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MSC Lirica Is On Fire in Corfu - Merged Threads


Jeremiah1212
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This was posted by chengkp75 on the Princess board.  I hope he doesn't mind me sharing it.

 

5 hours ago, chengkp75 said:

Very likely they were test running the lifeboat engines, and this one caught on fire.  The lifeboat engines, by design get very little use, so they frequently pump some oil through the engine and into the exhaust pipe, where it collects.  These are typically flexible accordion type stainless steel hoses, so they can run along the bottom of the boat.  The oil collects in the low point, and when the engine is run long enough for the exhaust gas to get really hot, the oil will light off, superheating the exhaust pipe, and catching anything nearby on fire.  I suspect a couple of engineers were going along the entire starboard side, starting all the boat engines, and letting them run while they went to the next, etc.  One of the boats they started a while back, caught fire.  It is a moderately common fault of boats that are not maintained in top condition, or that have been left for a while, like when a ship is in lay-up.

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According to Corfu Fire Chief Kolovos, the main achievement of the operation was to prevent the fire from spreading to the interior of the cruise ship. The heat had even destroyed the windows but eight firefighters and crew members fought from within the ship to stop it spreading inside!

The fact that the fire was on the side of the ship facing out to sea made matters more difficult and meant that it would have to be tackled from the sea - but the Coastguard's firefighting boat is based in Igoumenitsa. A fire engine was loaded onto an open ferry boat so as not to lose any time and was able to help get the fire under control before it could do more damage to the ship.

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10 hours ago, capriccio said:

This was posted by chengkp75 on the Princess board.  I hope he doesn't mind me sharing it.

 

I remember when I was being trained on lifeboats, they used alot of oil to start these things up because they sit unused for a while. They always spew out black smoke when you first start them up, so this makes sense. (course these weren't the partially enclosed lifeboats they use here so....)

 

4 hours ago, BigAl94 said:

According to Corfu Fire Chief Kolovos, the main achievement of the operation was to prevent the fire from spreading to the interior of the cruise ship. The heat had even destroyed the windows but eight firefighters and crew members fought from within the ship to stop it spreading inside!

The fact that the fire was on the side of the ship facing out to sea made matters more difficult and meant that it would have to be tackled from the sea - but the Coastguard's firefighting boat is based in Igoumenitsa. A fire engine was loaded onto an open ferry boat so as not to lose any time and was able to help get the fire under control before it could do more damage to the ship.

 

Plus the fact they were able to handle a fire this high up in the ship without any noticeable list happening. 

Kudos to them!

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Oh, my!... Our cruising world is so damaged right now... And then... This!...

 

In normal times, I'd bet a 3-6 months out of commission and here we have a totally renovated Lirica to cross all the open seas!... But at this time frame though... Being Lirica a 20+ years old ship as damaged as she is right now, me thinks that she is a serious candidate to be the next in line to the scrapyard, unfortunately!...

 

Have a nice day!...

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1 hour ago, Nunagoras said:

Oh, my!... Our cruising world is so damaged right now... And then... This!...

 

In normal times, I'd bet a 3-6 months out of commission and here we have a totally renovated Lirica to cross all the open seas!... But at this time frame though... Being Lirica a 20+ years old ship as damaged as she is right now, me thinks that she is a serious candidate to be the next in line to the scrapyard, unfortunately!...

 

Have a nice day!...

Nuna ... The cost of the stretch of Lirica will likely see it repaired hopefully, looks like your Country is about to be removed from the UK Red list early next week.

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18 hours ago, Nunagoras said:

Oh, my!... Our cruising world is so damaged right now... And then... This!...

 

In normal times, I'd bet a 3-6 months out of commission and here we have a totally renovated Lirica to cross all the open seas!... But at this time frame though... Being Lirica a 20+ years old ship as damaged as she is right now, me thinks that she is a serious candidate to be the next in line to the scrapyard, unfortunately!...

 

Have a nice day!...

"In normal times" that would need about 2-3 weeks to repair, not 3-6 months.  That is about a couple of hundred thousand dollars damage, will be taken care of by hull insurance.  I would be totally amazed if they scrapped her based on this incident.

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On 3/12/2021 at 8:01 PM, SakeDad said:

Apparently you are wrong, according to MSC. So either someone dropped a cigarette from a balcony above that lit the lifeboat up or it had a mechanical issue. Glad to hear there were no injuries.

Given that during the investigation of the Star Princess fire, under lab conditions they were unable to ignite a towel using a cigarette, I'm virtually certain that a cigarette dropped onto the boat would cause nothing more than a tiny scorch mark.

 

As for lithium batteries, the fire hazard in these is with the small batteries in electronics, where they have to cram as much power into a small package, and so the space between the plates of the battery are paper thin.  When you get to the 24 volt "car size" lithium batteries, the danger is almost not there.  Most boats do not use batteries to start the engine, they use stored hydraulic power.

 

The reason for the vast amount of black smoke you see at the ship (and it is pretty toxic stuff) is that the fiberglass is fire resistant, and designed to smolder rather than burn.  The smolder (incomplete combustion) causes the thick black smoke.  Once the temperature rises sufficiently, over time, the fiberglass starts to give off vapors that will ignite into the flames you see above the boat.

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41 minutes ago, chengkp75 said:

Given that during the investigation of the Star Princess fire, under lab conditions they were unable to ignite a towel using a cigarette, I'm virtually certain that a cigarette dropped onto the boat would cause nothing more than a tiny scorch mark.

 

As for lithium batteries, the fire hazard in these is with the small batteries in electronics, where they have to cram as much power into a small package, and so the space between the plates of the battery are paper thin.  When you get to the 24 volt "car size" lithium batteries, the danger is almost not there.  Most boats do not use batteries to start the engine, they use stored hydraulic power.

 

The reason for the vast amount of black smoke you see at the ship (and it is pretty toxic stuff) is that the fiberglass is fire resistant, and designed to smolder rather than burn.  The smolder (incomplete combustion) causes the thick black smoke.  Once the temperature rises sufficiently, over time, the fiberglass starts to give off vapors that will ignite into the flames you see above the boat.

Makes sense however it seems strange to me that from all the videos, I don't see any evidence of crew attempts to tackle the fire on the lifeboat. I suspect there is more to this than has been revealed so far.

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14 minutes ago, BigAl94 said:

Makes sense however it seems strange to me that from all the videos, I don't see any evidence of crew attempts to tackle the fire on the lifeboat. I suspect there is more to this than has been revealed so far.

Given that the boat is hanging above the deck, and the only access is a vertical ladder and small catwalk, between the boat and the bulkhead, and given the thick, black, toxic smoke, this is a difficult fire to attack directly.  The overhang above the boat forces the smoke back down to where the fire teams would be trying to engage.  The use of the water cannons on the tugs is the best means of attacking this fire, while the crew and shore firefighters are used inside and out as "boundary cooling".  This is where they use the water from their hoses to cool off the steel decks and bulkheads to prevent the steel from getting hot enough to ignite flammable material (paint) on the other side, starting a fire in that space as well.

 

As I mentioned on another thread about this fire, the typical response time would be about 7-8 minutes from the time the fire is reported, until the first fully equipped fire team is on  scene.  The crew need to get from where they are working, or sleeping, get to their locker and don 40 lbs of emergency gear, report to the on scene commander for instructions, and then proceed to the fire.  Since a fire doubles in size every 30 seconds, and there is no knowing how long the fire had before it was reported, this can lead to a major conflagration in a short time.  The water cannons can throw many times the amount of water that the crew's fire hoses can.

 

I see nothing unusual in the fire fighting shown on the video.

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1 hour ago, chengkp75 said:

Given that the boat is hanging above the deck, and the only access is a vertical ladder and small catwalk, between the boat and the bulkhead, and given the thick, black, toxic smoke, this is a difficult fire to attack directly.  The overhang above the boat forces the smoke back down to where the fire teams would be trying to engage.  The use of the water cannons on the tugs is the best means of attacking this fire, while the crew and shore firefighters are used inside and out as "boundary cooling".  This is where they use the water from their hoses to cool off the steel decks and bulkheads to prevent the steel from getting hot enough to ignite flammable material (paint) on the other side, starting a fire in that space as well.

 

As I mentioned on another thread about this fire, the typical response time would be about 7-8 minutes from the time the fire is reported, until the first fully equipped fire team is on  scene.  The crew need to get from where they are working, or sleeping, get to their locker and don 40 lbs of emergency gear, report to the on scene commander for instructions, and then proceed to the fire.  Since a fire doubles in size every 30 seconds, and there is no knowing how long the fire had before it was reported, this can lead to a major conflagration in a short time.  The water cannons can throw many times the amount of water that the crew's fire hoses can.

 

I see nothing unusual in the fire fighting shown on the video.

That's fine in port - but if at sea?

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7 minutes ago, BigAl94 said:

That's fine in port - but if at sea?

You always attack each fire uniquely, both due to it's location and the tactical situation at the time.  Yes, if this had happened at sea, the on scene commander would have had a different set of assets (no tugs, perhaps more fire teams), so would have attacked differently.  It still would have been a difficult fire to attack directly, and one choice would have been to try to cut the boat away and drop it in the sea.  I've been the on scene commander on cruise ships, and have fought fires on ships.

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Posted (edited)
19 hours ago, sidari said:

Nuna ... The cost of the stretch of Lirica will likely see it repaired hopefully, looks like your Country is about to be removed from the UK Red list early next week.

Yeah!... Things seem to be going better here in Portugal... Hope we continue improving during the reopening we will start right tomorrow...

 

Regarding the Lirica... The problem is: When will they to be able to have paying costumers ready to make a profitable operation for all their fleet including her? Again: In normal times that would be a non issue... But then we aren't at that stage now. All the Lirica class of ships is the best candidate to scrapyard or at least to a conversion program, especially this now damaged ship. Sad, but possibly true!...

 

Meanwhile: The Lirica class is sort of out of place on the current MSC's commercial strategy... No YC, few balcony cabins, "small" inside looking ships... Sort of dated image looking... Perhaps time to roll out!... MSC can "easily" to convert all those ships on ferries or cargo ships for their parent operations on those markets. That would to be a nice fit for those ships to remain profitable to the corporation. And let the cruise department to concentrate on the post Fantasia class ships, with the Musica class ones as a base line to the more exotic itineraries that require a smaller ship and go along. The world is evolving!...

 

Have a nice day!...

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2 hours ago, chengkp75 said:

"In normal times" that would need about 2-3 weeks to repair, not 3-6 months.  That is about a couple of hundred thousand dollars damage, will be taken care of by hull insurance.  I would be totally amazed if they scrapped her based on this incident.

Thanks to the information about time and cost for this problem, considering the MSC's information as being true. If the fire has had other structural implications things might to be not so easy... But at least they'll need one or two new life boasts plus all the painting, and a few cabins redone at leas partially... All will to be decided on a cost to benefit balance in a time when there is impossible to predict when will they be able to make money out of the ship. Too risky and expensive? Let us to find a solution: Scrap or transformation program alike...

 

Have a nice day!...

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13 minutes ago, chengkp75 said:

You always attack each fire uniquely, both due to it's location and the tactical situation at the time.  Yes, if this had happened at sea, the on scene commander would have had a different set of assets (no tugs, perhaps more fire teams), so would have attacked differently.  It still would have been a difficult fire to attack directly, and one choice would have been to try to cut the boat away and drop it in the sea.  I've been the on scene commander on cruise ships, and have fought fires on ships.

What I find interesting is the volume of smoke emanating from the area forward of the two lifeboats affected, especially as the air movement was taking the smoke in an aft direction from the fire. A lot of smoke and heavy sooting is evident in the area forward of the two affected lifeboats in the space between them and the other forward starboard lifeboats.

Lirica.thumb.jpg.7c2deea8b37f4940d96d6816e2d88d55.jpgLirica.thumb.jpg.7c2deea8b37f4940d96d6816e2d88d55.jpg

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Smoke is coming from both forward and aft of the boat.  Because of the overhang, the wind in between the boat and the bulkhead is minimal, so the smoke will flow both ways, trying to find a way out from under the overhang.

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1 hour ago, chengkp75 said:

You always attack each fire uniquely, both due to it's location and the tactical situation at the time.  Yes, if this had happened at sea, the on scene commander would have had a different set of assets (no tugs, perhaps more fire teams), so would have attacked differently.  It still would have been a difficult fire to attack directly, and one choice would have been to try to cut the boat away and drop it in the sea.  I've been the on scene commander on cruise ships, and have fought fires on ships.

Cheng ... Do ships have the capability of High pressure hose reel tubing or do they use a standard 45mm Duraline hose with attached variable branchpipe ? High pressure hose reels can knock down a room/cabin fire very quickly as you may well be aware.

Clearly a lack of numbers of firefighting personnel is always going to be an issue as it is on land, the lack of sea going firefighting capability on Corfu would not have helped especially as the Coast Guard boat had to come from the mainland. The use of a water canon mounted fire truck on a vehicle ferry was a good move by the Corfu fire commander.

I would have thought that the first line of attack would have been either side of the lifeboats from the boat deck by teams wearing breathing apparatus until the fire boats arrived which would then have allowed these crews to go into defensive mode preventing fire spread along the boat deck. 

From reports it appears teams were used to stop the spread of fire internally, I would guess by using spray jets to create a Venturi to drive out any smoke and flame.

Do you know what kind of BA sets are used by the crews and what their duration is ?

 

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Are those two boats in the photos the Coast Guard boats?  They look like harbor assist tugs to me, and these typically also have water cannons, and would have been in the port.

 

Ships use a 2-1/2" fire hose, and usually a Wye gate to feed two 1-1/2" hoses. I don't have any experience with high pressure hose reels, as these are not common in the US.

 

There were likely that teams were used for boundary cooling and containment both inside and on deck forward and aft of the fire, but again, the smoke would have hampered getting too close, or seeing where the seat of the fire actually was.  All shipboard fire teams have 3 people wearing SCBA, and the entire team in bunker gear. How many they had in their fire plan with the reduced crew, and how many had fire training that could be gathered into ad hoc teams, I can't say.  The SCBA's are various brands, typically pressure demand, and have 30 minute (1200 ltr) tanks.  The ship will have stores of spare cylinders, and also two compressors to refill cylinders.

 

Inside, unless the windows blew out, there would be no smoke inside, but they would use a fog spray from their hoses on suspected hot spots.  They use infrared thermometers to search for hot spots.  Most exterior bulkheads are A15 or A30 bulkheads, meaning it takes a fire that many minutes before something on the opposite side from the fire will ignite.

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One report said the coastguard boat came from the mainland, I guessed it was the centre boat of the three in the photo, the one to the left of the other two is the ferry with the fire truck onboard.

There appears to be a number of windows missing when you zoom in on some photos hence why I mentioned internal teams using spray jets, many UK fire services use a 45 minute duration scba set holding 1800 litres, some also have 60 minute duration sets with twin cylinders. The A15/30 thing is similar to a 30/60 minute fire door/ wall.

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On 3/13/2021 at 1:01 AM, SakeDad said:

 So either someone dropped a cigarette from a balcony above that lit the lifeboat up or it had a mechanical issue. Glad to hear there were no injuries.

 

Italian cruise lines have a strict policy on smoking that stretches back many years :-

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