Conference Focuses on Fire

Tuesday, January 28, 2003
Who is in charge when a land-based fire brigade responds to a blaze at sea? What are the fire risks for ships in port and under construction? How can design and technology enhance marine fire protection? Prevention, detection and control on ships and offshore structures will be examined at a new forum in London in March by key personnel including ship owners and managers, ship and harbour masters, safety officers, marine and fire protection engineers, insurance executives and senior fire-fighters. The first International Fire on Ships Conference takes place at the Inmarsat Conference Centre on March 11-12, organised by Lloyd’s List Events and supported by UK body the Chief and Assistant Chief Fire Officers’ Association (CACFOA). A fire science and investigation workshop hosted by Lloyd’s Register follows on March 13. The conference, chaired by UK Maritime & Coastguard Agency chief executive Maurice Storey, opens with a keynote address by Tom Strang, principal safety manager for Carnival Cruise Corporate Shipbuilding in London, assessing the challenge of bigger, more complicated ships; the availability of trained crew; the effectiveness of current regulations; and the lessons to be learned from other industry sectors. Session One picks up the training theme with Jack Boland, principal marine fire-fighting instructor at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy, among speakers explaining the special demands of fire at sea and the need for realistic shipboard drills. The session will end with a panel discussion asking if minimum standards of competence are being enforced. Session Two details new technology such as fire resistant materials, fire protection systems, fire-proof engine room equipment and ship design using advanced fire and evacuation simulation. Speakers include Italy’s Mario Dogliani, head of innovation, research and products at the classification society RINA. Session Three highlights fire-fighting from sea and shore perspectives including master mariner and maritime consultant Capt Charles G Gifford on the ship master’s responsibilities and authority. Current and proposed inter-agency procedures will be reviewed by Mervyn Kettle, Cornwall county fire brigade planning officer, and Alan Riddet, chair of the CACFOA ship fire-fighting group, while Alessandro Maccari, safety head at Fincantieri’s cruiseship unit, will focus on ships in port and under construction. Session Four concentrates on investigation and cost with a further look at cruise vessels under construction; analysis of the role of a scientific approach in developing preventative measures; and a detailed study of fire claims by Karl Lumbers, director of UK P&I Club managers Thomas Miller P&I Ltd. The one-day fire science and investigation workshop on March 13 takes place at the Lloyd’s Register Conference Centre, with interactive sessions and case studies demonstrating the investigation and prevention process.

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