A Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak MH-65 Jayhawk helicopter crew delivers personnel to the conical drilling unit Kulluk, southeast of Kodiak on Monday. Response crews have been fighting severe weather in the Gulf of Alaska while working with the Kulluk and its tow vessel Aiviq.
Photo: Petty Officer 3rd Class Jonathan Klingenberg U.S. Coast Guard
They should have secured it until the weather calmed down and they had a weather window to move.
Rigs here in the north sea often wait weeks for the anchors to be pulled until there is a weather window to move.
What I want to know is the means by which the fuel day tanks of the M/V Aiviq were sabotaged as water, dirt, and bacteria are primarily removed by centrifuges; and, filters on each engine also block sediment, rust scale from piping and the aforementioned contaminants prior to entering an engine.
Receiving fuel aboard is accompanied by checks of fuel quality for water, using a color change paste on sounding gear during loading. Fuel is transferred thru a bulk filtration system or a centrifuge to a “day tank” from which the ship’s engines draw from. In rough seas the centrifuge draws on the day tank to purge condensation collecting near the bottom baffles.
Engines have individual filtration ahead of entering the injection system, and in practice the vagaries of pipe routing usually results in one engine to lose fuel pressure>power first as a heads up for the rest. My particular ship tended to lose a generator first if rough seas stirred up contaminants off the tank bottom or upper sides of the tank walls where condensation promotes bacteria.
As the day tanks are protected from collision damage to the outer hull by secondary tanks, sudden water entry is unlikely. For 4 mains to suddenly suffer fuel issues forcing the vessel adrift is beyond credulity.