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Recommendations on lubricating tank levels made in Viking Sky investigation report

Viking Sky Report: Low Lube Oil Level Caused Incident
The Norwegian cruise vessel "Viking Sky", which engines failed during a storm in the Norwegian sea

A key reason for the black-out and loss of propulsion of the Norwegian-flagged cruise vessel found to be due to engine lubricating oil tank levels being well below OEM guidelines.  

In November, the accident report for the Viking Sky, which came within 100 metres of land in March 2019 when it lost propulsion during a storm in the Norwegian Sea, was released. One of the key findings of the report was that the lubricating oil sump tanks were being maintained at between 28%-40%. This was despite Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM), MAN Energy Solutions, recommending that they be maintained at 68%-75% capacity. 

Consequently, the diesel generators shut down as a result of the loss of lubricating oil suction due to low sump tank levels, combined with pitching and rolling. This in turn caused all three operational diesel generators to shut down within 19 minutes of each other, causing blackout and loss of propulsion.

Following the findings, the Accident Investigation Board Norway have recommended that:

“All vessel owners and operators ensure that engine lubricating oil tank levels are maintained in accordance with engine manufacturer’s instructions and topped up in the event of poor weather being forecast.” 

The full Viking Sky interim report can be viewed here.

At Total Lubmarine we consider it vital to continue raising awareness of lubrication at all levels of the maritime sector, from delivering lectures to marine cadets to sending our marine lubricant engineers on-board both customer and prospective customer vessels to enhance the understanding of engineers and officers and impress upon them the importance of training. 

Read more about how Total Lubmarine is educating the industry professionals of today and tomorrow here.