The vessel arrived back without further incident at about midnight on 11 February 2017.

What the ATSB has found so far

Based on the preliminary information, the ATSB found that the Norwegian Star experienced three separate propulsion unit failures over a period of about nine weeks. In each case, the field exciter unit for the main propulsion motor failed. The first two failures (the starboard unit in December and the port unit in January) involved a breakdown of electrical insulation and the third failure (on 10 February 2017) related to a modification made to the starboard Azipod exciter unit during its earlier repair.

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  1. Azipod is the registered trademark of ABB Oy (Finland).

The occurrence

Context

Investigation direction

Sources and submissions

 
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