Help & Advice
Suppression Systems At Sea Part Two
Following on from our last month’s article covering fire suppression systems at sea, our expert team are going to cover how to prevent and tackle fires on board a ship so you know what to do in the event of an emergency.
Like all emergency situations, one must stay calm in order to tackle the event with a reasonable state of mind. Although it might seem easier said than done to remain confident and level-headed, this can be obtained with rigorous training and drills performed onboard the vessel, to put practise into action. That said, it is not unusual for some to panic and forget their training, so it’s incredibly important to thoroughly train every member of the team. This way, you can be sure that there will be at least a couple of competent people who can carry out the correct procedure during this stressful time.
Emergency guide for systems at sea
Familiarise every member of your vessel with the Fire Training Manual and Life Saving Appliances of The Ship Manual. Have them read through it and test everyone frequently to ensure they understand the most important parts, so it’ll be second nature to them should an emergency arise.
Swiftly make your way to the muster station (the area of the ship where people are to assemble in an emergency) with a life jacket and immersion suit. Depending on the scenario at hand, follow your training methods accordingly and be confident.
Flag the attention of the officer on watch and check to see if whether it’s a false or true alarm. Report back to those on the vessel and in the event of a true fire alarm, raise the general/fire alarm and try to put out the fire. If you can’t put out the fire, follow the steps according to the Fire Muster List.
Quickly make way to the deck and locate the person who has fallen overboard. Once spotted, throw a lifebuoy towards them and inform the crew.
Move to the muster station immediately an remember to take as much food, water and warm clothing as you can carry. Follow the muster lists to ensure correct abandonment methods.
For the ship engineers, it’s important they gather calmly to the engine control room.
Should the CO2 alarm sound, evacuate the engine room instantly.
Engine Room Flooding
If flooding is spotted in the engine room, the chief engineer must be notified as soon as possible and the general alarm should be sounded. Action must be taken to prevent sea water from affecting the integrity of the vessel. Maximum manpower is required to tackle a flooding scenario and the cause must be found quickly. Flooding is worrying because there are many things that it could be including: a leaking pipe, pump, cooler, an overboard valve or a small crack or hole in the hull.
Cargo Hold Flooding
Again, with a flood, maximum manpower must be applied to stop the flooding or manage the cargo hold. Always ensure the general alarm is raised.
Oil spills/pollution is a very serious matter, immediate action needs to be taken and the onboard Ship Oil Pollution Emergency Plan (SOPEP) equipment should be used in an event like this.
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