18th November 2021
On 4th November, Dr Nick Carey spoke at the Fires on Container Ships Seminar hosted by the London Branch of the Nautical Institute on their floating headquarters, HQS Wellington. Hawkins was pleased to also be a supporting sponsor.
The conference focused on the alarming increase in container ship fires and how to mitigate the risk when it comes to cargo spoilage, vessel damage, and potential loss of lives onboard.
The conference programme discussed:
- the nature and extent of cargo fires on board container vessels
- whether current IMDG regulations are a contributing factor and to what extent reform is needed
- the major challenge of mis-declared cargoes
- the human and financial costs to stakeholders
- current fire-fighting equipment and techniques sufficient to enable ships' crews to halt or delay the spread of fire
- what changes are needed to current SOLAS regulations and ship designs
Dr Nick Carey presents "Causes and Science of Container Ship Fires"
Dr Nick Carey has investigated many marine fires in ports
around the world during his career with Hawkins. His talk, entitled Causes and
Science of Container Ship Fires, followed the morning introduction, and
preceded other relevant talks covering the industry standards, codes, planning
challenges, and costs. Nick spoke about the causes of self-heating within
containers and fire-fighting onboard container ships, concluding with the
suggestions that; a) containers be made with steel floors and b) that there be
no price increase for transporting dangerous goods, in order to discourage
mis-declaration. Both suggestions were generally agreed. With an
estimated 20% of dangerous goods being mis-declared, a decrease in the size of
crews and in training budgets, and commercial pressures of turn-around times,
it was largely concluded by most participants that regulation and leadership
will need to change, in order to prevent future high-risk incidents, such as
container fires, from occurring.