The Republic of the Marshall Islands Maritime Administrator informed that it was recently notified of a fire which took place in a seafarer’s cabin, because of a faulty mobile phone charger. The charger was left plugged in while unattended and an electrical short circuit ignited paper on a desk.
As the West of England P&I Club says, it is well known that fires on ships require a lot of effort to address, they risk all those on board and they present extreme danger to the vessel. Engine room fires are especially challenging to put out, because of the potential confined nature of the scene and an abundance of fire triangle elements: heat, fuel and air.
Cruise operator RCL, Wärtsilä, and DNV GL announced that Navigator of the Seas will feature the industry’s first fire prevention notation. The class notation F(M-P) identifies key areas for preventing fires in engine rooms based on incident analysis, feedback from surveyors, and best practices from the industry.
In its annual Cargo Claims Review, the Swedish Club informed of a cargo fire caused by moving cargo due to inclement weather conditions. The case highlighted the importance of detailed plans and discussions among Master, Chief officer, technical manager or charterer, when it is about critical cargo operations.
Between 2008 and 2017, the Swedish Club received 28 reports about engine room fires. Fires may take place with very low frequency when compared with other types of damage, but the consequences can be severe. For this reason, the Swedish Club presents ways to prevent such incidents from happening.
The London P&I Club and Paul Willis Senior Associate at Hawkins, have launched a loss prevention guide regarding the risks of carrying coal cargoes. The report gives a special consideration on gas monitoring and ventilation. The management of coal cargoes and the proper use of gas detection equipment are vital to prevent coal fire claims.
The UK P&I Club drew attention to cargo fire risks associated with the lighting system in a vessel hold. The Club was notified by New Zealand TAIC of such incident and advised that alternative LED lighting should be considered, to reduce the risk posed by lights that radiate high levels of heat.
According to TT Club, container fires may take place on a weekly basis, with statistics showing that there is a major container cargo fire at sea roughly every 60 days. So, tackling fires and subsequent investigations are complex activities. With increasing container ships size increases, the risk of a fire incident increases too.
The Standard P&I Club issued a master’s guide to raise awareness of fire risks on ferries. This type of ship presents particular risks due to the cargo onboard: Cars, lorries and refrigerated containers, all of these have combustible material and their own fire hazards, something which a ship’s crew cannot easily control.
The two subsequent fire incidents involving Maersk vessels, as well as the boxship collision in Karachi Port earlier this month that forced the temporary closure of the port, highlighted the importance of always investing in cargo insurance, said iContainers, as the amount of insurance that all shipping carriers are obliged to offer by law is limited.
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