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Trouble at Sea!

After a series of setbacks and embarrassing delays, the NRP Mondego returned to the sea this morning, after having been moored in the Port of Caniçal after being towed by two tugboats after suffering yet another breakdown last week.

This morning’s operation was to conduct sea trials and to ensure the operationality of the ship.  The sea trials took place between the Desertas and Caniçal.

According to a Naval press statement:

On the night of March 27, 2023, about 8 km south of the Port of Funchal, towards Selvagens, the NRP “Mondego” suddenly lost power from its two remaining electrical generators and the two propulsion engines.

The ship was always safe, and two tugboats were called and towed it, without incident, to the Port of Caniçal.

The ship is operational! The cause of the sudden shutdown of four diesel engines, two electric generators, and two thrusters, resulted from low fuel levels in the service tank that powers the respective engines and generators.

After the service tank was refuelled, the two generators and the two thrusters started without problems.

Investigations are underway to discover if there is a problem with the low fuel alert mechanism and understand why fuel wasn’t transferred from one of the nine reserve tanks on board. This process will include testing the quality of the fuel in the tanks to exclude their shutdown for reasons of degradation.

The ship remained inactive and without sustainable power for two days.

Samantha Gannon

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