Proceedings magazine is a communication tool for the Coast Guard's Marine Safety & Security Council. Each quarterly magazine focuses on a specific theme of interest to the marine industry.
Issue link: http://uscgproceedings.epubxp.com/i/314313
64 Proceedings Summer 2014 www.uscg.mil/proceedings Cruise Ship Fire Safety Alerts NOTE: These safety alerts address critical concerns uncovered during a marine casualty investigation and should be of vital interest to ship builders, classifcation societies, owner/operators, and others involved with vessel operations. Part 1: Wrong Directions: A Recipe for Failure Quick response team f iref ighters aboard a cruise ship responded to a fre in a machinery space by using por- table extinguishing equipment. How- ever, approximately five hours after the fre started, the master of the vessel decided to release CO 2 from the vessel's fxed frefghting system, but the sys- tem failed to operate as designed. Sub- sequently, the crew could not manually activate the fxed frefghting system to supply CO 2 into the machinery space. Marine investigators discovered the following issues could have nega- tively afected the crew's emergency response and may have contributed to the CO 2 system failure: Shipyard commissioning test pro- cedures appeared to differ from procedures documented in the vessel's firefighting instruction manual (FIM). The FIM referred extensively to a control panel that difered vastly from the one onboard the vessel. The frefghting instruction manual incorrectly stated the location of the CO 2 release station. The FIM incorrectly used the word "Pull" when it should read "Turn," in reference to valve operation. The frefghting instruction man- ual contained confusing language: "Once the fire has been extin- guished make sure that the tem- perature has decreased before investigate the area same time is needed to wait hours." The FIM referenced elements of an emergency shutdown graphic on numerous occasions. However, the location of this graphic is unknown. The FIM contained photographs of the internals of the CO 2 release stations that appeared to differ from actual CO 2 release stations onboard the vessel. The CO 2 release stations installed on the vessel had instructional placards that referred to elements of a completely diferent control panel than the one used onboard the vessel. Shipyard piping schematics and drawings did not match the actual installation. Because of these and other issues, the United States Coast Guard strongly recommends those involved with these systems: Ensure that all supporting docu- mentation, piping schematics, p l a n s , m a n u a l s , c o m p o n e n t labeling, and instruc tions are consistent with each other and relevant to the systems, equip- ment, and components installed onboard the vessel. Part 2: Failures Render CO 2 System Inoperative. Investigators found the following issues pertaining to the CO 2 system: Numerous piping and hose connec- tions leaked extensively. When the system activated, the monitoring system showed numerous leak- ages into the CO 2 room. The zone valve for the aft machinery space, which admits CO 2 from the bottle bank manifold to the space, failed. Specifcally, the ball valve's opening actuating arm fell off the valve when the gas-powered piston actuator attempted to move it. (A very small machine screw and washer held the ball valve actu- ating arm in place.) When the fre team attempted to open the valve manually — using the provided hardware — they could not. The valve would only move after the gas pressure relieved the inlet side of the valve. Actuating arms to five of the six other zone valves were loose and attached by small machine screws. Pipe sealant found on pipe threads throughout the system seemed, in some instances, to have entered the system. Certain elements of the distri- bution manifold contained low points, which allowed water to accumulate within the piping. Consequently, such a circumstance could cause corrosion and possibly negatively afect the operation of other components. The CO 2 system's pilot and co-pilot bottles did not appear to operate correctly; thus, the crew attempted to activate them manually by using the valve handles located on top of the cylinders. An authorized service provider recently serviced and inspected the system. Because of these and other issues, the United States Coast Guard strongly recommends those involved with these systems: Carefully and critically review and routinely inspect, maintain, verify, and test fixed firefighting instal- lations to ensure that they will operate correctly during an emer- gency. Summer2014_23.indd 64 5/15/14 2:54 PM