At about 0530 on 11 November 2006, a fire started in the engine room on board the Antarctic supply ship L'Astrolabe. The fire was fed by a spray of diesel fuel from a leak that had developed in the starboard main engine fuel system.
The ship's crew closed the remotely operated, fuel system quick closing valves, which shut down all of the main and auxiliary engines, isolated all ventilation to the engine room and then operated the engine room's fixed fire extinguishing system.
By 0620, the fire had been extinguished and the crew worked to restart the ship's main and auxiliary engines. By about 1200, L'Astrolabe had resumed its passage to Hobart using its port main engine and, by 1030 on 12 November, the starboard main engine was also back in service.
The ATSB's investigation found that the fire was caused by a leak of diesel fuel, probably in the form of a spray, from a temporary blanking arrangement on the starboard main engine. The fuel ignited when it came into contact with the hot surfaces of the starboard main engine.
The report identifies a number of safety issues and issued one recommendation and three safety advisory notices.
Marine Recommendations [ MR20070022 ]
|Date:||11 November 2006||Investigation status:||Completed|
|Time:||0530 (UTC +11 Hours)|
|Location:||Southern Ocean, Sth of Hobart|
|Release date:||29 June 2007|
|Report status:||Final||Occurrence category:||Serious Incident|
|Highest injury level:||None|
|Type of operation||Antarctic support|
|Damage to vessel||Minor|
|Departure point||Dumont d'Urville, Antarctica|