View Single Post
  #9 (permalink)  
Old June 20th, 2011, 06:27 PM
Rev22:17 Rev22:17 is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 4,770


Originally Posted by You View Post
No ship should be built with flammable materials where the public is, what were they thinking? I understand that was part of the problem! Think about it, no ship, moving, should burn like that!!
It's not clear what actually ignited in the fire aboard MV Star Princess. The balconies are right above the boat davits, where there are fuel lines to refuel the ship's boats, so boat fuel is a clear possibility. There was also some speculation that towels left on a balcony might have been what ignited initially, but this seems a lot less likely.

Some petroleum-based fuels burn at temperatures hot enough to melt steel, and all metals will burn if they get hot enough. This would explain deformation of the decks of the balconies in the affected area.

Also, as another poster pointed out in a separate response, the paint on the exterior of the ship can burn, giving a charred appearance to a very large area even though the actual structure might be intact, making the damage look far worse than it actually was.

That said, the investigation of the fire aboard MV Star Princess uncovered two significant deficiencies in Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) treaty. Subsequent modifications to the SOLAS treaty have corrected both of these omissions.

>> 1. The facings of the balconies, which were not structural, were a translucent plastic that could not come close to withstand the the fire. Such materials are now forbidden.

>> 2. There wre no fire suppression systems in the balcony areas. Fire suppression systems are now mandatory in these areas.

Princess Cruises remedied both of these deficiencies aboard MV Star Princess during repairs after the fire, and subsequently modified all other vessels with the same deficiencies during their next yard visits.

Originally Posted by You
If ships are painted, I'm sure many more ship fires would have occurred.
There have been more shipboard fires than any of us would care to count. When the safety announcement at the beginning of a cruise says not to throw smoking materials overboard because they can blow back into the ship and start a fire, there's a reason why.

Reply With Quote