The ATSB is investigating the suspected engine room fire and passenger evacuation involving domestic commercial vessel Fitzroy Flyer, 7 NM (13 km) east-north-east of Cairns, Queensland on 29 March 2019.
Fitzroy Flyer departed Fitzroy Island on a return trip to Cairns with four crew and 37 passengers on board. At about 1410, the vessel’s master noticed the port main engine was over heating and reduced the engine throttle to idle. Shortly after, a fire alarm activated in the engine compartment. Crewmembers investigated and reported a suspected fire. Crewmembers then attempted to extinguish the fire using CO2 and dry powder, however, they could not confirm their actions were successful.
All passengers were then mustered and the master advised the port authority of the situation. He then radioed for assistance from nearby vessels in Mission Bay, about 7 NM from Cairns.
At about 1450, the port engine was shut down and the fire suppression system was released. By 1600, all passengers had been evacuated to two vessels. At 1615, the master started the starboard engine and resumed the voyage to Cairns at slow speed. By 1710, the vessel had been safely berthed without further incident.
Following an on board inspection, the port engine cooling water header tank was found empty and the smoke sighted by crewmembers was assumed to be steam. There were no signs of a fire nor any fire damage in the engine compartment.
The investigation will focus on the on board response, emergency procedures and passenger management.
The ships crewmembers will be interview and evidence collection is underway.
A final report will be released at the end of the investigation.
|Date:||29 March 2019||Investigation status:||Active|
|Time:||1410 AEST||Investigation level:||Short - click for an explanation of investigation levels|
|Location:||7 NM ENE of Cairns||Investigation phase:||Evidence collection|
|Report status:||Pending||Highest injury level:||None|
|Anticipated completion:||4th Quarter 2019|
|Operator||Fitzroy Island Investments|
|Type of operation||Domestic commercial vessel, Class 1, Operational area D|
|Damage to vessel||Nil|
|Departure point||Fitzroy Island, Queensland|