Swedish P&I Club issues Monthly Safety Scenario for October

The Swedish P&I Club publishes on a monthly basis a new "Monthly Safety Scenario" (MSS) to assist owners in their efforts of complying with the above regulations. Under the ISM requirement owners are obliged to carry out monthly safety meetings or safety committee meetings on board their vessels. This obligation stems from Chapter 5 of the ISM Code: "Master's responsibility and authority" and furthermore from "5.1.2, motivating the crew in the observation of that policy". Find below the Monthly Safety Scenario for October.

Fire onboard

Monthly Safety Scenario: Fire onboardIt was just after breakfast and the vessel wassailing smoothly in open sea towards the nextport in fine weather. Two weeks earlier theengineers had removed a section of the fuelpump pipe, which was in poor condition.

Theengineers had not done a thorough inspectionof the entire pipe and only carried out a quickocular inspection, assuming that the rest of thepipe was in good condition. Unfortunately theydid not notice the cracks that had developedon the section of the pipe closest to the pump.It was not easy to spot the cracks as they werecovered in dirt and oil. Below the cracked fuelpipe there was another fuel pipe, which haddamaged insulation, exposing the pipe as therewas no protection.

The engineers were having their morning meetingin the engine room, one of the oilers was doinghis morning rounds, taking samples and ensuringall was ok. After the meeting the 1st engineerand a motorman proceeded to the engine workshop to start work for the day. The Chief Engineerproceeded to the separator room to inspect theprevious day's maintenance.

When the oiler approached the main enginehe could see smoke and flames close to the fuelpumps by the main engine. He looked around andfound a fire extinguisher, which he grabbed andran towards the flames. Suddenly there was anexplosion with fire spreading fast and was soonout of control.

The fire alarms sounded but the automatichi-fog system did not start. This was because thehi-fog system was set to manual. According tothe vessels SMS the hi-fog system should be setto automatic.The 1st Engineer and the motorman, whowere in the engine workshop at the time of theexplosion, could not escape without entering theengine room, as there was no separate emergencyescape route from the workshop.

The 1st Engineer and the motorman, whowere in the engine workshop at the time of theexplosion, could not escape without entering theengine room, as there was no separate emergencyescape route from the workshop.

They ran into the engine room and had to runpass the fire. A lot of black smoke was spreadingthroughout the engine room. They could see theChief Engineer running in the opposite directionto help the oiler who had passed out near thefire. The Chief Engineer shouted that he was rightbehind them and that they should escape andstart the hi-fog system.

The 1st Engineer and motorman ran to theemergency escape in the aft part of the engineroom. Both had suffered heat injuries and smokeinhalation but they managed to escape beforethe smoke caused them to pass out.

While they were climbing the ladder the vesselblacked out. The main and auxiliary engines hadstopped and the emergency generator started,but shortly afterwards it also failed as a result ofinsufficient cooling. This resulted in loss of powerto the emergency switchboard with fire waterpumps and other electrical equipment becominginoperative. This was because the fire dampersto the emergency generator room had failed andclosed, causing the emergency generator to notget sufficient air and stopped.

At this time the air supply and fuel supply hadnot been stopped and was the chief engineer'sduty to shut off but he was still in the engineroom and had not had time to go to the enginecontrol room. All crew mustered at the musterstation. The Chief Engineer and oiler were stillmissing. The master ordered the fire teams to suitup and enter the engine room to locate the missing engineers. He also ordered the fire dampers tobe opened for the emergency generator room andget it started.

The master would not release the CO2 untilthe engineers had been accounted for. He ordered the engine room fire dampers to be closed andthe ventilation to be stopped from the remotecontrol station outside the machinery spaces.

Read more in the Swedish P&I Club Monthly Safety Scenario - October 2013 Fire onboard

Source: The Swedish P&I Club

Find information about previous Swedish Club Monthly Safety Scenarios in the Safety4Sea articles

Leaking cargo hatch

Machinery-Cylinder Damage

Corroded pipe causing oil spill

Officer falling asleep