In the unlikely event of a life-threatening situation onboard, it may be time for vessel abandonment, ordered by the Master. Abandoning the ship needs to take place at the right time, followed by specific steps and procedures, as the decision to leave the vessel and fall into the sea comes with great risk.
Taking lives of over 1,000 people, the sinking of the RoRo ferry Al-Salam Boccaccio 98 remains a good example of study as poor emergency procedures resulted to deaths of over 1,000 people and spurred widespread criticism of the crew, as well as the owner company.
Over 30 years after the Piper Alpha oil platform suffered multiple explosions off Scotalnd taking lives of 167 people, SAFETY4SEA analyzes the North Sea disaster which made the oil and gas industry to look safety in new terms.
It is not an easy task to deal with a fire in the cargo hold, or any area of the ship for that matter, and surely any fire situation onboard a ship needs to be taken seriously. Normally all precautions are taken to ensure that inflammable cargoes are kept in isolated conditions.
Cargo ships carrying liquid cargo is a special category type of ships in respect of firefighting because on board such ships there is a dangerous combination between cargo’s specific features and equipment to support all aspects of vessel’s requirements.
Engine room fires are often very challenging to deal with, due to the construction of the room and a plentiful supply of the fire triangle elements: heat, fuel and oxygen. A major engine room fire can have destructive consequences and, in the aftermath, it’s unlikely for a ship to continue under her own power.
The following real-life incident can be used as case study to help crew members understand how to properly handle similar occasions and take the appropriate knowledge from an incident of fire on board cargo vessel.
Although fire fighting training provides basic (basic fire fighting, STCW VI I/1) and advanced (advanced fire fighting STCW VI/3) knowledge to crew members onboard, when such emergency occurs in real life, this knowledge may be proved insufficient. There are many reasons for that; mostly related to the way that the training is being conducted.
One way to address fire emergency is the proper training through efficient and regular drills which ensure that crew members are ready to handle a fire onboard. As such, the industry has incorporated in SOLAS, Chapter 19 which refers to emergency drills, a specific paragraph for fire drills.
Last week marked 28 years since the explosion and sinking of the VLCC ‘MT Haven’ off the coast of Genoa, Italy. To date, Haven is not only known as the world’s largest shipwrecks, but also the largest oil spill in the history of the Mediterranean Sea.
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