If you frequently follow our blogs, it should come as no surprise that there are countless ways in which injuries and fatalities can occur. Despite the fact that many view cruise ships as a means to escape everyday life, incidents can and do take place when you least expect them. Because of this, it’s important that you are prepared with only the most thorough information before you set off on your voyage.
Ultimately, no one can know if and when a tragic event will happen at sea. Despite best efforts by the crew and passengers to plan and prepare for any situation, there are times when that preparation simply cannot help the situation that unfolds.
Fire At Sea
That was just the case with the fire aboard Le Boral cruise ship in November 2015. The French ship, which was sailing off the coast of the Falkland Islands, had to be evacuated due to a fire in the engine room.
Now, nine months later, we bring you confirmation of the cause of the fire. After a thorough investigation, it was determined that the fire was, in fact, caused by a ship’s officer. According to reports, the crewmember believed a fuel filter to be clogged. While attempting to unclog the filter, fuel oil sprayed onto part of a hot engine. This caused a fire that spread through the copper cables of the engine compartment.
Although the emergency sprinkler system did turn on, it was not forceful or effective enough to prevent the spread of the fire. This, in turn, necessitated an evacuation, which successful evacuated all but 10 of the cruise ship passengers.
Revised Safety Protocols in Place
The details of this event call into question the protocols that were in place at the time, specifically the fact that only one ship’s officer was on duty at the time—the one who caused the fire—and the fact that the sprinkler system was too weak to successful extinguish the fire.
We are glad to report that new rules, put into practice as a result of this fire, require at least two people to be working at night on the fuel feeding line. This was accompanied by updated instructions regarding the types of activities that engine and deck officers can complete.
However, we are curious as to whether the sprinkler system will also be addressed at some point in the near future. After all, a properly functioning and powerful sprinkler system is an important step in ensuring the safety of passengers and crew while at sea. It is our hope that the proper attention will be paid to this matter, so that everyone on board can rest assured that they are in the best and most prepared hands.
We Can Help You Navigate Your Claim
When life takes a turn towards the unexpected and you find yourself overwhelmed in the aftermath of an injury at sea, you should know that we are here to help. If you have questions about your legal situation, an experienced maritime attorney may be able to offer you the advice and perspective that you need.
With experience in overseas maritime claims, especially those taking place within British territory, we are prepared to help you navigate the legal process. Please, do not hesitate to contact the office today to set up your free consultation.
Published on August 1, 2016
Categories: Cruise Ship Fires