Tuesday, March 26, 2024


 The ship lost power and went dark for a couple of minutes and then the lights came back on but it had swung significantly off course before the lights came back on which means the rudder must have been put over while there was power and when it went out there was no power to bring the rudder back amidships and then the ship regained power and a minute later lost it again and hit the bridge. 

The entire truss section of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore is gone. Scroll over to see where the bridge is just gone and you can watch the collision.


Michael said...

The largest watercraft I've skippered was a small harbor tug for a summer.

So, was it incompetence or just a series of engineering errors that just happened to cripple a major cargo ship to destroy the bridge?

That bridge as you well know is part of Baltimore's highway loop around the city. I used to take it when my regular route to Johns Hopkins was closed for repairs.

HMS Defiant said...

It looks like she lost power a minute or two before striking the bridge. Looking at the AIS track it looks like she had her rudder over when she lost power and it just drove into the bridge. I've been on a Tank Landing Ship (LST) that lost control air coming out of Floyd Bennet Field and all the Main Engines dropped to no-load idle and we damn near hit the Marine Parkway Bridge. We had just turned loose the tug and it totally ignored us as we spent the next 15 minutes trying to claw off the beach and avoid the bridge using just the bow thruster. As a kid I used to hear about big ships hitting the Chesapeake Bay Bridge all the time back when I would visit cousins in Virginia Beach but that was 50 years ago.
I think something went bad in the generator and their Automatic Bus Transfers didn't work properly or like my first ship, the governor on the Emergency Diesels overspeed tripped them off the line as soon as they started. We had to call in a Woodward specialist to find out what was going on with my #1 EDG because nothing we did would keep it from tripping the overspeed. Fortunately the #2 EDG could carry enough of the vital load to keep the steam plant on line until we could roll another SSTG.
You can see they got power back just a minute or so before colliding with the bridge.

Dan said...

Commercial ships lose power occasionally. And they have back up systems. It takes a couple minutes for back ups to kick in. This loss of power happened at about the worst possible moment. Considering how many of these massive ships enter and leave ports every day it's a minor miracle this doesn't happen more frequently. No conspiracy, no terrorism, just a tragic accident.

Anonymous said...

It wasn't a collision, it was an allision

HMS Defiant said...

I remember asking what difference it made and was told none at all. Career ender to hit anything. I remember one of the Sweep CO's went to Court Martial for running aground. His crime? His Single Oropesa Float and otter grounded on the bottom about 500 yards offshore up in Strait of Juan de Fuca.