Marine Accident Brief

Fire on Board Passenger Vessel Malaspina

Alaska Ship and Drydock (ASD), Ketchikan, Alaska
February 7, 2012

NTSB Number: MAB-13-02
Adopted: February 1, 2013

Accident Summary

The passenger vessel Malaspina was in dry dock in Ketchikan, Alaska, for scheduled repairs when a fire broke out on February 7, 2012, resulting in estimated damage of between $500,000 and $750,000. No one was injured. The Malaspina was undergoing duct repair which required "hot work" — cutting, grinding, and welding.

Probable Cause

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the fire on board the passenger vessel Malaspina was the failure of the shoreside work crew and fire watch to ensure that proper cooling had occurred before leaving the area where the repair work was conducted. Contributing to the accident was the work crew's improper use and application of a welding curtain, placed horizontally as opposed to vertically, which allowed molten material to burn through the curtain and fall into the space below.