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Tank vessel Endo Breeze underway after the fire. (Source: Martine Klingsick, Shipspotting.com)

Tank vessel Endo Breeze underway after the fire. (Source: Martine Klingsick, Shipspotting.com)

Maintenance Error Causes Engine Room Fire on Tanker

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 3855
November 30, 2023

An engine room fire aboard a Maltese-flagged tanker last year that resulted in $1.2 million in damages was caused by a maintenance error, according to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

The incident occurred on April 29, 2022, as the Endo Breeze was transiting through the Raritan Bay West Reach channel near Staten Island, New York.

The fire was ignited when oil spray from a fuel injector pump on the starboard main engine came into contact with nearby hot surfaces. The crew of the Endo Breeze acted swiftly and contained the fire by removing fuel and oxygen sources, as well as activating the vessel’s fixed fire extinguishing system.

Upon investigation, the NTSB determined that the cause of the oil spray was a slight offset on the banjo tube assembly of the engine’s no. 1 cylinder fuel injector pump. It was found that the engineer had not correctly followed the manufacturer’s procedure for fuel injector pump reassembly during maintenance conducted a day prior to the fire.

The NTSB said the incident highlights the importance of adhering to recommended maintenance procedures provided by equipment manufacturers. The NTSB has investigated multiple cases where mechanical or fuel line fitting failures resulting from improper maintenance have led to engine fires in shipboard diesel engines. The report also emphasized the need for training to prevent and contain engine room fires.

“To prevent engine room fires and ensure they are effectively contained, operators should provide mariners realistic scenario-based training, including training that covers engine room emergencies,” the report said. “This training should also cover procedures for effectively shutting down machinery, fuel oil, lube oil, and ventilation systems, as well as boundary monitoring.”

Marine Investigation Report 23-25 is available here.

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