Carnival Cruise Liner Fire – Towing Winch by Markey Machinery There for the Long Haul

By George Backwell at November 22, 2010 03:22
Filed Under: General

Carnival cruise liner Carnival Splendor was left drifting helplessly about 55 miles off the Baja California coast after being disabled by an engine-room fire on 8, November 2010, with 3,299 passengers and 1,167 crew on board. Fortunately powerful sea-going tugs, among them the tugboat SMBC Monterrey, stationed not far away at the Costa Azul, Mexico, LNG terminal, were on hand to help tow the stricken Carnival Cruise liner to San Diego. Indeed the tow made such rapid progress that it was possible to disembark the unhappy passengers on US soil instead of the nearest Mexican port of refuge.

Towing the giant 113,300 gt, 952 ft cruise liner, would pose problems for many tugboats, especially in Pacific Ocean swells, but not for the powerful SMBC Monterrey, built in the UNV shipyard in Valencia, Spain, around Markey Machinery's DESDF-48WF high-speed, 760-hp double drum waterfall-type electric hawser winch.

According to the online Maritime Reporter in August 2009 in an article 'Push and Pull', the massive self-tensioning towing winch dominated every aspect of the SMBC Monterrey's original design, which called for the tug to be  capable of a sustained line pull of 75 tons in a +2m significant swell during its everyday work of bringing ocean-going vessels into Mexico's Costa Azul LNG terminal; a capability that made it ideal for the Carnival Splendor tow.

The Markey Machinery towing winch features automatic 'render-recover' technology, itself pioneered by Markey, which provides safe line control by operating within an upper and lower tension range selected by the tug's master. By this means, under dynamic sea conditions, slack is kept out of the towing line, avoiding ‚'snatching' and consequent danger of parting the tow.

Interestingly, the SMBC Monterrey's towing hawser was not FSWR, but a composite cable-laid 10 inch circumference soft fiber rope, ideally combining flexibility, flotation ability and sufficient strength for the cruise ship's long haul to safety.

Quoting a Carnival Cruise Line spokesperson on 16, November 2010: "Carnival Splendor was towed to San Diego following the fire.  A team from the U.S. Coast Guard, NTSB and flag authorities, along with Carnival's engineers and technicians, is currently on board investigating the cause ..."

Comments (3) -

Whay an emergency. A 110 k Tons, close to 300 M long vessel, with over 4400 people onboard disabled by a fire? How does a fire disables a multi engine rooms vessels. The topic of the interesting article is the capable Tug that tows a supper sized vessel is open ocean swells,  is quite impressing on its own. But, as a reader with some bbackground I will very much appreciate details on the fire circumstences that caused the vessel to lay "dead-in the water". Please provide the that information.

Z. Yanai Capt. IN (Ret) |     11/23/2010 4:40:59 PM #

I would like them to release the finding of the cause of the fire and what lead up to it and how the crew reacted during the accident. Im sure there will be a lot of interesting things in that report.

Kerlan LaCaille, engine cadet |     11/24/2010 8:32:24 AM #

I was on the Splendor.  The tugboat VB Chihuahua was the first to arrive and actually started the tow alone achieving an impressive 4.8 knts. by itself.

Thomas P. |     12/2/2010 7:15:48 PM #

Comments are closed

Tag cloud