Wednesday, November 22, 2017
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Emergency: Fire Fighting on Board Ship

So far we have mentioned activities intended for use both at sea and in port, but in port, there may be a few changes.  The following points are valid both for fire contingency as well as any other emergency that may occur in port.

  • The number of crew members people on board may be less than that on the Muster list as some may have gone ashore. Hence it is very important that named “substitutes” should be aware of their additional responsibilities in case some of the squad leaders are missing.
  • IT WOULD IS A GOOD IDEA TO HOLD EMERGENCY DRILLS ONCE IN A WHILE WITH ONLY 50% OF CREW MEMBERS.  THIS WILL GIVE AN IDEA WHICH AREAS REQUIRE MORE TIME OR MORE MANPOWER AND WHEN A SITUATION ARISES – THE SHIP CAN BE PREPARED.
  • Please note that when granting shore leave to crew members it must be borne in mind that only 50% from each department should be allowed to go ashore at any one time.
  • When an emergency drill is conducted at sea all the “supernumeraries” should report to the bridge. In port ensure that all shore personnel, supernumeraries, agents and other visitors leave the ship during the emergency.  Tell them they will be called back once the situation is under control.  It is always better to clear all unwanted and untrained personnel from the ship during an emergency to avoid unwanted injuries and the additional burden of rescuing them.
  • During an emergency in port, it is important to inform the shore fire brigade, the ship’s agent, port authorities and any other authorities so that they are ready to come to the ship’s assistance.  This information should be conveyed even if the ship may feel that shore assistance might not be required.
  • As with fire at sea, all crew members should muster at their respective stations. In case of ‘Person in charge’ not on board, substitutes should take over charge of the key squads.
  • All squads will tackle the emergency according to their assigned duties.
  • For the purpose of shoreside firefighting personnel, fire control plans are kept near the access point to ship in a prominently marked, weatherproof container. One on each side of the ship when in port. 

These containers should include:

  • A copy of ship’s updated Fire Control Plan.
  • Cargo and stability Information
  • An up to date crew list
  • Plus: any other information that may be useful to the shore firefighters such as location of containers carrying dangerous goods, ship’s damage stability information, the layout of the bunker, fuel and cargo tanks.

  INSPECTION OF FFA

Firefighting appliances on board help to detect, control the spread and extinguish the fire on board ship.

They include:

  1. Smoke, flame or thermal detectors.
  2. Fireline, hydrants, hoses, and nozzles.
  3. Fire axes and sandboxes. Ensure that the blade of fire axe has a coat of grease and well covered with a canvas or a polythene cover. Ensure sandboxes are always filled with dry sand.
  4. Fire extinguishers that include portable, semi-portable and non-portable ones.
  5. Fixed firefighting installations such as foam, sprinkler, CO2and Halon.
  6. Fire pump and emergency fire pump
  7. Portable foam applicators
  8. Fireman’s suits and breathing apparatus.

All these appliances should be checked and inspected regularly.  The date of the last inspection should be clearly marked on a tag and attached to the portable extinguishers and other appliances.

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