Safety Alert - Technical No. 5
ON SAILING YACHT
It has recently been brought to our
attention that a sailing yacht, operating under the
Code of Practice for the Safety of Small Commercial Sailing Vessels, had a small fire in the forward
compartment housing the electric motor of the bow thrust unit.
is suspected that the overriding reason for the fire was the result
of loose combustible material being pushed into the compartment, displacing the electric motor’s brush
gear cover. In turn the metal cover made contact with a terminal and resulted in a short circuit which
caused arcing, culminating in the ignition of materials stowed around the motor.
stow any combustible material or gear in, or
close to, the machinery or electric motor compartment (e.g paint, oil, rags, paper, carboard, etc)
make sure that the engine
or electric motor space is kept clean and clear of oily waste and combustible materials at all times.
carry out regular inspections
of compartments housing engines or electric motors to make sure no materials have been stowed there,
and to check that electric terminals are in good condition and secure.
check the location of
the nearest fire extinguisher and its suitability to deal with electric and / or oil fuel fires.
further information please contact
Shipping Safety Branch,
& Coastguard Agency
Tel: +44 (023) 8032 9417
Issued: November 2005