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Carrier's engineers praised for alertness and expertise

HMS Prince of Wales' fuel team - l-r PO Matthew Dugard, LET Fabian Providence, LET Simon Tulakepa, PO Giuseppe Cerasuolo
21 April 2021
The alertness, expertise and determination of a senior rating and his team spared Britain’s biggest warship a major engineering job.

The fuels’ section of the marine engineering department on HMS Prince of Wales have been singled out for their work fixing the carrier’s secondary fuel separators – faults which the manufacturers didn’t believe initially and which would have damaged the 68,000-tonne warship’s mighty MT-30 main gas turbines.

Petty Officer Giuseppe Cerasuolo was carrying out rounds while on duty one weekend in Portsmouth when he encountered two faults with the carrier’s secondary fuel separators.

He used all sources of information available to him to arrive at the correct diagnosis as to the cause of the fault… but his diagnosis was challenged remotely by the manufacturer.

Giuseppe stood firm and supported all of his findings – which were subsequently confirmed by a visit from the equipment’s maker. 

His succinct and accurate brief to the chain of command allowed the carrier’s senior officers team to raise the appropriate signals and communicate the wider issue to the engineering community.

Having discovered the problem, Giuseppe set about resolving it, seeing it as an opportunity to mentor four junior members of his team, including the administration and logistical requirements, a vital step that is often overlooked.

This award recognises the often unsexy contribution that engineering departments make to the daily delivery of operational capability.

Commander Gary McCormack, Commander Marine Engineering

He coached his team in the correct procedures, the importance of alignment checks all the while maintaining strict engineering standards and tool control – carried out against the backdrop of the difficulty of communicating in a noisy machinery compartment and Covid social distancing measures on board.

While this was taking place, the rest of the team maintained a high tempo of business as usual, including filling the tanks safely up to 95 per cent capacity.

Fleet Commander Vice Admiral Jerry Kyd presented the six-strong team with a Team Portsmouth Award for their collective efforts.

“This award recognises the often unsexy contribution that engineering departments make to the daily delivery of operational capability,” said Commander Gary McCormack, Commander Marine Engineering on board.

“To have the Fleet Commander reflect those sentiments and present this award to the Prince of Wales’ fuel team is a real honour and signifies the value and appreciation of the work engineers do.”

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