Protecting your crew and vessel: using ultrasonics to create a Safeship®

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The New Zealand Transport Accident Investigation Commission (TAIC) have recently investigated the cause of the 2016 PeeJay V fire and sinking. PeeJay V was a passenger vessel, which at the time of the incident had 53 passengers on board. As a result of the fire and sinking one person suffered smoke inhalation and there was a total loss of the vessel.

The TAIC have concluded that a lack of understanding of the CO2 fixed fire-fighting system contributed to the sinking of the PeeJayV. One of the significant issues was “the CO2 fixed fire-fighting system installed in the engine room could not be fully effective in extinguishing the fire because the space it was protecting could not be fully closed down” and this was partly as a result of the builder and operators of the vessel did not fully appreciate the principles of how the CO2 fixed fire-fighting system operated”.

The TAIC recommended “crew must be fully familiar with and trained in the use of fire-fighting systems on board, otherwise the systems might not be of any use in fighting a fire” which is a key part of the IMO SOLAS Fire Safety Systems (FSS) Ch5. “Means shall be provided for the crew to safely check the quantity of the fire extinguishing medium in the container”. The loss of the PeeJayV has exemplified why it is crucial for the compartmentation of the area protected by fixed fire fighting systems and the liquid level of the gaseous extinguishant  to be regularly and easily tested by the crew.

A lack of understanding and servicing of fixed fire fighting installations can endanger the lives of the crew, vessel and cargo in the event of a fire.  One British manufacturer whose mission is to deliver the Safeship® to prevent PeeJay V  type incidents occurring again is Coltraco Ultrasonics. They are committed to improving safety for people, assets and vessels at sea. They focus on benefitting the crew; designing innovative ultrasonic solutions which the crew will be happy to use by being easy to operate, quick, accurate and a better method to traditional techniques. Thus increasing the likelihood of tests being regularly conducted, in line with regulations and even going above and beyond for more frequent testing. By so doing, the crew will be creating a safer ship.

Ultrasonics is proven to be the quickest, easiest and most efficient method to holistically test compartmentation and liquid level inside fixed fire-fighting installations. The Portascanner® 520 is designed to allow the crew to non-destructively conduct regular compartmentation maintenance, with industry leading accuracy. Accompanying this to holistically test the fixed fire-fighting system is the award winning Portalevel® MAX Marine which uses ultrasound to enable identification in under 30 seconds with one person, instead of the traditional 15 minutes, with two people laboriously weighing. Combined with the MAX Marine, The Portasteele® Calculator is an advanced calculator application, that converts the liquid level height of C02, NOVEC™ 1230 and FM-200® liquefied gaseous extinguishant agent readings taken on an ultrasonic non-destructive liquid level indicator device into the agent weight/mass

Avoid negligence and work towards creating the Safeship® with Coltraco Ultrasonics.

Coltraco Ultrasonics is a leading British designer and manufacturer of innovative ultrasonic technology operating in 109 countries across the offshore markets for over 30 years.

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Coltraco Ultrasonics
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Joseph Swan Road
TS21 3FB

United Kingdom


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Tel (Technical): +44 1740 618 240