Date (Y-M-D): 1996-10-11
Subject: Knowledge and Skill of Firefighting on Fishing Vessels
This bulletin is directed in particular, to owners and crews of fishing vessels and has been prompted by casualty investigations into fires on board small fishing vessels. Although Ship Safety Bulletin 6/95 drew attention to the importance of MED training, with particular reference to fishing vessel accidents, it has become necessary to highlight the number of serious fires on Canadian fishing vessels. They have often resulted in severe damage or loss of the vessel, with over 50 such occurrences reported during 1995 and over 60 in 1994.
While statistics for this year are incomplete, it is clear that fires on board fishing vessels continue to constitute a grave danger to the vessels and their crews. Investigations into recent cases which have resulted in ship abandonment have emphasized inadequate understanding of firefighting systems and fire fighting tactics by crew members.
Under current regulations, only masters, watchkeeping engineers and chief engineers of fishing vessels are required to complete MED training, but under proposed regulations, every member of a vessel's crew who has not done so already, must successfully complete MED training before the person has been on board a ship for six months.
In their own interest and that of their crews, owners are urged to ensure that crew members who have not had MED training, undertake to do so at the earliest opportunity.
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