A Pilot Praised!

MV Pacific Dawn Photo: Unknown from web

All in a day’s work

With shipping and seafarers generally being associated with negative press reports it is extremely rare for a positive shipping report to appear in any of the mainstream press. It is therefore with pleasure that I came across the following press report from Brisbane.Pilots face similar “challenges” on a daily basis so it’s good to see at least one pilot being praised for his skills in averting a disaster. However what is most alarming is the cause. A fuse affected by a salt water leak?? JCB

PASSENGERS on a cruise ship that stopped just 70m from the Gateway Bridge in Brisbane have paid tribute to the pilot and captain who saved them from disaster. Brisbane Pilot Captain Peter Liley was the pilot on board the 245m Pacific Dawn when the liner lost all power and steering just 700m away from the six-lane bridge over the Brisbane River. Two tugs got the vessel under control, bringing her to a complete standstill 70m short of the bridge. A passenger observed that “The situation was handled very well by Captain Turnbull and his crew, and passengers were informed of all developments.” Captain Liley said he managed to stop the ship before it got to the Gateway. “I was piloting the ship and we lost all propulsion. It’s unusual, but we are trained for these sorts of things. If it was under the Gateway we could have drifted clear but it was before the Gateway.”

Capt Liley said a ship without power was prone to drift, and there was a danger it could not be stopped before hitting the bridge’s pylons. “We used two tugs to pull the ship up, and we pulled up before the Gateway. We then waited on the chief engineer on what services he could provide, but he couldn’t provide any services so we devised a plan to take the `dead’ ship back to Hamilton.” He added that the ship’s captain had investigated what caused the fault and believed a fuse had been affected by a saltwater leak. A spokesman for Carnival Australia, which operates the Pacific Dawn, said the cruise liner had suffered power problems but the fault was not a major one. “It was a temporary loss of power,” the spokesman said. “It was a controlled situation. “The ship is OK and will set off for a South Pacific cruise.

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