At about 1115 on 31 March 2008, a fire started in the engine room of the container ship MSC Lugano. The chief engineer operated the quick closing valves and the remote stops for the engine room fans and oil pumps. The crew closed the dampers for the engine room fans and the funnel vents and rigged fire hoses to boundary cool the engine room casing and funnel.
After about 50 minutes, the fire cut the electrical power supply to the emergency fire pump and water ceased to flow from the fire hoses. The master ordered the crew to close the engine room skylight and then muster. He then instructed the chief engineer to activate the ship's fixed fire extinguishing system.
At 1220, the master reported the fire to the Australian Rescue Coordination Centre (RCC).
By 1600, the crew had determined that the fire was extinguished. The engine room was ventilated and the crew entered to assess the damage. They were able to re-start many of the engine room systems and restore electrical power but they could not re-start the main engine. The ship was now about 90 miles south of Esperance, Western Australia and drifting towards the Archipelago of the Recherche.
The ship's owners entered into an agreement to tow the ship to Fremantle and, on 1 April, the tug Wambiri departed from Fremantle, Western Australia. Three other tugs, two based in Esperance and one that was in the vicinity towing a barge, were directed by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) to assist the ship until Wambiri arrived.
By 1245 on 5 April, Wambiri had rendezvoused with MSC Lugano and taken the ship in tow. The tow continued without incident and at 1506 on 13 April, the disabled ship berthed in Fremantle.
The report identifies a number of safety issues and advises of safety actions already taken and those recommended by the ATSB.
Safety Advisory Notices
|Date:||31 March 2008||Investigation status:||Completed|
|Time:||UTC +9||Investigation level:||Complex - click for an explanation of investigation levels|
|Location:||Off West Australian coast|
|Release date:||05 February 2009|
|Report status:||Final||Occurrence category:||Incident|
|Highest injury level:||None|
|Type of operation||Container Ship|
|Damage to vessel||Minor|
|Departure point||Adelaide, South Australia|
|Destination||Fremantle, Western Australia|