I have yet to see sailors reacting properly to fire at sea. Most abandon ships and deaths / injuries at sea are due to poor training.
If you understand the fire triangle of OXYGEN--HEAT--FUEL-- it is not so difficult.
First of all , it must be understood that fire requires oxygen. It must be remembered that fire fighters also require oxygen--and light too.
It is stupidity to kill all ventilation and lights enmasse . It must be done selectively whether the Master's cabin is on fire of the Galley is on fire.
Say if a galley is on fire, it is so easy to put off the electrical juice from a tripping switch in the switchbox situated well outside. It is also easy to cut off ventilation into the galley selectively.
If lights and airconditioning is killed enmasse, then the entire onus of firefighting falls on 2 nervous sailors who are ill trained for the job. When the duo gives up, well the next solution is -- abandon ship.
All this one pull on rope for slack , three pulls to get out etc is all bullshit.
Communications are vital.
The sailor must have a walkie talkie inside his fireman's outfit, with the mouthpiece on his collar, so that he can press it against his throat and speak ( his face is covered by the SCBA mask). He can speak every clearly this way in a very noisy background too. It is important for feedback and command to be on a 2 way lane.
Again the fire fighters in firemans outfit and SCBA sets must wear the mask only at the last possible moment. Because the SCBA set contains only 1600 litres of free air, and a hyperventilating sailor can consume the entire thing in 20 minutes flat. Only tankers have SCBA compressors. A sailor going for a tete e tete, does not don the condom in his cabin and walk down the gangway ashore , with the rubber on his wee willie winkie. He wears it at the last possible moment, when the girl is ready and he is ready too.
The 6 faces of the compartment on fire heats up as follows-- top face in seconds, side faces in minutes and bottom face in hours.
So it is most important to remove all combustibles from top face and cool it from outside by flooding a few inches or whatever.
Most engine fires are best attacked by removing the oxygen leg. Say an economiser fire-- cut off the turbocharger suction air inlet inside the engine room, and also the top end at the funnel . After that all you need is to keep the boiler water circ pump running and have some patience, The fire gets killed in seconds. No fire can burn without oxygen.
When the fire detector sensor lights up on the bridge it is important to ping the first light with a magnet. For within minutes all smoke detector sensors will light up.
A fine spray of water can put out most fires except a electrical fire--if the oxygen leg job does NOT work .
To a well trained crew a fire on board is a piece of cake--he will NOT be scared of it. Knowledge and good communications with walkie talkie is the key ( not a stupid rope pull )
Does a sailor get scared of a fire on his home kitchen stove?
Here is an actual email I sent to my company --
A05768 Sun, 21 Dec XXX 07:13
From: XXXXX - Master
Date: Sunday, December 21, XXX 7:09 AM Msg: A05768-66635
Path: XXXX - MASTER\ SENTBOX
attached pl find the SMS report filed.
fire fighters require light and oxygen.
if the lights and air are put off enmasse ( not SELECTIVELY
by a sensible roving squad )--
then, the onus of putting off the fire comes on 2 nos ill prepared, ill
educated and frightened scba plus fireman's outfit party.
and if these 2 poor souls are NOT communicating with each other or with
outside supervisors --the fire goes out of control. most of the time
they just hide in a safe place and come out, having done NOTHING!!!!
signals like life line pulling once , thrice etc were made in the 20th
century days of fireman's outfit with limited air line length--they has
to enter from a suitable external door, as some other soul is pumping
the bellow with his leg. and the wearer has to hold the line in one
hand--sensing the pull with his 5th sense of touch.
in the 21st century--scba party enters in pairs-- through a door of
their choice--they must be in touch with each other and the external
supervisors/ decision makers-- they exit from a door of their choice---
-- BOTH MUST HAVE A WALKIE TALKIE INSIDE THEIR FIREMANS OUTFITS WITH THE
MOUTH PIECE POSITIONED MIDWAY BEWEEN THE MOUTH AND EAR-- WHEN THEY TALK
THEY TWIST THEIR NECK TO ONE SIDE AND PRESS THE MIKE ON THE THROAT, TO
SPEAK--AS THEIR FACE IS COCCOONED INSIDE THE FACE MASK. THEY EVEN HAVE
TO REPORT THEIR AIR PRESSURES IF ASKED FOR. THEY CAN BE HEARD CLEARLY
NEXT TO EXTREME MACHINERY NOISE.
--they use one finger to press the PTT button only when required--both
hands are free--nothing is held, the hand pull the life line only to
move forward .
the idea of sending 2 wearers in tandem is to help each other while
escaping, and only one goes to the danger zone , the other remains in a
relatively safe place --or to help an unconscious victim out together --
--no door can be locked from outside-- all ISPS door seals if any, MUST
be removed by a chosen person, as soon as he is head counted at the emg
HQ muster station--
the mouth piece required a hook on the boiler suit to hang!
very rarely sailors die burnt--they always get asphyxiated.
experts with limited salt spray on their lips -- holding a mouse behind
a desk in IMO , can NEVER EVER IMAGINE all these issues!--
-- so ships continue to suffer--sailors continue to lose lives--
--all for a horse shoe nail!! ( read that as a small strap between the
ear and mouth on the boiler suit )
capt ajit vadakayil
" spirit over mind "
CAPT AJIT VADAKAYIL