CAROLINE MÆRSK - Fire on 26. August 2015


In the afternoon of 26 August 2015, a fire broke out in a container in a cargo hold on board the container ship CAROLINE MÆRSK. At the time of the accident, the ship was positioned approximately 50 nm from the coast of Vietnam, underway from Chiwan, China to Tanjung Pelepas, Malaysia.

The fire broke out as a result of charcoal self-igniting in a cargo container below deck. Despite a number of challenges related to knowledge about the contents of the cargo container and the nature of the formal fire emergency preparedness, the crewmembers managed to successfully contain the fire for several days and prevent it from spreading excessively. This achievement was the result of the shore and shipboard organization’s ability to adapt to the unfolding emergency situation by filling the gaps between the formal emergency preparedness and the actual emergency scenario. In other words, the organization ‘finished the design’ of the emergency preparedness to match the situation they faced.

The report can be downloaded in PDF format here.