Fire in machinery space on dry cargo vessel Kocatepe S

Location: Entering Cardiff Docks, Wales.

Completed PE Summary: Kocatepe S

A short summary of the accident and action taken:

Merchant Vessel/Accident Details
Vessel Name Kocatepe S
Registered Owner/Manager Statu Chartering & Trading, Istanbul, Turkey
Port of Registry Istanbul
Flag Turkey
Type General dry cargo vessel
Built 1982
Classification Society Turkish Lloyd
Construction Steel
Length Overall 92.7m
Main Engine Two-stroke CKD Skoda, producing 1490kw at 250 rpm using gas oil
Gross Tonnage 2549
Date/Time 27/10/2006, 1139
Location of Incident Entering Cardiff docks, Wales
Incident Type Machinery Space Fire
Persons Onboard 16 crew and 1 pilot
Injuries/Fatalities None
Damage/Pollution Minor damage/None


The ship was being levelled up in the lock when a fire broke out in the main engine uptakes, within the funnel area.  Flames were seen to be coming out of the main engine exhaust at the funnel top and they soon ignited waste oils that were lying on the funnel top.  This produced a spectacular ball of flame and much dense black smoke.  The South Wales Fire & Rescue service were immediately called and they responded in force; with the assistance of the ships crew the fire was rapidly brought under control and was soon extinguished. The CO2 system was operated, without problems.

Later that day there was a second, smaller incident. Hot spots remaining inside the main engine exhaust ignited the oily/greasy vapour residues in the mineral wool insulation that covered the exhaust uptakes.  This fire was extinguished by breaking open the metal cladding of the exhaust and applying water directly to the seat of the fire. A small amount of water was also put down the exhaust uptake itself, care being taken to allow this to drain before reaching the main engine.

Action taken

The Chief Inspector of Marine Accidents has written to the Harbour Master, as the representative of the Competent Harbour Authority, and the Chief Fire Officer of the South Wales Fire & Rescue Service, recommending that arrangements are established to improve the ship knowledge of local fire fighters.

The Chief Inspector has written to the owner/ manager of the Kocatape S and recommended that any remaining contaminated insulation be renewed, that more effective measures to monitor cylinder oil consumption and build-up of carbon deposits are put in place.



Published 23 January 2015