Leaving Dry Dock: Re-floating a Cruise Ship

Thursday, December 6th, 2018 at 15:29 | by Alistair Baillie

Re-floating the cruise ship Marella Discovery at the end of her dry dock period in the Navantia Ship Yard, Cadiz. You’ll also see the sinking of dock number 2 in the background and the arrival of the Marella Dream.

The plan for leaving the dock, called for the flooding to commence at 1000 LT, when re-floating it is necessary to fill the dock until the sea chests (intakes for sea water) are submerged. Once this occurs it is possible to start the vessels own engines and disconnect the shore services (shore power, cooling water, sewage, etc.). At this time a final check is also done to ensure that no flooding is occurring in any of the vessels tanks – once the ship is happy the bridge confirm to the dock master that we are happy to proceed and flooding re-commences.

Due to the draught of Marella Discovery we required to depart the dock at high tide, unfortunately the weather turned nasty with wind speeds of over 40 kts which made it unsafe to leave and the decision was made to abandon leaving the dock at around 2130 LT, at which point we came alongside the dock and waited till the next high tide a little after 0700 in the morning.

Due to the entire automation system being replaced the ship was having to be moved as a dead ship, with the assistance of 4 tugs as it was not possible to start the propulsion. Prior to abandoning the initial attempt, you can see the lights going out on the ship several times due to experiencing loss of electrical power.

While our dock was flooding, you can see Dock Number 2, a floating dock start to sink in preparation for the arrival of Marella Dream, she arrives in the middle of the strong winds and after making a failed attempt to enter the dock succeeds on her second attempt when the wind speed reduces.

01:22 Flooding of the Dock stops to allow switching to own power
01:42 Ships generators start
02:28 Start disconnecting shore power and services
02:35 Floating Dock 2 starts to flood ready for Marella Dream
02:44 Gangway is disconnected ready for the ship to start floating
03:20 Ship starts to float
03:37 Marella Dream arrives
03:52 Strong winds cause us to move and Marella Dream to abandon docking
03:56 Dock gate starts opening
04:02 Yokohama fenders arrive and start getting placed
04:18 Marella Dream enters her dock
04:50 Strong winds continue to hit us – the decision is made to abandon leaving the dock
05:03 Marella Discovery loses power
05:23 Next morning
05:38 Tugs arrive to move us out of the dock
05:53 With 4 tugs pulling Marella Discovery finally leaves the dry dock

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