Diesel Generator Failure aboard Offshore Supply Vessel Red Dawn

What Happened

About 1544 local time on December 13, 2017, the offshore supply vessel Red Dawn was transiting through the North Pacific Ocean en route to resupply the radar station Sea-Based X-Band Radar (SBX-1). When the vessel was about 375 miles south-southwest of Amchitka Island, Alaska, its no. 2 main diesel engine suffered a mechanical failure that led to the ejection of​ components from the cylinder block, consequently destroying the engine. No pollution or injuries to the 12 crewmembers and 33 passengers on board were reported. The estimated damage to the Red Dawn totaled $957,000.

What We Found

​​The probable cause of themechanical failure on board offshore supply vessel Red Dawn was a connecting rod assembly on the no. 2 diesel engine that came loose and separated from the crankshaft due to improper tightening (torqueing) of the connecting rod bolts during the previous engine overhaul.​