On 23 December 2015, a fire broke out on the prototype surface effect ship UMOE VENTUS. The fire started in the port side lift fan compartment and within 15 minutes after the fire was visually detected the craft was engulfed in flames and drifted uncontrollably until it grounded in the shallow waters north of the harbour of Bagenkop, Denmark, and was lost.
The fire was caused by insufficient cooling of the lift fan engine exhaust system, which ignited the exhaust muffler and/or the compartment where it was mounted.
After the discovery of the fire, the crew had no other option than to evacuate the craft without any attempt to fight the fire manually and/or by means of the craft’s fixed firefighting systems. The overall aim of the investigation was to establish why a failure of the cooling water system led to an uncontrollable fire that resulted in a total loss of the craft. The focus of the investigation was UMOE VENTUS’ robustness towards fire.
The report can be downloaded in PDF format here.