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On the evening of 7 April 1984, and while on passage from the drilling rig Maersk Valient to Port Hedland, the offshore supply vessel Maersk Handler suffered a fire in the engine room. The engines were stopped using the remote shut down controls, engine room was sealed and the halon flooding system activated, which extinguished the fire. However, the vessel was disabled and had to be towed to Port Hedland.


The cause of the fire was traced to a failed blank on the outboard fuel rail of the starboard engine. The blank, on a superfluous nipple, was a 20mm length of rod, held in place by an olive and a compression cap. The compression cap wasfound to be still firmly in place. As the distortion caused by the olive on piping does not occur with rod, that type of blank is unsuitable where the blank is under pressure.

Download Final Report
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General details
Date: 07 April 1984 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 2108 WAST  
Location:NW Australia Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Western Australia Occurrence type: Fire 
Release date: 01 October 1984  
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Incident 
 Highest injury level: None 
Vessel details
Vessel: MV Maersk Handler 
IMO: 381885 
Type of Operation: Offshore Support Vessel 
Damage to Vessel: Substantial 
Departure point:Rig Maersk Valiant, WA
Departure time:N/A
Destination:Port Hedland, WA
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Last update 18 May 2016