Damage to drive shaft lead to water influx

While travelling at 27 knots between two quays in western Sweden, there was a mechanical sound on the RIB (Rigid Inflatable Boat).
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bild1While travelling at 27 knots between two quays in western Sweden, there was a mechanical sound on the RIB (Rigid Inflatable Boat). Seconds later, there was a crashing sound. The captain realized that something had happened to the drive shafts, so he immediately reduced the speed of the two engines. He could see very quickly that it was starboard shaft, so he put the starboard engine into neutral. The alarm for high water in the engine room sounded immediately afterwards and the captain started the electric bilge pump just before he inspected the engine room. During the inspection, he could see that water was flowing into the boat. bild2For safety’s sake,
the captain choose to put the boat onto a nearby sandy beach. Between the occurrence of the accident and landing on the beach, the captain was able to dial 112 and the search and rescue services arrived at the scene with bilge pumps after about 20 minutes. The boat was then towed to a repair yard.
The probable cause of the accident was that the flexible bellows around the drive shaft had been damaged for some time and water had caused the drive shaft to rust. At that time, the bearing in the CV joint seized and parts of the joint were thrown against the shield which burst, and the boat started taking in water. It may be noted that it is well worth checking over sensitive parts such as rubber bellows.
SFu journal no. 6:05:02 2010-3412

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