Azimuth thrusters provide to a ship amazing manoeuvrability, but also not the easiest to handle, especially if something goes wrong.
It is relatively easy to troubleshoot steering problems on a conventional vessel with a two-stroke engine, one rudder and one propeller. Even though, there are not many options on how to regain control.
From the other hand, there are many choices on a vessel driven by azimuth thrusters. But there are also many things that can screw up the situation. And such bad experiences are not uncommon, unfortunately.
Understanding basic principles of ship maneuvering, steering and power-management systems and proper communication between Bridge and Engine teams might really save the day sometimes. That’s why crew has to be prepared to deal with steering troubles and find an efficient solution in the quickest way possible.
Workshop was carried out on the latest Transas combined Bridge and Engine room simulator. Following scenario was introduced to cadets: vessel transiting Singapore strait all of a sudden started to get various problems with steering: hydraulic pump failure, uncontrolled thruster movement, feedback loop failure, partial blackout. Both bridge and engine teams had to communicate and find the best solutions for each step of the problem, also it wasn’t always easy. Emergencies are never standard. Sometimes you have a lot of sea room and time to solve a problem and sometimes you have to deal with it being at risk of imminent collision or grounding.
So far, everything went well, thanks to the guys from “Odessa Maritime Academy” for great commitment and performance.
Special thanks to our event photographer Jordan and editor Esmeralda, for a photo report, which you can find below.