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MOL Prestige Firefighting Generic

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[MOL Prestige Fire in the Engine Room] The following incident is an account of a real-life emergency that took place aboard the MOL Prestige on January 31st, 2018 In this video, we will recall the timeline of the MOL Prestige fire and showcase moment by moment what occurred. We will also identify the causes and factors that contributed to the emergency. Exploring both what could have been done beforehand to prevent the incident, as well as what should have been done while the incident was occurring. As you watch this video, ask yourself, Could this happen on my ship? The MOL Prestige, a container ship headed to Tokyo from Vancouver, British Columbia is on it's fourth voyage into the US emission control area, within which low sulfur marine gas oil is used for the main and auxiliary engines. The ship departed from Vancouver on January 30th with an estimated time to exit the emission control area on the 31st. In preparation for the vessel's exit from the emission control area, the Chief Engineer instructs the Fourth Engineer to start the purifier for the heavy fuel oil, or HFO. After confirming with the Second Engineer, the Fourth Engineer begins the HFO purification taking suction from the HFO settling tank. Within 10 minutes, the purifier's inlet's alarm was triggered at 120 degrees Celcius. After informing the Second Engineer, the Fourth Engineer starts the HFO transfer pump on manual mode aiming to reduce the temperature of the settling tank with cold oil from the 7S HFO storage tank. Returning to the purifier platform, the Fourth Engineer suddenly observes fumes and smoke being emitted from the purifier hoppers. Immediately he stops the transfer pump. Something is wrong. Meanwhile, the second engineer, upon being informed of the HFO inlet high temperature alarm, observes smoke and fumes being emitted from the sludge discharge ports of number 1 purifier. He instructs the Fourth Engineer to stop the purifier and shut the sludge discharge valve. By this time, fumes are pouring out from all HFO purifiers and pump casing drains. The Motor man, working at the boiler platform observes thick black smoke and the Junior Engineer near the number 3 generator begins seeing rising flames. A catastrophe is in motion. In a confused panic, the crew retreats to the engine control room. They call the chief engineer. Believing it to be a false alarm, the Chief Engineer rushes down to the engine control room. The fire alarm is triggered. Thick black smoke is now filling the engine control room, where the 6 crew members are now trapped. Within minutes, the quick closing valve is activated from the fire station, tripping all generators. The emergency generator comes on load. Trapped inside the burning engine control room, are the 6 crew members. The Chief Engineer, the Second Engineer, the Fourth Engineer, the Junior Engineer, and Motor man, 1 and 2. Below the second deck, oil is overflowing from the settling tank. Burning around the tank and the number 3 generator, on the bottom platform. Crews are mustered at their fire stations. Attached to a life line, the Chief Officer makes his way into the engine control room with a breathing apparatus. He carries with him two portable escape sets. As he looks down, he realizes he is stepping through puddles of heavy fuel oil. The temperature is rapidly climbing above 70 degree Celsius, and there is now zero visibility in the engine room. Using the escape set located in the engine control room, and the sets he was carrying, he guides the Chief Engineer, Second and Fourth Engineers, out of the engine room, amid oil puddles, high temperatures, and zero visibility. Upon attempting to return to rescue the remaining three men, the Chief officer is unable to make it inside. As the temperatures inside the engine room are now too high, black smoke begins entering into the engine control room. Panic escalates among the remaining three men as they realize the terrible truth. A rescue attempt may no longer be possible. Clinging desperately to their VHF radio, and hoping against hope, the men overhear transmissions about the possible release of CO2 to contain the fire. With the temperatures rising and the fire raging out of control, The Master weighs the decision under crushing stress. In consultation with the emergency response team ashore, The decision to release CO2 is delayed in order to exhaust all rescue attempts. Time is running out for the trapped men. It's now or never. As a last resort, the emergency response team suggests the men try to use an adjacent elevator to escape. Miraculously, the elevator is found to be operational on the emergency generator circuit. The last ditch effort goes underway, as the elevator is sent down to the engine control room level. Choking through the dark smoke and extremely high temperature, the men blindly crawl a five foot path towards the elevator in complete darkness. The three men collapse into the elevator as it descends out of the inferno to safety. The rescue being successful, CO2 is finally released into the engine room. Three crew members suffered injuries and the engine room suffered fire, soot, and water damages. The ship lost power and propulsion and had to be towed back to Seattle. In total, the cost of repairs and cleaning plus cargo claims amounted to over 5.5 million USD. For the surviving crew members though, the cost could have been much higher. So how did this fire occur? Following the investigation, it was discovered that there were 4 key elements that contributed to the devastating fire. The first element was the tank's float gauges. The settling and service HFO tanks are fitted with float gauges that indicate the oil level in the tank and provide the high and low level alarms. These gauges however, had not been functioning since the vessel was taken into management in January 2017. Ship staff had failed to report this defect on the PMS PAL and kept the superintendents unaware of their condition. The Chief Engineer had attempted to repair the gauges, for which he had opened a flange on top of the settling tank and left this flange open. Without an indication of oil level in the tank, and with an open flange on the tank, the settling tank overfilled and spilled oil through the open flange into the engine room. Had all defects been identified in a timely manner, the catastrophic overflow could have been prevented. The second element to the fire concerned the excessive fuel leaks from the main engine whilst operating on LSMGO within the ECA. These leaks were estimated to displace nearly 1500 L a day. These leaks were collected in the drain tank and then pumped to the HFO settling tank, creating a layer of LSMGO floating on top of HFO in the settling tank. The resulting overflow mixture was extremely flammable with a flashpoint below 60 degree Celsius. Had the LSMGO leaks been reduced, or had the LSMGO not been transferred to the settling tank, this disaster may have been avoided. The third element to the fire, was that the settling tank heating coil valves were not holding, which steadily rose the temperature inside the oil tank. Eventually, the mixture of LSMGO and HFO inside the settling tank rose to 120 degrees Celsius which created a flammable atmosphere. Flammable LSMGO, then overflowed the settling tank and easily found a source of ignition within the engine room. had the settling tank temperature not been allowed to rise by repairing or blanking the steam coil inlet valves, the fire may have been prevented. The final element to the fire, was the HFO transfer pump being started on manual mode to transfer oil from 7S, the settling tank. This decision was made on the assumption the fuel oil transfer pump would cut out when the upper auto stop switch was activated inside the settling tank. However, inspection of the circuit diagram confirmed this was not the case. The settling tank was already nearly full, when the transfer pump was started and soon overflowed into both the overflow tank and through an open flange on top of the tank. Had the transfer pump been not used on manual mode, the overflow may not have taken place. However, these elements were not prevented and a catastrophic blaze resulted. Escalating matters further, the crew did not react properly. At the onset of the emergency, the engine crew failed to follow procedures in evacuating the engine room. The Chief Engineer, instead of immediately going to his Master station on the upper deck, went down to the engine control room because he believed it to be a false alarm. Additionally, the Master did not order the immediate evacuation of the engine room which finally led to six crew members being trapped in the engine control room. The Chief officer wore an SCVA set to assist in the evacuation of the crew from the ECR, but he did not wear a fire man outfit, resulting in the Chief Officer sustaining severe burns during the rescue operation. While three crew members were rescued, with three others in the ECR, fire extinguishing CO2 could not be released, as this would endanger the lives of these three crew members. Had each of the individuals followed their proper protocol, CO2 could have been released promptly, which would have quickly and effectively extinguished the fire, preventing excessive damage. The use of fire hoses to cool down the engine room during the rescue operation would not have been necessary, preventing water damage to machinery and electrical circuits. As we have seen, the MOL Prestige fire was the result of several factors. If any of them had been prevented, the fire may not have occured. These circumstances are not isolated to the MOL Prestige, and could happen on any ship. They underly the importance of complying with procedures, reporting all defects using PMS PAL, timely repairs of equipment, and diligent and detailed inspections. Emergency response procedures are provided and must be strictly complied with at all times. You and the lives of your crew depend on it.

Video Details

Duration: 11 minutes and 51 seconds
Language: English
License: Dotsub - Standard License
Genre: None
Views: 5
Posted by: maritimetraining on May 21, 2019

MOL Prestige Firefighting Generic

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