NTSB investigation report: Lithium-ion Battery Fire Destroys Ship's Bridge

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(www.MaritimeCyprus.com) On November 13, 2022, about 1530 local time, a fire started on the bridge of the oil tanker S-Trust while the vessel was docked at the Genesis Port Allen Terminal in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Fire teams from the vessel’s crew extinguished the fire about 1550. There were no injuries, and no pollution was reported. The damage to the vessel was estimated at $3 million. 

On November 13, the master of the vessel was working at the desk in his office, one deck below the bridge. He had a video monitor next to his desk that showed closed-circuit camera feeds from throughout the vessel, including one from the vessel’s bridge. About 1530, the master noted that the camera feed for the bridge was no longer visible, so he went up to the bridge to investigate. When he opened the door to the bridge, smoke came out and activated the smoke detector at the top of the stairwell just outside the door. The master quickly closed the door, went down to the cargo control room, and told the chief mate to stop all cargo operations. After doing so, the chief mate notified the terminal of the fire on the vessel; terminal personnel then contacted the West Baton Rouge Fire Department.

View of the Bridge, after the fire.

The master returned to the bridge deck to fight the fire; on the way, he used a radio to notify the other crewmembers of the fire. After arriving on the starboard bridgewing, the master opened the starboard-side door to the bridge to evaluate the situation. He stated that the fire was coming from the communications table. He then proceeded to the port bridgewing and opened the portside door to the bridge, but the smoke was too thick to see into the bridge. He returned to the starboard bridgewing. The master directed the crew to muster into two fire teams—one on the portside bridgewing and the other on the starboard-side bridgewing.

Once the master received notification that all of the electrical power to the bridge was secured, the fire teams began fighting the fire through the port and starboard bridge doors using hoses. At 1550, the fire was reported to be out. At 1600, the West Baton Rouge Fire
Department arrived at the docked vessel and confirmed that the fire was extinguished.

Investigators from the Coast Guard and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) discovered extensive damage throughout the bridge, including significant smoke and thermal damage. There was no damage noted to any of the lower decks in the
superstructure. The navigation systems, communication systems, and alarm systems were damaged beyond repair.

The damage to the vessel was estimated at $3 million. 

 

For more details, download the NTSB investigation report below:

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For more Marine Accident Investigation Reports, click here.

 

 

Source: NTSB

 

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