The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has released an investigation report, about a fire started in the engine room of the 600-foot-long chemical tank ship Endo Breeze while the vessel was transiting outbound from Linden, New Jersey, through the Raritan Bay West Reach channel, to Bay Ridge Anchorage.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the engine room fire aboard the chemical tank ship Endo Breeze was a main engine fuel injector pump replacement that was not conducted in accordance with manufacturer procedures, which resulted in a high-pressure fuel spray that ignited off the engine exhaust components.
1-Diesel Engine Maintenance
The NTSB has investigated several recent casualties involving mechanical or fuel line fitting failures that led to engine room fires following maintenance of shipboard diesel engines. The engine room fire in this casualty illustrates what can happen when equipment manufacturers’ recommended maintenance procedures are not followed. In this case, not following the tightening sequence described in the diesel engine manufacturer’s manual led to the misalignment and failure of a high-pressure fuel connection on an engine’s fuel injector pump’s assembly. Due to the high risk of fire associated with pressurized fuel, when working with diesel engine components, it’s critical to carefully follow manufacturer assembly procedures and review manufacturer manuals and guidance on a regular basis to ensure familiarity with correct maintenance procedures.
2-Containing Engine Room Fires
The crew of the Endo Breeze effectively contained the spread of a main engine room fire by removing fuel and oxygen sources and communicating effectively. To prevent engine room fires and ensure they are effectively contained, operators should provide mariners realistic scenario-based training, including training that covers engine room emergencies. This training should also cover procedures for effectively shutting down machinery, fuel oil, lube oil, and ventilation systems, as well as boundary monitoring.