Malta: Lance Mist Lance Onboard Container Vessels
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The Malta Merchant Shipping Directorate has issued an Information Notice regarding the potential safety hazards associated with container fires, following the conclusion of the Report on the Maritime Safety Investigation in regarding the container fire on the Flag of Malta ship, MV X-Press Godavari, while anchored at an offshore anchorage in India.
LX-Press Godavari was a container ship built in 2008 of 8’971GT with a length of 154.85m. His minimum safe crew certificate required a crew of 13 and at the time of the occurrence, there were 15 crew members on board. On 28 September 2020, the chief officer noticed a container on the deck emitting smoke during his anchor patrol and after further investigations, raised the general alarm for the entire crew to proceed and follow the the ship’s fire contingency plan. The container cargo manifesto, indicated that lithium-ion batteries, which have a gross weight of 7.4 tons, were stacked inside the 40-foot container, among other related items.
The report’s findings indicate that the likely cause of the fire was a short circuit of a lithium-ion battery, due to possible high temperatures in the container.
In view of this, the Shipping Directorate has recommended to owners of container vessels, built before 1 January 2016, designed to carry containers on or above the weather deck, to also provide water mist lances on board. New vessels constructed after this date have a mandatory requirement, in accordance with SOLAS Chapter II-2, Regulation 10.7.3 as amended, to carry such equipment.
A water mist spear consists of a tube with a nozzle capable of penetrating a wall of the container and producing water mist inside the container when connected to the fire main. This equipment can be carried, fitted, easily operated by one person and on several occasions has been shown to offer a fast response time to firefighting.
The full report of the investigation, can be accessed through this link.
The content of this article is intended to provide general guidance for the topic. Specialist advice should be sought on your specific circumstances.
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