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A common cargo vessel was loading scrap metallic into each the ahead and aft cargo holds. A loader was lowered into the aft cargo maintain to easy the heap of scrap metallic in sure areas. At one level, the operator of the loader noticed a small quantity of white smoke rising from throughout the scrap heap within the port aft part of the maintain. He instantly raised the alarm.

As edited from JTSB (Japan) report MA2018-10

The shore fireplace division was known as whereas crew ready fireplace hoses. Quickly, the loader operator – who was nonetheless within the maintain – noticed flames within the scrap heap. A couple of minutes later, crew have been in a position to direct water jets from fireplace hoses onto the scrap metallic heap. The loader operator evacuated the maintain, leaving the arm of the loader prolonged above the hatch coaming. Native shore fireplace fighters arrived and took management of the fireplace combating actions. Not lengthy after, the crew have been requested to evacuate the vessel for his or her security.

Credit: The Nautical Institute

The shore fireplace fighters determined, primarily based on expertise in previous firefighting of ship fires, to make use of a protein foam spray delivered from a big aerial-platform chemical-spray fireplace truck. As they made preparations for the applying of the protein foam spray, the vessel listed to port, and the firefighters on the vessel withdrew. The hearth continued to extend in measurement.

About an hour after arriving, the shore fireplace fighters started spraying the protein foam into the aft cargo maintain. This method didn’t appear to have the specified impact and the shore firefighters requested the Grasp for permission to proceed to make use of water. Permission was granted, however some 12 hours later, after the applying of copious quantities of water, the vessel sank alongside the berth. The hearth was then declared extinguished.

The investigation discovered, amongst different issues, that the supply of the fireplace was almost definitely to be a spark created by contact between metallic objects, a battery, and many others., within the scrap. The supply then ignited flamable materials combined within the scrap (eg plastic, rubber, wooden chips, paper).

It was not attainable to find out the precise origin of the fireplace. The investigation additionally discovered that the Grasp didn’t assume to make use of the maintain’s mounted CO2 firefighting tools after the fireplace was first found. In truth, this was a moot level as a result of the loader was left with its arm prolonged above the hatch coaming. This is able to have prevented the closing of the maintain’s hatch, a needed first step earlier than releasing CO2.

Classes discovered

  • As seen within the earlier MARS report (202345), scrap metallic, whereas intuitively innocuous and listed as noncombustible within the IMSBC Code, is nonetheless a fireplace danger.
  • Reactions throughout an emergency are honed with coaching. Masters and crew ought to concentrate on probably the most environment friendly fireplace combating strategies on their ship and rapidly be capable of put these into observe.
  • Copious and uncontrolled quantities of water poured right into a ship will trigger a lack of stability and presumably the foundering of the vessel. This may, nevertheless, most likely achieve extinguishing any fireplace on board.

Supply: The Nautical Institute

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