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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation M-89-068
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 EVACUA TION OF PASSENGERS TO THE FOUR MUSTER STATIONS ON THE SHIP. THE LOSS OF MAIN GENERATOR AND EMERGENCY GENERATOR ELECTRI CAL 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. PETERS BURG, FLORIDA, WHERE THEY WERE TREATED AND LATER RELEASED. DAMAGE AND REPAIR COSTS WERE ESTIMATED AT $3.5 MILLION.
Recommendation: THE NTSB RECOMMENDS THAT BUREAU VERITAS: AMEND SURVEY PROCEDURES FOR THE FIXED CO2 FIRE EXTINGUISHING SYSTEMS ON PASSENGER VESSELS TO INCLUDE A MORE DETAILED INSPECTION OF THE REMOTE AND LOCAL AUTOMATIC RELEASE MECHANISMS TO VERIFY THEIR OPERATION AND THE OPERATION OF THE ENTIRE SYSTEM.
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: 6/7/1994
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: Bureau Veritas (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: Bureau Veritas
Date: 6/7/1994
Response: THE BUREAU VERITAS' INSTRUCTIONS TO SURVEYORS, NO. 16, "SAFETY SURVEYS" PROVIDES INSPECTION & TESTING PROCEDURES & INSTRUCTIONS THAT COMPLY WITH THE RECOMMENDED ACTION. THEREFORE, M-89-68 HAS BEEN CLASSIFIED "CLOSED--ACCEPTABLE ACTION."

From: Bureau Veritas
To: NTSB
Date: 4/5/1994
Response: AS REQUESTED, PLEASE FIND ENCLOSED 1 PAGE EXTRACTED FROM OUR INSTRUCTIONS TO SURVEYORS NO.16 "SAFETY SURVEYS" WHERE IT IS STIPULATED THAT, DURING SURVEYS, THE AUTOMATIC RELEASE MECHANISM OF FIXED CO2 SYSEM SHALL BE CAREFULLY EXAMINED.

From: NTSB
To: Bureau Veritas
Date: 3/7/1994
Response: THE BOARD WAS PLEASED TO LEARN THAT BUREAU VERITAS DEVELOPED THE REQUESTED INSPECTION AND TESTING PROCEDURES AND PROVIDES THIS INFORMATION IN INSTRUCTIONS TO ITS SURVEYORS. THE BOARD WOULD LIKE A COPY OF THESE INSTRUCTIONS FOR OUR REFERENCE LIBRARY. PENDING RECEIPT OF THESE INSTRUCTIONS, RECOMMENDATION M-89-68 WILL BE CLASSIFIED "OPEN--ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE."

From: Bureau Veritas
To: NTSB
Date: 1/19/1994
Response: AS REQUESTED BY YOUR PREVIOUS CORRESPONDENCE, PLEASE NOTE THAT THE NECESSITY TO INCLUDE MORE DETAILED INSPECTION OF THE REMOTE AND LOCAL RELEASE MECHANISM OF THE FIXED CARBON DIOXIDE FIRE EXTINGUISHING SYSTEMS AND TO VERIFY THEIR OPERATION AND THE OPERATION OF THE ENTIRE SYSTEM HAS BEEN DEVELOPED DURING OUR DIFFERENT TRAINING SESSIONS FOR OUR SURVEYORS IN OUR HEAD OFFICE IN PARIS. THE SAME INFORMATION HAS BEEN NOTIFIED IN OUR RELEVANT INSTRUCTIONS TO SURVEYORS.

From: NTSB
To: Bureau Veritas
Date: 1/9/1990
Response: We have reviewed Mr. M. Brulez's letter regarding the National Transportation Safety Board's Safety Recommendation M-89-68 concerning the need for more detailed inspection procedures for fixed CO2 fire extinguishing systems on passenger viessels. We note that Bureau Veritas will, at the next up-dating, circulate to the surveyors internal instructions containing a reminder to the surveyors in charge of survey of fire protection arrangements that the release mechanism is to be carefully examined in conjunction with the specialized firm in charge of checks and maintenance. We would appreciate being advised when the internal instruction has been issued to the surveyors; in the meantime, this safety recommendation will be held in an "Open--Acceptable Alternate Action" status.

From: Bureau Veritas
To: NTSB
Date: 10/6/1989
Response: UPON RECEIPT OF YOUR REFERENCED LETTER, THE FILES OF THE CONCERNED SHIP WERE RETRIEVED FROM STORAGE AND EXAMINED, IN CONJUCTION WITH THE SOCIETY'S RULES AND PROCEDURES IN FORCE DURING THE PERIOD THE SHIP WAS CLASSED WITH BUREAU VERITAS. THE SHIP WAS BUILT FOR THE FRENCH FLAG UNDER THE SPECIAL SURVEY OF BUREAU VERTIAS. FIRE PROTECTION OF PASSENGER VESSELS IS A RESPONSIBILITY OF THE FRENCH ADMINISTRATION. THE FRENCH REGULATIONS WERE AT THE TIME, AND STILL ARE, AT LEAST AS COMPREHENSIVE AS THE INTERNATIONAL REGULATIONS. THEY PROVIDE FOR THE EXAMINATIONS AND TESTING OF CO2 SYSTEMS BY A SPECIALIST FIRM, THE REPORT OF WHICH IS TAKEN INTO CONSIDERATION DURING THE SURVEY BY THE CERTIFYING AUTHORITY. THIS PROCEDURE IS ALSO FOLLOWED BY BUREAU VERITAS IN THE ABSENCE OF OTHER SPECIFIC REQUIREMENTS BY THE ADMINISTRATION CONCERNED. MORE GENERALLY THE RULES OF THE SOCIETY FOR SURVEYS FOLLOW IACS RECOMMENDTIONS, WHICH ARE DIRECTLY BASED ON IMO RESOLUTIONS, IN THE PRESENT CASE A 413 (XI). ADDITIONAL COMMENTS OR ADVICES ARE FROM TIME TO TIME CIRCULATED TO THE SURVEYORS AS INTERNAL INSTRUCTIONS. THE NEXT UP-DATING SHALL CONTAIN A REMINDER TO THE SURVEYORS IN CHARGE OF SURVEY OF FIRE PROTECTION ARRANGEMENTS THAT THE RELEASE MECHANISM IS TO BE CAREFULLY EXAMINED IN CONJUCTION WITH THE SPECIALIZED FIRM IN CHARGE OF CHECKS AND MAINTENANCE.