New Zealand’s Transport Accident Investigation Commission (TAIC) has published its report on the February 9, 2017, accident in Port Chalmers, Dunedin, on board the cruise ship Emerald Princess, in which a nitrogen cylinder burst, causing one fatality.
On the said date, the crew of Emerald Princess were re-pressurising the gas cylinders after maintenance of a stored energy system providing an alternative means of launching lifeboats in the event of power failure. A crewmember died when a nitrogen cylinder burst at below normal working pressure.
It was discovered that the cylinder casing had become weakened by corrosion and was reduced to about 30 per cent of its original thickness. The failed cylinder and several others in the system were not fit for purpose despite having been surveyed recently and should not have been in service.
The TAIC report highlights and explains two safety issues:
TAIC made two new recommendations:
The report also details a number of safety actions taken by the operator of Emerald Princess and other relevant authorities to prevent a recurrence of the accident on any of its ships.