The Transport Accident Investigation Commission of New Zealand has published an Investigation Report (copy attached) on fire in the cargo hold of a Multipurpose/ Container vessel loaded with packaged Timber cargo in the hold and containers loaded on top.
During the investigation, it was found that fire was caused by heat radiating from an incandescent reflector lamp that set fire to packs of timber that had been stowed close to the lamp. The cargo hold lights had not been switched off on completion of loading.
Based on above findings, ship designers, owners and operators have been advised to consider when selecting the means of lighting in their ships cargo holds. Another measure that can be taken to mitigate the risk of similar fires is having procedures in place for ensuring that cargo hold lighting systems are turned off (and, if necessary, isolated) at an appropriate time before a loading operation creates the hazard.
Following are the key lessons arising from the investigation:
Ship Owners, Operators, Surveyors and Masters are advised to be guided by the attached Investigation Report.
This Technical Circular and the material contained in it is provided only for the purpose of supplying current information to the reader and not as an advice to be relied upon by any person. While we have taken utmost care to be as factual as possible, readers/ users are advised to verify the exact text and content of the Regulation from the original source/ issuing Authority.