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Fire in the engine room

What happened

A vessel suffered a fire in the engine room. The incident occurred after the vessel was leaving port during the hours of darkness in calm weather. The vessel was making around 5-6 knots, when the fire panel indicated fire on one of the diesel generators. Flames and smoke were visible in the engine room. A second generator started automatically after 20 sec. The crew were all mustered safely. The Flexifog fire extinguisher system was released in the engine room. Two minutes later a firefighting team entered the engine room, at which time flames and smoke were still visible. After six minutes the fire was extinguished by a combination of firefighting team and the Flexifog system.

The vessel maintained its position and all personnel evacuated to deck. There were no injuries. The generator that caught fire suffered significant damage.

What went wrong?

Bearing failure in engine.

What were the causes

Investigation showed that the failures could not have been related to lack of maintenance. There was a suspected potential fault in engine components which were replaced during recent engine overhaul.

Lessons learned

The key learning was that the Flexifog fire extinguisher system and the well drilled fire-fighting team prevented escalation to potential critical situation. Several actions were taken by the marine crew to avoid the fire spreading on the vessel. Our members’ client was impressed with the professional way in which the marine crew handled the situation.


To prevent potential fire spreading – make sure the marine crew:

  • Are drilled in emergency training;
  • Are familiar with the vessel and the fire shut down mechanisms;
  • Have a water mist system – this can be crucial to avoid the fire spreading.

Members may wish to refer to

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