V.Ships Hamburg is to protect over 40 of its ships against container fires with an innovative system from Viking Life-Saving Equipment called HydroPen.
The alarming rise in the number of container fires has brought calls for urgent action from the International Union of Marine Insurance (IUMI), with stakeholders urged to encourage IMO to strengthen fire protection and review firefighting equipment onboard existing ships. Fighting a fire high up in the stack from the deck is often ineffective, with containers dowsed on the outside while materials inside continue to burn. As ship sizes have increased, so have stack heights.
The HydroPen system is based on a drilling and spraying machine that allows deck crew to fight fires successfully high up in the stack. Developed by Rosenby Engineering and distributed exclusively by Viking, the HydroPen unit is attached to existing ship hoses and raised by a single crew member using a telescopic lift. Powered by water pressure alone, the HydroPen drills through the container door before switching to spray mode to extinguish the fire with water, foam or C02.
“For V.Ships, new technologies that support safety excellence are always welcome, while keeping customers ahead of the competition through innovation is one of our core values,” says Franck Kayser, Group Managing Director, V.Ships Ship Management. “HydroPen is an easy to use but ground-breaking system that addresses a specific industry concern. Its adoption fleetwide aligns with our ‘safety first’ commitment.”
The V.Ships Hamburg vessels will each be protected by one HydroPen positioned astern and another towards the bow to enable rapid response.
“Securing an order of this magnitude from one of the leading ship management companies in the world is a major vindication of the work behind bringing the HydroPen system to market,” says Lasse Boesen, Product Manager Trade, Viking. “Several of the most recent container fires have occurred on very large ships. These ships can only call at a limited number of ports, making it critical that container fires are dealt with on board. The feedback that we are getting on HydroPen is that the system’s true value comes from its being so easy to use.”
“We continuously seek to offer the very latest technologies to our maritime customers and in the HydroPen we believe we have a solution that will quickly become a ‘must-have’ to address a serious and widespread issue,” says Benny Carlsen, Viking Senior Vice President. The HydroPen has already seen service, after a pilot system was used to extinguish a real fire at sea, he adds.