NTSB Safer Seas Digest 2019 and Discussion About Hot Work Involving Tween Deck Pontoons

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has released its “Safer Seas Digest 2019: Lessons Learned from Marine Accident Investigations.” The digest provides a summary of 30 marine accidents, the investigative findings of which were issued or adopted in 2019. These accidents involved contact with fixed objects, breakaways, sinkings, collisions, fires, floodings, groundings, and other vessel damage. The vessels ranged from personal craft to oceangoing passenger ships and a US Navy vessel.

The NTSB publication can be viewed or downloaded from this webpage:

Two of the incidents discussed in the NTSB publication concern fire protection during hot work. The NTSB notes: “It is critical to evaluate work areas for fire hazards to ensure that adequate protection is in place. Crewmembers involved in hot work should be trained to identify possible hazards and take action to remove or mitigate these potential risks to the vessel and crew.” The NTSB also points to an often-cited causal factor in hot work-related fires – an ineffective or non-existent fire watch. As emphasized by the NTSB, a “fire watch should not perform any other duties while acting as fire watch and should remain on-site until the area is deemed to be safe, unless relieved by another crewmember”. Inadequate fire protection during hot work was a factor in the F/V Jeanette accident. Inadequate fire protection during hot work and delayed notification to port authorities when a fire broke out were factors in the M/V Chipolbrok Moon cargo hold fire.

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