Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation M-89-045
Details
Synopsis: ABOUT 2325 ON MARCH 15, 1988, A FIRE OCCURRED IN THE ENGINE ROOM OF THE BAHAMIAN FLAG PASSENGER VESSEL SCANDINAVIAN STAR. AT THE TIME OF THE FIRE, THE SHIP WAS ABOUT 50 NMI NORTHEAST OF CANCUN, MEXICO, EN ROUTE FROM COZUMEL, MEXICO, EN ROUTE FROM COZUMEL, MEXICO, TO ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA, WITH 439 PASSENGERS AND 268 CREWMEMBERS ON BOARD. THE MASTER BROADCAST A DISTRESS MESSAGE AND ORDERED THE EVACUATION OF PASSENGERS TO THE FOUR MUSTER STATIONS ON THE SHIP. THE LOSS OF MAIN GENERATOR AND EMERGENCY GENERATOR ELECTRICAL POWER AND THE MALFUNCTION OF THE SHIP'S FIXED CO2 FIRE FIGHTING SYSTEM HINDERED EFFORTS TO FIGHT THE FIRE. THE INABILITY OF CREWMEMBERS TO COMMUNICATE WITH EACH OTHER AND WITH PASSENGERS CREATED CONFUSION DURING THE FIREFIGHTING AND EVACUATION ACTIVITIES. TWO CREWMEMBERS RECEIVED MINOR INJURIES DURING THE EMERGENCY. TWO PASSENGERS WERE MEDI VACED FROM THE VESSEL AND FLOWN TO A HOSPITAL IN ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA, WHERE THEY WERE TREATED AND LATER RELEASED. DAMAGE AND REPAIR COSTS WERE ESTIMATED AT $3.5 MILLION.
Recommendation: THE NTSB RECOMMENDS THAT THE U.S. COAST GUARD: PROPOSE THAT THE INTERNATIONAL MARITIME ORGANIZATION AMEND SOLAS '74 REQUIREMENTS FOR PASSENGER VESSELS TO: SPECIFY THE PROCEDURES NECESSARY TO PERFORM A FUNCTIONAL TEST OF FIXED CO2 FIRE EXTINGUISHING SYSTEMS ANNUALLY TO VERIFY THEIR OPERATION.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Mode: Marine
Location: Gulf of Mexico, GM, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: DCA88MM038
Accident Reports: Fire on Board the Bahamian Passenger Ship The Scandinavian Star
Report #: MAR-89-04
Accident Date: 3/15/1988
Issue Date: 8/8/1989
Date Closed: 11/28/1994
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: USCG (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: USCG
Date: 11/28/1994
Response: BECAUSE DRAFT MSC CIRCULAR, SUBMITTED BY THE USCG TO THE IMO IN JUNE 1994, SATISFIES THE RECOMMENDED ACTION, M-89-45 HAS BEEN CLASSIFIED "CLOSED--ACCEPTABLE ACTION."

From: USCG
To: NTSB
Date: 3/23/1994
Response:

From: NTSB
To: USCG
Date: 8/21/1991
Response: Safety Recommendation M-89-45 asked the Coast Guard to propose that the IMO amend SOLAS '74 requirements for passenger vessels to specify the procedures necessary to perform a functional test of fixed CO2 fire extinguishing systems annually to verify their operation. We understand that the Coast Guard intends to submit a paper to the IMO Subcommittee on Fire Protection containing a draft MSC Circular on this topic that will include proposed requirements for weighing of cylinders, testing predischarge alarms, testing remote control releases, testing automatic shut down of ventilation systems, and ensuring all openings into protected space can be properly secured. We look forward to hearing further from the Coast Guard on this issue. In the meantime, Safety Recommendation M-89-45 will be held in an "Open--Acceptable Response" status.

From: USCG
To: NTSB
Date: 10/25/1990
Response: I CONCUR WITH THIS REC. SOLAS '74 CURRENTLY REQUIRES A PERIODIC INSPECTION OF FIRE EXTINGUISHING APPLIANCES, BUT DOES NOT SPECIFICALLY ADDRESS FUNCTIONAL TESTING OF FIXED CO2 SYSTEMS. WE INTEND TO SUBMIT A PAPER TO THE IMO SUB COMMITTEE ON FIRE PROTECTION CONTAINING A DRAFT MARITIME SAFETY COMMITTEE CIRCULAR ON THIS TOPIC INCLUDING PROPOSED REQUIREMENTS FOR WEIGHING OF CYLINDERS, TESTING PREDISCHARGE ALARMS, TESTING REMOTE CONTROL RELEASES, TESTING AUTOMATIC SHUT DOWN OF VENTILATION SYSTEMS, & ENSURING ALL OPENINGS INTO THE PROTECTED SPACE CAN BE PROPERLY SECURED. I WILL ADVISE THE BOARD WHEN CG ACTION ON THIS REC. HAS BEEN COMPLETED.