Interesting investigation from U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).
The U.S. NTSB has determined that an insufficient preventative maintenance program and lack of guidance for responding to engine high-temperature conditions, led to the January 14, 2018, fire on board the small passenger vessel Island Lady, in the waters of the Pithlachascotee River, near Port Ritchey, Florida.
s investigation determined:
- • Tropical Breeze Casino Cruz’s lack of guidance regarding engine high-temperature alarms led to the captain leaving the port engine idling, rather than shutting it down, leading to the fire.
- • The lack of a requirement for a fire detection and suppression system in an unmanned space containing engine exhaust tubing prevented early detection of, and a swifter response to, the fire in the lazarette.
- • The captain’s decisions to return to the dock and to subsequently beach the Island Lady were prudent and increased the likelihood of survival for those on board.
- • The failure of the port engine’s raw-water pump led to overheating of the engine and exhaust tubing.
• The raw-water pump’s failure resulted from Tropical Breeze Casino Cruz’s failure to follow Caterpillar’s recommended maintenance schedule.
- • The Island Lady’s crew had insufficient firefighting training.
- • The use of plastic tubing on local tank level indicators and lack of automatic shutoff valves on the fuel tanks resulted in the release of diesel fuel, which contributed to the severity of the fire.
- • The U.S. Coast Guard did not correctly assess the Island Lady’s fuel system’s compliance with applicable regulations during an inspection of the vessel.