It becomes apparently pretty damn quickly, luckily a ship of that size doesn't usually sink fast enough to take the tug down before they can disconnect.I wonder how they know exactly when to shift from "we have her under tow" to "cut the towline RIGHT FUCKING NOW"
There is usually a means of egress for water to prevent exactly that from happening. If the holding tanks (zero emissions ships have them) become full the water usually gets redirected straight overboard. That being said if there is power for the sprinkler systems there is probably power for the overboard pumps which are usually automatic.I will point out that when using water to put out a fire on a ship, all the water has to be pumped out before the ship sinks. That gets complicated if the fire results in a loss of electrical power. I was trained as a marine engineer and was the Assistant Marine Systems Engineering Officer for a number of years onboard one of the big grey ships so I have some familiarity with this issue.
I am curious if an abandoned ship could have automatic sprinklers activate but no associated pumping. That would sink a ship.
I was really hoping she was going to stay afloat so that a full investigation could be done on source of ignition. If it truly was the LI batteries in the electric cars that is definitely evidence needed to start changing regulations on the shipping of these new electric cars, which is SORELY needed. However, now that shes on the bottom of the Atlantic all we will have is speculation and no real changes will come yet. Got to love the maritime industry.....