Marine Engineering Services
Brookes Bell’s Marine Engineers investigate a wide range of incidents, large and small. Through site attendance and documentary review, they consider all aspects of machinery failures, including propulsion and auxiliaries, cargo and environmental systems.
Through in depth practical experience they can consider and provide expert opinion on the actions of the crew, the knowledge of the relevant parties, the underlying factors, systematic and systemic failures. They provide prompt and accurate preliminary advice followed by detailed analytical comment to a forensic level, as required.
Brookes Bell’s Marine Engineers are concerned with a wide spectrum of engineering technology. Our engineers are highly qualified and experienced with vast practical experience gained during having served in senior ranks on board and during the process of years of carrying out investigations and surveys on site.
They investigate a wide range of machinery failures including propulsion engines, both slow and medium speed diesel, steam turbines and diesel electric. They also consider auxiliary machinery failures including generators, electrical failures and control and instrumentation.
Brookes Bell's Marine Engineers knowledge and expertise also extends to machinery and systems outside of the engine room, including for example those for cargo and inert gas.
Over recent years Brookes Bell Group has expanded and developed its specialist capabilities with regard to the forensic investigation of crane incidents. We have been involved with numerous cases where our advice has been tested to the highest level in matters concerning crane design, operation and failure.
We are able to attend incidents on a worldwide rapid response basis with experienced engineers located in both the Far East and UK. Whilst many crane disputes initially appear to be relatively minor, it is common for associated costs to rapidly escalate when the consequences of the incident are fully evaluated and assessed. Accurate advice provided at an early stage can save clients significant costs being incurred as matters progress.
The complementary skill sets within Brookes Bell, including engineering, metallurgy and high end computational analyses, can be combined as required, without duplication of work, to best suit the technicalities of the problem faced.
Whilst historically our core specialism has involved the investigation of shipboard cranes, we have also been successfully involved with incidents relating to shore side port and offshore cranes and lifting appliances.
Hull and Machinery Surveys
Brookes Bell Group has experienced and highly trained Marine Engineers and Naval Architects who cover all aspects of hull and machinery surveys for collision damage, groundings and structural failures. Condition surveys, pre-purchase surveys and on/off‑hire surveys are also dealt with by our Marine Engineers and Naval Architects and, where appropriate, Master Mariners.
Together with our Fire Experts, our Marine Engineers investigate engine room fires and explosions and assess the nature and extent of damage. Thermographic surveys can also be arranged and used for loss prevention and investigation aspects. Flooding of machinery spaces and cargo compartments is also dealt with by our Marine Engineers and Naval Architects.
Brookes Bell deals with all types of marine vehicles, including commercial vessels, offshore vessels and installations and yachts (including super and mega yachts). Detailed repair specifications can be prepared and used for comprehensive tendering to ship repairers and shipyards on a worldwide basis. Monitoring of repairs at shipyards is provided by our global network of offices and, in particular, from the Far East offices. Repair invoices are analysed and appropriately approved.
Our Marine Engineers also become involved with assessment of the nature and extent of damage to project cargoes where machinery and structures are involved.
For the ship owner and manager, breaches of MARPOL regulations potentially represent their largest uninsured risk. In the present rapidly evolving regulatory climate, major emphasis has been placed on environmental protection. It is of a high order of importance for ship owners and managers to be fully aware and compliant with current requirements and to look forward to the necessary implementation of future legislation. It is important for P&I Clubs to assure themselves that their members are taking adequate measures to reduce the levels of associated environmental risk.
Brookes Bell Group has independent Marine Surveyors and Consultants who specialise in the forensic investigation of marine casualties and incidents on a worldwide basis, ultimately providing evidence in court and arbitrations as expert witnesses. Because of Brookes Bell’s experience in having investigated numerous pollution incidents to their ultimate conclusions, we are ideally placed to advise ship owners, in a pro-active manner, with regard to reducing the risk of potential future incidents involving their ships. Brookes Bell has developed a programme of MARPOL auditing which has now been successfully carried out on a large number of vessels.
On-board surveys are aimed at covering all aspects of operation with regard to environmental issues, utilising a pragmatic risk-based approach to identify both weak areas and strong areas in comparison to present policy and relevant regulations. This audit programme is considered to be industry leading, providing advice to best practice, beyond the baseline of regulatory compliance.
We have assisted ship owners and managers in development and implementation of MARPOL compliance programmes, provided on board training to ships' staff and shore based training to both senior seagoing and office based management personnel.
During the course of its core business Brookes Bell Group is commonly required to consider the management of vessels which we have done so to the highest level, providing relevant expert witness evidence in court and arbitration proceedings.
This forensic insight into technical management has developed and expanded into providing services to managers and owners to consider the adequacy and improvement of their own practices. We have also acted in complex disputes between technical managers and owners. Brookes Bell can provide tailored audit services to assess manager performance.
At a contractual stage, we have provided technical input to modifications to the BIMCO Shipman contract, after identifying the key technical needs of the parties concerned. This has also involved the selection and assessment of ship managers and acting as technical consultants in contract negotiations.
Forensic Engineering for Machinery Failures
Brookes Bell Group has experienced Marine Engineers, Metallurgists and Fuel Chemists who investigate machinery failures of all types in the marine and offshore environment, including main propulsion and power generation systems, auxiliary machinery and cranes (ships, offshore, shore-side). These investigations are performed at a forensic level, bringing in other skill sets at Brookes Bell, such as metallurgy, tribology and Fuel Chemistry who undertake detailed examinations of engine parts, generating further evidence to link potentially with the findings of the engineering and fuel testing investigations. We deal with all types of wear processes, fatigue, overload and corrosion issues.
Our metallurgical laboratory facilities allow samples, including large items such as sections of propulsion shafting, crankshafts/bearings, crane wires, etc., to be stored following formal custody transfer procedures, so that they are available for further examination and testing jointly with other experts. These skills and facilities are frequently used during expert witness litigation cases.
Our Marine Engineers become involved with investigation of electrical power failures at a forensic level, re constructing scenarios and analysing alarm recorders. Refrigeration plant and HVAC systems are also covered by our Marine Engineers.