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Fire Alarm Aboard F/V Kodiak Enterprise Never Sent an Alert

KodiakEnterprise-300x192The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has issued its findings on the fire incident that engulfed the F/V KODIAK ENTERPRISE on April 8, 2023. At around 3:00AM, a fire broke out aboard the commercial F/V  KODIAK ENTERPRISE while it was docked at the Trident Seafoods facility in Tacoma, Washington.

The initial sighting of the fire came from a deckhand aboard a neighboring vessel. A Trident security guard was alerted, who in turn notified a Trident official. The official then alerted the four crewmembers who were sleeping onboard during the scheduled overhaul. Fortunately, all emerged unharmed from the incident.

The fire raged for six days until first responders finally declared it extinguished on April 14th. No pollution or injuries were reported from the incident. However, the F/V KODIAK ENTERPRISE, valued at an estimated $56.6 million, was declared a total loss.

According to the NTSB findings, the fire detection and notification system on the F/V KODIAK ENTERPRISE, intended to send alerts via text or email when set for in-port operation, failed to transmit any notification on the night of the fire. Investigators concluded that the vessel’s deficient fire detection and notification system, lacking coverage in crew accommodation areas and incapable of wireless alerts to shoreside contacts, heightened the risk to onboard crew members and increased the severity of the fire.

Investigators concluded that the likely origin of the fire was an electrical fault originating from the dry stores room.

“Vessel wireless monitoring and notification systems with an “in-port” setting allow operators to be notified of a potential emergency when a vessel is moored at the dock and crews are not standing a 24-hour watch,” the report said. “Vessel operators should test the system on a set schedule to ensure it properly notifies the recipients of the alert. When the vessel is undergoing repair work that can cause false alarms, such as hot work, crewmembers should check the fire detection and notification system to ensure it is operating following the completion of work.”

The system was designed to notify two shoreside contacts in the event of a fire, but crewmembers residing on board were not included in the designated contacts. The report emphasizes that individuals living or staying on board a vessel during port stays should be promptly notified in case of fire or other emergencies as part of the system’s designated contacts.

Investigators were unable to conclusively ascertain the cause of the fire in the dry stores room due to the extensive damage. However, it is presumed to have been triggered by an unidentified electrical fault in that area.

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