Seawater entering cabin caused electrical fault

What happened?

During vessel operations, a porthole in a passenger’s cabin was left untightened and slightly ajar.  This allowed for seawater to enter the cabin and seep into the electrical socket under the porthole causing a short circuit resulting in burnt wiring and smoke in the cabin.  A passenger observed the smoke and raised the alarm; the response team attended the scene and immediately isolated the supply.

The Master subsequently held a time out for safety – involving all passengers and crew – to highlight the safety failings, potential outcomes and improvements required regarding this near miss.

What went wrong?

  • Cabin occupants failed to ensure that portholes were closed during vessel transit.

What actions were taken?

  • Ensure all are given full and appropriate vessel induction when boarding, and that all are aware of the need to maintain watertight integrity at all times;
  • Ensure full and effective watertight integrity inspections are made and confirmed when leaving port.