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Control measure

Scene survey: Fires on board vessels

Control measure knowledge

A full scene survey of the incident should be carried out at the earliest opportunity; this may require using other vessels or resources to assess the incident.

Available resources may include:

  • Port authority vessels (e.g. tugs or pilot vessels)
  • Fire and rescue service vessels
  • Privately-owned vessels
  • Fire and rescue service aerial appliances
  • Fire and rescue service resources
  • Other services resources (e.g. military or police air assets)
  • Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or drones

The scene survey should also include smoke and thermal scanning. Using thermal imaging equipment for both locating the fire and for assessing the effect of the fire on adjoining compartments will provide vital information. The incident commander should be mindful that insulated bulkheads may result in false temperature readings.

Strategic actions

Fire and rescue services should:
  • Consider having a memorandum of understanding with port authorities and other agencies relating to the agreed actions at incidents involving vessels

Tactical actions

Incident commanders should:
  • Ensure that a scene survey is carried out at the earliest opportunity

  • Ensure that all personnel are fully briefed on the current hazards, risks, control measures and tactical mode
  • Identify the location of any available ship to shore connection

  • Use ships plan and on-board systems in liaison with the vessel’s personnel to confirm the location of the fire

  • Identify the presence and effectiveness of any on board or infrastructure fixed installations