The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) has issued a preliminary report from its ongoing investigation into a fire onboard the MPV Everest while on charter to the Australian Antarctic Division, last April.
On the morning of 5 April, MPV Everest was about 1,075 NM north-east of Mawson station in the Southern Ocean on a north-north-easterly course bound for Hobart, with a crew of 37 and 72 expedition staff onboard, the preliminary report details.
Shortly before 1100, the ship’s master saw large flames erupting from open louvres in the port engine room’s exhaust casing, so he raised the alarm and instructed crew and expedition staff to report to their emergency muster positions.
Passage resumed at about 1820, after propulsion was restored with two engines in the starboard engine room (with the port engine room and machinery unusable). There were no injuries and the ship diverted to Fremantle the following day.
During initial inspections of the fire-damaged engine room, the crew observed fuel oil dripping down into it from within the exhaust vent casing above, the preliminary report notes.
In addition to the exhaust piping for the engines, air vent pipes for several engine room fuel oil tanks and other spaces are situated within the casing. Some of these vent pipes terminate on top of the casing while others terminate internally within the casing. Those that terminated inside the casing, included the port fuel oil settling tank that was being filled on the morning of the fire. Recorded IAS data indicates that this tank probably overflowed sometime after 1030 that morning.
“The ATSB’s investigation will continue to examine the origin and cause of the fire and its development, and the operation of the ship’s fuel oil transfer system, including pumps, piping, alarms and automation”, said ATSB Chief Commissioner Greg Hood.
Read the preliminary report on MPV Everest by clicking here
Read another accident report: Report into fire onboard a bulk carrier at Port Kembla published