The following sequence of events should be considered for inclusion in the vessel’s emergency procedures for tackling a fire:
- Activate the alarm;
- Stop cargo operations – close all valves and hatches;
- Activate ship’s emergency plan;
- Organise fire-fighting teams;
- If alongside a berth, alert terminal staff (and agent if time allows) and request them to alert port authorities;
- Alert the port authorities;
- If other ships or craft are alongside, alert them and instruct them to depart immediately;
- Identify the chemical or chemicals involved, and any chemicals that may be at risk if the fire spreads;
- Select the fire-fighting equipment and fire extinguishing agent to be used; and
- Be alert to the risk of toxic fumes entering the accommodation, and that an evacuation of non-essential crew may be necessary.
The ship’s general alarm should be raised and, if alongside, the terminal should be notified with details of the chemicals involved. The terminal control room should be requested to summon any necessary outside assistance and, if appropriate, activate their emergency procedures.