View Full Version : Campbeltown trawler fire explained

Davie Tait
23rd August 2013, 15:55

THE MAIB has published the findings of its investigation into the fire that caused the eventual destruction of the Amy Harris III, a Campbeltown-registered twin-rig prawn stern trawler an analysis that suggests a diesel leak was the cause of the blaze.

At 1500 on 16 January 2013, the skipper of Amy Harris III discovered a fire in the engine room. The crew's initial attack on the fire was unsuccessful.

Doors and a hatch that were left open allowed smoke to rapidly spread forcing the skipper and his three crewmen onto the deck. No further attempts were made to suppress or control the fire, and the crew were airlifted off the vessel by rescue helicopter soon afterwards.

The vessel was subsequently towed into Campbeltown where the fire was extinguished. Amy Harris III was later declared a constructive total loss.

The most likely cause of the fire was the ignition of diesel fuel oil, which had leaked from a flexible pipe supplying the auxiliary engine's fuel lift pump.

The owner has been recommended to: properly support pipework to prevent fatigue failure; ensure crews are fully conversant with the emergency equipment and conduct monthly emergency drills; properly maintain emergency equipment; conduct risk assessments and improve housekeeping standards.

Recommendations have also been made to the skipper to attend a refresher fire-fighting course, and to the Sea Fish Industry Authority to test students' knowledge of fixed fire-fighting systems in its Basic Fire Fighting Course assessment.