3698. Weights, Center and Inertia Modeling of the Sinking Analyses of the El Faro


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Sean Kery, Dominick Cimino, Paul Bragulla: 3698. Weights, Center and Inertia Modeling of the Sinking Analyses of the El Faro. 2018.



The analysis of a ship experiencing downflooding must begin with a careful understanding of the unflooded and undamaged condition as a point of departure. From there the consumables can be adjusted vs time and the flooding can be added to successive weights calculations to build out the probable downflooding and stability progression.The 790 foot SS El Faro was lost with all hands October 1st, 2015 off the Bahamas near the eye of Hurricane Joaquin, by progressive flooding and eventual capsizing. CSRA supported the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigating the sinking by providing dynamic modeling and simulation of the accident voyage.The weights, centers and inertias of this 40 year old, much modified vessel was complicated by out of date and incorrect technical drawings, minimalist CargoMax load out documentation and lack of other critical information. While the results of the analyses were adequate to support the further modeling, they were marred by having to estimate the weights and centers in a number of areas. Sensitivity studies were used to evaluate the impact of errors in the roll, pitch and yaw gyradii on the motions in hurricane seas.


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