Potential rescue deficiencies exposed after 2019 freighter fire

Marine fires in the Detroit River in 2019 have identified potential problems with firefighters’ readiness to respond to marine emergencies, according to a new report from the Transportation Safety Board (TSB) of Canada.

The Transportation Safety Board released a report on that fire on Tuesday, noting that some maritime rescue operations at Canadian ports may have been insufficient.

bulk carrier fire Taikang On December 15, 2019, near Zug Island on the side of the Michigan River.

United States Coast Guard (USCG) Knives bristol bay Being moved to the scene, a 45-foot response vessel was launched from USCG Station on Belle Isle, and an MH-65 helicopter was dispatched from Detroit Air Station.

The stricken vessel drifted into Canadian waters and 16 crew members disembarked safely and were inspected by Essex-Windsor EMS. No injuries were reported.

Initial reports indicated that firefighters were able to extinguish the fire once they boarded the boat. However, the report pointed to problems with the fire suppression system used.

“The crew attempted to extinguish the fire with a carbon dioxide fixed fire suppression system,” the report reads. “The investigation found that the fire on board was caused by a failure of a flexible fuel hose assembly supplying fuel to the port. [left] host. About three hours after the fire suppression system was activated, two crew members entered the cabin to determine whether the fire was still spreading. This re-entry allowed fresh air into the cabin, which likely reignited the fire. “

TSB reports that, Taikang Towed to Windsor Harbour on 16 December. It was quickly determined that the onshore resources at the site were not properly trained in marine firefighting.

“As a result, these responders remained ashore to provide shore-based boundary cooling while awaiting the arrival of sea-trained firefighters who arrived approximately two hours later. The fire was then extinguished later that same day,” the report reads.

The TSB issued a recommendation in 1996 to empower land-based firefighters to assist marine firefighters in an emergency. The proposal was closed in 2016 after considerable progress in the field, but the problem was not eliminated.

“The investigation also identified a number of deficiencies in the operator’s safety management system for fire response, including that the ship’s fire training manual was not specific to the ship, making it impossible to use ship-specific information in training on actual equipment on board, such as the CO2 system; And there was no emergency preparedness plan on board to guide the crew on fire response actions, such as when to close ventilation dampers and dampers,” the report read.

The full investigation report is available at The official website of the Telecommunication Standardization Bureau.

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