Fire Fighting


To prevent a fire from spreading and extinguish it, while preparing for abandonment


  • Master – to manoeuvre the vessel, advise authorities and determine if abandonment is required
  • Crew - to assess, contain and fight the fire, while preparing for potential abandonment


Step Fire Fighting
1 Whoever sees the fire shouts "Fire in the [location]!" Other crewmembers not at the helm should grab a fire extinguisher or hose and come to the location.
2 Master - If in port, call the local fire department (number). If underway, advise shore authorities of vessel location and situation once the assessment has been provided.
3 Determine the extent of the fire, whether it requires special treatment, e.g. electrical, and advise the Master or direct someone to advise the Master what the situation is.
4 While the fire is being assessed, other crew members can:
  • close windows and vents to cut off air supply; 
  • prepare fire extinguishers, hoses and first aid kit; and 
  • prepare lifesaving equipment in case abandonment is required.
5 If the fire is small and it can be fought without crew being in danger of being trapped, do so.
Do NOT try to fight a fire if:
  • it is generating a substantial amount of smoke
  • it is in close proximity to other flammable or combustible materials
  • it's too large to handle with one extinguisher; or 
  • it could cut off your exit
6 Stand at least six feet from the fire, and keep your EXIT at your back.
Think of the word PASS, which will prompt you for each of the four following steps:
P – pull the pin on the fire extinguisher
A - Aim the nozzle of the extinguisher at the BASE of the fire
S - Squeeze the handle lever
S – Sweep from side to side.
Work the extinguishing agent over the entire surface of the fire, starting at the closest point and forcing the fire BACK and out.
If fire hose available and this is not an electrical or grease or oil fire, use it.
7 If successful, have someone advise the Master while you keep watch in case the fire starts up again.
8 If your extinguisher runs out or the fire is too big, get out and shut the door. Use the fixed fire fighting system.
9 Master – monitor the situation while manoeuvring to keep the fire out of the wind. Determine whether the risk of fire spreading or of explosion warrants abandoning ship
10 Keep authorities and the company advised.
11 Complete an incident report form and advise company and authorities as necessary.

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