Unregulated Furnace System Sparked Fireplace on Roger Blough

Courtesy NTSB

Sep 1, 2022 9:33 PM by

The Maritime Govt

The Nationwide Transportation Security Board has issued new suggestions for protected layup for ships on the Nice Lakes, primarily based on findings from the fireplace aboard the bulker Roger Blough final 12 months.

On Feb. 1, 2021, the Roger Blough was moored in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin in winter layup. A hearth began within the engine room, then progressed to her unloading conveyor belts, which caught hearth and burned. This brought on in depth injury to the ship, on the order of $100 million. The only real caretaker on board safely escaped to the pier, and no air pollution was reported. 

The NTSB’s investigators decided that the fireplace began with a diesel furnace which had been put in within the engine room to maintain it heat overwinter. The burner meeting’s mounting coupling broke, and the burner dropped and fractured its personal gasoline line, igniting a fireplace. 

As soon as the fireplace began, a central alarm system went off and routinely notified a listing of firm contacts. The shipkeeper was not on the checklist, and he solely awakened seven minutes later when the fireplace alarm in his cabin went off. By that time, the fireplace was already spreading. 

Within the month main as much as the fireplace, the chief engineer and an OEM service tech had eliminated and reinstalled the burner a number of instances whereas troubleshooting; the repeated removing doubtless broken the burner’s mounting coupling, resulting in its failure, NTSB decided. 

As well as, the furnace had no fire-activated automated gasoline oil shutoff valve on the piping earlier than the burner, which might have stopped the gasoline feeding the fireplace and restricted its unfold. The Nationwide Fireplace Safety Affiliation recommends that furnace burners have a fire-activated quick-closing valve – however the NFPA normal doesn’t but prolong to vessels.

Courtesy NTSB

“There aren’t any laws concerning winter layup procedures for industrial vessels working within the Nice Lakes,” the report mentioned. “The shortage of laws or classification requirements associated to diesel oil-fired air heating furnace development, set up, security shutdowns, and system alarms poses a threat to life and property if the gear is just not put in and maintained to requirements just like these in place for different oil-fired gear.”

NTSB really helpful that the U.S. Coast Guard and ABS ought to develop requirements for furnace installations in step with the NFPA tips. 

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