Preliminary report released 7 January 2015

What happened

On the morning of 9 October 2014, a fire started in Ocean Drover’s crew accommodation while the livestock carrier was berthed in Fremantle and preparing to load cargo. The fire quickly spread and the ship’s crew and a number of the port’s emergency response teams fought to control it for the rest of the day. Four of the ship’s crew sustained smoke inhalation requiring medical treatment; one being hospitalised for smoke inhalation and burns.

By the time the fire was extinguished the following day, the accommodation areas and the ship’s navigation bridge had been extensively damaged.

What the ATSB has found so far

Initial analysis by the ATSB and the Western Australia Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) indicates that the fire started in one of the central forward cabins on the upper deck. The fire quickly spread and engulfed both the upper deck and the bridge deck above.

Investigation direction

The investigation is ongoing and will focus on:

  • the circumstances and mechanisms of the fire initiation and spread
  • the operation and efficacy of the ship’s fire detection, protection and extinguishing systems
  • crew training and shipboard emergency response.