Marine safety investigations & reports

Engine room fire on board MV Maersk Handler

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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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
[Download  PDF: 108KB]
General details
Date: 07 April 1984   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 2108 WAST    
Location: NW Australia    
State: Western Australia    
Release date: 01 October 1984   Occurrence category: Incident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Vessel details

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  
Last update 18 May 2016