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Major ship fire extinguished by multiple Cobras

Units from 4 different Regional Fire & Rescue Services attended to a major ship fire at the fishing harbour at Scheveningen, NL on the 23rd of June 2014.

Fire broke out on the large fishing trawler Johanna Maria (SCH118) during maintenance on one of the lower decks. Welding operations probably set fire to isolation materials. Because the Regional Fire & Rescue Service Haaglanden didn’t have the disposal of a large fireboat, assistance was called in from the Port Authority of Rotterdam.  Also the assistance of the special ship fire unit of the Regional Fire & Rescue Service Rotterdam-Rijnmond was called in.

Despite the hard work done by the attending fire crews, they didn’t get control of the fire.  Because of the very high temperatures and dense smoke, fire crews could not reach the seat of the fire. At this time, the incident commander requested the assistance of the coldcut™ cobra unit from the Industrial Fire Service Rotterdam. When the first coldcut™ cobra arrived, the fire already had spread to the deck above the original fire. Yet two coldcut™ cobras were then requested from the Regional Fire & Rescue Service Amsterdam-Amstelland.

Two of the Cobras were deployed on the upper deck, the third was deployed from an aerial platform. The conditions inside the trawler improved rapidly during the use of these three units. When the temperatures of fire gases inside the ship dropped, and the fire gas was inerted by the steam effect, the fire and rescue team could reach the seat of the fire and get final control of the fire.

It took the crews over 12 hours to extinguish the fire. Cooling down the vessel took another 24 hours.

Report from Stafbrandmeester Robin Jonkman of Amsterdam-Amstelland Brandweer