Page 24: of Maritime Reporter Magazine (July 2001)
Technical teams from Victoria Shipyard, Alstom and Kamewa assess the damage to Infinity's propeller. was two-fold — close proximity and capability. The yard, which is located on the Southern tip of Vancouver Island is only a four-and-a-half hour transit time from where the vessel had been docked.
In addition, Victoria is the sole facility in the area capable of accommodating
Infinity. Its graving dock, which mea- sures 1,176 x 126 ft. (358.6 x 38.4 m) can handle vessels up to 100.000 dwt.
According to Malcolm Barker, manag- er of Ship Repair for the yard, other rea- sons prevailed as well. "We (Victoria) are the largest drydock on the west coast, next to San Francisco
Dry Dock," Barker said. "Geo- graphically we were the first choice, in addition to our already-established relation- ship with Celebrity."
While Victoria proved to be a smart choice economically, the yard ran into one significant logistical roadblock as it read- ied for Infinity's arrival — two vessels already occupied the yard's drydocks; Canadian
Naval vessel HMCS Pro- tecteur, and Sarga Sea, a Russ- ian-flag fish factory trawler.
The former was already three months into a nine-month refit project, while the latter was in the process of having its interior design finalized; both therefore had to be moved for berthing at the shipyard's landing wall. In addition, customized keel blocks had to be constructed specif- ically for Infinity. According to Barker, it took three days to reset the blocks (where Protecteur had been berthed) from 5.2 to 12 ft. so that Infinity could be drained and drydocked properly.
Upon the vessel's arrival on June 14. crews from both Alstom and Kamewa (the pod's manufacturers) were flown in and worked round-the-clock to identify the problems. According to Barker, once the pod is stripped down, the technical crews assessed that the bearing was indeed showing signs of detoriation.
There were also indications that metal was seeping into the vessel's hydraulic oil. And while the ship was still able to move at 22 knots, the bearing was poised for failure — ultimately lending to Celebrity's decision to dry dock.
Barker added that the old bearing was removed and new bearings were then fitted into the starboard side unit. As an extra precaution, Celebrity opted to replace the vessel's port side bearing as well.
Subsequent to testing of both units.
Infinity was deemed fit to return to sea and departed Victoria Shipyard on June 21 — one day ahead of schedule.
However, Royal Caribbean, Celebri- ty's parent company, admitted that these mechanical failures would lead to low- ered financial returns during the second quarter. The company indicated that repairs, refunds and other compensation to Infinity passengers would impact earnings of that quarter anywhere from $0.03 - $0.04. per share.
As a result. Equity Research Analysts
Lazard Freres have cut their 2002 EPS estimate to $1.96 from $2.09. Despite
RCCL's added compensation expenses,
Lazard analysts continue to rate the line at Hold.
Illegal Dumping Continues
One problem that RCCL managed to avoid so far this year, however, is illegal dumping, a violation, which scarred the line when it was fined $6.5 million in
October 1999 for dumping oily bilge water and other pollutants into Alaskan waters. This area was once again tainted this past May, this time by Norwegian
Cruise Lines, who was cited for illegally dumping concentrated sewage into the scenic Inside Passage, according to the
U.S. Coast Guard. The line's Norwegian
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