Britain’s Marine Accident Investigation Branch has commended the two crew of a workboat for successfully extinguishing an electrical fire. No-one was hurt and damage to the vessel was minor, according to the preliminary report.
Preliminary reports usually involve incidents where there are few new lessons to be learned. They do not preclude a full-scale investigation.
Says the MAIB report: “Windcat 3 was collecting technicians from an offshore wind turbine when there was a noise “like a firecracker”. It seemed to come from the domestic electrical system sockets, but there was no indication of a fire.
“On checking the engine room it was immediately obvious that there was an electrical fire of some sort, but there was too much smoke to attempt to enter safely. After shutting off the fuel supply to the engine and closing the vent flaps, the fixed CO2 system successfully extinguished the fire. Meanwhile, boundary cooling and continuous liaison with those ashore was maintained while the vessel returned to port. The vessel was met by the fire and rescue service, who quickly determined that the fire was already out. Damage was limited to one of the two domestic electrical supply inverter units; there was no other damage to the vessel.
The MAIB: the Deputy Chief Inspector of Marine Accidents has written to Windcat Workboats commending its crew for their actions in successfully tackling the fire. He has also made suggestions on how to improve some aspects of the CO2 system, fire drills, and operations manuals.
Windcat Workboats: has renewed both inverters on Windcat 3; they are continuing to improve their operations manual and review their safety management system, on an ongoing basis.