Container Ship Fires Conference

The Chairman of Coltraco Ultrasonics, Dr Carl Stephen Patrick Hunter OBE spoke at the Honourable Company of Master Mariner’s Container Ship Fires Conference on 4th November.

For several years container ships have been experiencing fires in containers loaded on board. This has resulted in major damage to ships, cargo, containers and unacceptable fatalities amongst mariners. Mis-declaration remains a major challenge, but even cargoes stowed in accordance with the IMDG Code start fires, while others have the potential to enhance the speed at which the fire spreads. Container ships have significantly increased in size but SOLAS firefighting and protection regulations have not evolved at the same pace, leaving crews facing major challenges in deploying the resources currently available on board. The conference explored some of the reasons for those fires and what needs to be done to reduce the risks and avoid loss of life.

An extract from Dr Carl Stephen Patrick Hunter OBE:

But the regulations generate the equipment that are the tools to solve the problems.

And in turn the regulations and the equipment generate the working procedures so that both combine to a cohesive whole.

To preserve safety of life at sea. It is called SOLAS.

And the best of our operators sail in good faith that their mariners will be safe.

For when we go on great ships to do great business we have enough risk to cater for from winds and seas. 

But our greatest failures lie in our worst practices.

And that is about us and whether we can look the world in the eye.

And say we led. “