As Irish Ferries W.B YEATS’ sea trials begin, could she have been a victim of sabotage?

A mobile phone picture of W.B. YEATS at the FSG shipyard on 19.10.18. There had been speculation she would commence sea-trials that day, however this never happened. Copyright © Ralf Kuhn.

A mobile phone picture of W.B. YEATS at the FSG shipyard on 19.10.18. There had been speculation she would commence sea-trials that day, however this never happened. Copyright © Ralf Kuhn.

Update 07.11.18: W.B. YEATS has returned from sea trials.  Click here to go to the photo feature.

Update 30.10.18 @ 21:00: Having completed her manouvers in and around Flensburg Firth (Flensborg Fjord in Danish), W.B. YEATS set a course for the Danish Island of Bornholm at around 09:00 (UTC).  She has been recorded reaching speeds in excess of 23 knots in open sea, and is currently south east of Bornholm itself.

Update 30.10.18 @ 00:30: W.B. YEATS appears to currently be performing some manoeuvres at low speed in and around Flensburg Firth.  She is expected to arrive off Bornholm sometime this evening or tonight.

Update 22:30: W.B. YEATS left the FSG yard at around 21:00 (UTC) this evening with the tug KIEL for what is believed to be sea trials off Bornholm.  Once sea trials are completed it is expected she will visit the Fayard shipyard in Odense (Denmark) for exhaust gas scrubbers to be fitted, as has been the case with the previous vessel to be completed at FSG ALF POLLAK.  

German media outlets NDR.de SHZ.de and Hansa (all in German) have reported that Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft have filed a complaint of sabotage with the local prosecutor in Flensburg.  The complaint relates to an incident on Irish Ferries new RoPax W.B. YEATS which caused one of her four engines to overheat.  The overheating is said to have been caused by someone deliberately closing a valve on the water cooling circuit.  An FSG spokesman is quoted as saying. “Colleagues involved working on the ship have unanimously reported that all evidence points to deliberate sabotage”.  Police are already investigating the incident which is understood to have taken place on the 17th October in the runup to rescheduled sea trials on the 26thOctober.

This latest incident means the already heavily delayed vessel will likely be delayed even further. Fahren Aktuell (in German) reports that FSG will not announce a new date for sea trials until the damaged engine is repaired with the help of engine maker MaK (part of Caterpillar Marine).  W.B. YEATS had originally been scheduled for delivery in May or Early June but has been beset by delays with the delivery date revised several times since.

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