Why the battery-pack of an electric car burst into flames while aboard the ro-ro ferry Pearl of Scandinavia remains unknown but the incident has increased calls for international initiatives in order to prevent fire and enhance the fire resistance on the car decks on ro-ro passenger ships.
Denmark’s Maritime Authority, DMA, has issued it’s report on the incident: “At 05:58 a fire alarm indicated fire on the car deck and it was established that some cars and trailers were on fire in two sections on the car deck aft in the port side.
“The fire was extinguished by the ship’s sprinkler systems and subsequently by the
ship’s fire-fighting teams assisted by Swedish fire-fighters who had been flown to the
ship by helicopter.
“The cause of the fire was an electric car that was being charged during the voyage.
After having recognized the fire, all passengers were evacuated to safe areas in the
ship. Neither the passengers nor the crew were injured”.
Pearl of Scandinavia is the most recent ro-ro ferry fire. It follows the Commodore Clipper in June 2010, Lisco Gloria in October 2010 and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern on 20 November 2010.
Says DMA: “These fires have a number of features in common… Based on the fires on the car decks on PEARL OF SCANDINAVIA, Commodore Clipper, Lisco Gloria and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and the reports issued, the Danish Maritime Accident Investigation Board recommends that the Danish Maritime Authority in co-operation with the industry and other relevant parties assess the need to promote international initiatives in order to prevent fire and enhance the fire resistance on the car decks on ro-ro passenger ships”.
Britain’s Marine Accident Investigation board issued a safety bulletin regarding refrigerated trucks carried on board ferries.
MAIB Safety Bulettin 3