At about 1540 on 22 September 2006, a flash fire erupted in the
high pressure welding oxygen system on board Searoad Mersey. The
trainee engineer received burns to his arms from the flash-fire and
from molten plastic impinging on his skin when the hoses ruptured.
He was wearing overalls at the time but the sleeves were rolled up.
Consequently, the overalls did not protect his arms. The fire
occurred when the heat created by the compression of the oxygen
within the system ignited a replacement hose that had been fitted
into the system. The hose had a lining made from a material with a
low ignition temperature that had been made in an oily environment.
It was not fit for its intended purpose and did not comply with any
standards for high pressure oxygen hoses. The hose had been
fabricated by a hose supplier who had not been trained about the
hazards or standards associated with high pressure oxygen systems
and had ambiguous information regarding the suitability of hose
materials for the purpose. The report also found that the fixed
oxy-acetylene system had not been inspected or maintained in
accordance with marine orders. The report makes several safety
recommendations with the aim of preventing further incidents of