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Engine Room Fire

Posted: Wed Dec 07, 2016 8:55 am
by JollyJack
So you have an engine room fire you can't control with extinguishers ready at hand. What do you do?

Re: Engine Room Fire

Posted: Wed Dec 07, 2016 10:26 am
by Merlyn
Jump ship ASAP.

Re: Engine Room Fire

Posted: Wed Dec 07, 2016 9:06 pm
by JollyJack
Sea temp 2 C, you will last 15 mins, tops.

Re: Engine Room Fire

Posted: Thu Dec 08, 2016 12:25 am
by popeye62
Call general muster. Stop everything including QCV's, batten down the engine room and inject CO2. Wait for as long as possible then BA team to make entry at lowest point with foam branches and water wall while ventilating the space.

Re: Engine Room Fire

Posted: Thu Dec 08, 2016 8:01 am
by JollyJack
Who fires the C02 and when?

Re: Engine Room Fire

Posted: Thu Dec 08, 2016 8:39 am
by Merlyn
Chief or second and only after a headcount?

Re: Engine Room Fire

Posted: Thu Dec 08, 2016 8:43 am
by Revolver
Ring alarm. Crew mustering.
Bridge panel should show specific zone.
ER panel should show zone.
Trips activated - fans/flaps/doors etc
Emergency fire pump online.
Asses situation;
Situation dependant, at the very least if you can take it down with an extinguisher (given the fire never between you and your exit) do so.
Engine room fires can get out of control extremely quickly.
Situation assessed, inform command so they can inform the, ideally now assembled, fire team.
Un-attackable; full muster.
Boundary cooling, if possible/sensible.
Life boat team prepping.
Activate all emergency QCV/Remote valves. Machinery shut down. Ensure ventilation tight.
Muster, head count.
Chief & captain's CO2 call.
Don't go back in for as long as you can.
If you have to go in, fully equipped entry fire team entering space from as far away from the fire, and as low an entry point as possible (following fire training procedures).

Asses the situation for recovery/abandonment/rescue?


Or maybe the ship is equipped with water mist system which could be utilized...

Re: Engine Room Fire

Posted: Sat Dec 10, 2016 10:11 pm
by JollyJack
Why would you wait for several minutes for the Chief or Captain to get out of bed and come 10 decks down to the control room when the temperature at the ER deckhead (where all the cable trays are) is rising expotentially and cables are burning? Statistically, shit happens beween midnight and 0600, usually in bad weather.

Re: Engine Room Fire

Posted: Sun Dec 11, 2016 1:08 am
by Big Pete
Always inform the Bridge before stopping propulsion or generators, you may stop the fire spreading but run out of control into an LNG tanker or a passenger ship or a pointy rock.
Bridge have to assess BOTH the Fire and Navigation hazards to decide which has priority, relying on information from the Engineers on the state of the fire, how long they can keep the screw turning etc.

Even keeping the screw going for a few minutes may enable them to avoid a collision or pull out of a main channel to somewhere they can drop the pick relatively safely.

BP

Re: Engine Room Fire

Posted: Sun Dec 11, 2016 4:19 am
by D Winsor
JollyJack wrote:Why would you wait for several minutes for the Chief or Captain to get out of bed and come 10 decks down to the control room when the temperature at the ER deckhead (where all the cable trays are) is rising expotentially and cables are burning? Statistically, shit happens beween midnight and 0600, usually in bad weather.


Always inform the Bridge before stopping propulsion or generators, you may stop the fire spreading but run out of control into an LNG tanker or a passenger ship or a pointy rock.
Bridge have to assess BOTH the Fire and Navigation hazards to decide which has priority, relying on information from the Engineers on the state of the fire, how long they can keep the screw turning etc.

Even keeping the screw going for a few minutes may enable them to avoid a collision or pull out of a main channel to somewhere they can drop the pick relatively safely.


Big Pete's point is well taken but I think I know where JJ is going with this.

Hypothetically, maybe in the eyes of the law, in an emergency situation, when the Captain is not on the Bridge the Mate on watch is "In Full Command" of the vessel for the duration of his or her watch until relieved by the Captain or another Officer that has the Bridge as his or her Emergency Station. Likewise the Engineer on Watch is in "Full Command" of the Engine Room for the duration of his or her watch until relieved by the Chief or another Officer that has the Engine Room Control Position as his or her Emergency Station.. The Officers of the Watch are therefore responsible for making the critical decisions at the onset of an emergency situation, under the guidance of the Captain and or Chief, with respect to immediate navigational decisions and machinery operations until relieved. This responsibility of the Officers on Watch doesn't relieve the Captain or Chief of their ultimate Command responsibility but does buy time when every second counts.

Now in this era of Procedure Manuals and Check Lists for just about everything including CYA protection. Guidance for these critical decisions ideally are supposed to be detailed out in documents Everyone is obliged to read and signs off on when first joining a vessel and re-familiarize themselves with on a regular basis and through practice during drills. Namely the "Captain's Standing Orders or Bridge Emergency Procedure Manual, Emergency Situation Voyage Plan Protocols and Captain's Night Order Book", along with the "Chief's Standing Orders, or Engine Room Emergency Procedure Manual and Chief's Night Order Book".

Re: Engine Room Fire

Posted: Sun Dec 11, 2016 5:58 am
by Revolver
That's why you asses and inform command.
These are very dynamic situations.
You're not going to wait for the chief/Capt to come down 10 decks and look - you've told them, likewise command knows you want to kill the machinery so they need to make ship under power/maneuvering calls.
If the chief/Capt is in bed, for example, they aren't mustered and you don't know where they are - are you going to be a hero and pull the CO2 not being 100% where everyone is?

Re: Engine Room Fire

Posted: Sun Dec 11, 2016 10:09 pm
by JollyJack
12-6, 12-12 or 6-6 watch, chances are you'll be alone in the engine room. Safe Manning Regulations do not require an ERR if there is sufficient fuel and lub for the machinery for 24 hours and the maximum number of Engineers required is 2. At 0dark30 there's only you in the engine room, fire spreads very quickly and it gets hot enough to melt cables in a few minutes. You will lose all control on all cicuits and it will take weeks to repair it. If the ship is in confined waters, where a collision is possible, you're on Standby and everyone and his dog are down there.

CO2 is cheap (so are seafarer's lives, but that's another story) so discharge it ASAP once everything is shut off and battened down. Any flak from "on high", ask why the f**k weren't they down here? Good senior officers will accept that and pat your back for quick thinking. Others, egotists, who think they have Authority under God will not. I took great delight in pricking pompous bubbles. :)

Re: Engine Room Fire

Posted: Mon Dec 12, 2016 3:28 am
by Big Pete
I agree that the Authority of the Captain is automatically delegated to the Bridge Officer of the Watch and that of the Chief Engineer is delegated to the Engineer Officer of the watch, I am not so sure about permitting inexperienced and badly trained Junior Officers release the CO2.
I have been sailing on 2 Engineer ships with Eastern European Second Engineers and most of them were competent Motorman, fine for cleaning, painting and changing filters but had almost no understanding of systems, fault finding or any regulations such as MARPOL, STCW, or SOLAS and did not consider it necessary for the ships crew to have any knowledge of these things. They also suffered from an extreme rigidity of thinking that made it impossible for them to "think outside the Box".

BP

Re: Engine Room Fire

Posted: Mon Dec 12, 2016 7:40 pm
by JollyJack
I, too, found the "central control" mindset established firmly by USSR in the seafarers from the old Warsaw Pact countries from the mid-90s on. The concrete can be broken with training though. My Board of Trade Sports days were devoted to training. Everyone on board, including messmen and ginghiwallah could start and operate the emergency fire pump and steering, all engine room staff, including juniors and oilers (if any) could operate all emergency equipment and knew when to operate it.

All the deck and engine staff, with incentives, were efficient hose handlers, and every one knew the hard way that a Scott air pack lasts just short of 10 minutes. They could all do an accommodation search in total darkness, wearing full bunker suit and BA (with the aid of several layers of garbage bags over their heads).

Find the "spoonful of sugar" and you'll have 5 efficient fire teams, search teams, rescue teams etc. My "spoonful of sugar" was a case of beer, to be presented to the winning crew and shared amongst the crew (24 beers in a case, 24 crew...hhhhhhhmmmm). What the winners win isn't as important as the fact of the team winning. I got a great kick when I saw a 70-yr old Oiler charging down the tanker's deck urging his hose team on JULDI! JULDI!

Re: Engine Room Fire

Posted: Tue Dec 13, 2016 9:20 am
by Big Pete
Last time I fought a real fire was on a car carrier, Chief and Second Mustered in the ER , Mate and Bosun were the only fire team and they came down, Captain on the Bridge in overall command Second Mate OOW, 1 AB preparing the anchors and one AB preparing the boats, only men left were the Cook and Motorman. Motorman was ordered down to start the emergency fire pump on the car decks, which was a contrary hand cranked pig of a diesel, and refused to go down below because there was smoke coming from the Car Decks, directly above the seat of the fire.
Nobody outside the armed forces has the manpower to have more than 2 BA teams on a ship anymore.
Go in the offshore industry where everyone works 6 hours on 6 off and all the drills are held in someone's off watch time and during a short passage to or from Port they tend to be very perfunctory.
Go on 40,000 ton Petroleum products carriers and you have a total complement of 13, not enough warm bodies to fight a fire.

BP