Lack of firefighting resources to tackle containership blazes

Lack of firefighting resources to tackle containership blazes

18 Sep 2019

Containerships that carry thousands of different cargoes, many of them dangerous goods, are ill equipped to fight fires that can break out inside the boxes. Additionally the crew are not trained to meet the challenge of often complex and highly treacherous situations.

Cargo fires have long been a cause for concern in the maritime sector, because the consequences of moving mis-declared as well as properly labelled dangerous cargo can be multiple crew deaths, as with the Maersk Honam last year, and millions of dollars of lost revenue leading to long litigation battles, again as is now happening in the Maersk case. Six fires on board container vessels in the first three months of this year have further concentrated the collective minds of the industry that over the last two years has been averaging a cargo fire a month.

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