JANUARY 28, 2015 — The National Transportations Safety Board has issued a report on a fire that broke out on the Oceaneering International Inc. saturation diving support vessel Ocean Patriot on the evening of November 28, 2013.
The vessel was underway about 50 miles southwest of Port Fourchon, LA, when the fire broke out in a machinery space below the main deck in an electrical cable tray above an area where cardboard, air filters, and other housekeeping items were stored.
Although the NTSB summary says the fire "was brought under control by the vessel's fixed fire suppression system without serious injury," the full report makes clear that the FM 200 fire suppression system, which releases heptafluoropropane, was not ordered released until after fire crews using portable extinguishers encountered excessive heat and smoke.
No pollution resulted from the accident, but damage to the Ocean Patriot was estimated to be $9.8 million.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the fire on board the Ocean Patriot was damage to electrical cables due to the tightly installed metal securing bands in a cable tray chafing the protective layers of the cables and creating an ignition point. Contributing to the extensive damage was the combustible material stored immediately below the cable tray area, fueling the fire.
Download the NTSB report HERE