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Statendam Ship Fire

2002, August 4, Five tug boats called to tow the ship back to Vancouver after a small fire in the ship's generator rooms knocked out four generator and the ship's two main propulsion motors. One generator continued to operate, so there were lights but no A/C. Incident happened when the ship was 24 miles from Vancouver, in Strait of Georgia (call for help came at 9 PM). Efforts to repair the problem took too long so the cruise was canceled. (The Canadian Coast Guard says there was a fire; HAL says that a breaker panel overheated and melted, tripping other generators and the propulsion system.).


IMO's fire safety rules questioned

The IMO needs to re-examine its standards for preventing and controlling fires on board ships, says the Transportation Safety Board of Canada. The TSB wants the IMO and the International Association of Classification Societies to review the requirements for structural fire protection and fire extinguishing systems to ensure that the fire risks associated with compartments containing high levels of electrical energy are adequately assessed. In its final report on a fire onboard the cruise ship Statendam near Vancouver in August 2002, the TSB says there are "deficiencies in the requirements for providing fire-retardant insulation on the deck between the engine control room and the main switchboard room. The lack of insulation allowed cables above the engine control room deck to ignite and start secondary fires." The fire started when the main circuit breaker for one of the diesel generators failed. This started fires in the main switchboard room and the adjacent engine control room. The crew successfully extinguished both fires, and the vessel returned to Vancouver under tow. The TSB said it was also concerned that neither the IMO nor the international shipping community "have specified internationally applicable minimum standards of competency or knowledge for ship's electrical officers."


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