Kitano (container ship)
|General characteristics |
|Length:||288.31 m (945 ft 11 in)|
|Draught:||13.025 m (42 ft 8.8 in)|
|Propulsion:||31,538 kW (42,293 hp), single screw|
The Kitano left the Port of New York at 0730 on 21 March 2001. At 1600 the Kitano's crew observed that a container had caught fire. The container that caught fire contained 14 tons of activated carbon pellets impregnated with potassium hydroxide (caustic potash). Most of the pellets were in open mesh bags on wooden pallets. Two nearby containers were: "...loaded with barrels of camphene-90 wax, a class 4.1 dangerous cargo."
At 1636 the Kitano requested assistance. Halifax was the nearest port. Search and Rescue aircraft were dispatched, as were several surface vessels, the CFAV Firebird, the CCGS Earl Grey and the CCGS Sambro. When the vessels were dispatched the wind was at force 8. The weather conditions proved too extreme for the 140 ton Firebird, the Canadian Forces' dedicated fireboat, to leave harbour. The Canadian Coast Guard vessels arrived, but the weather prohibited anything beyond standing by. HMCS Moncton and HMCS Goose Bay arrived several hours later. CCGS Sir William Alexander arrived at 0500 the next morning.
It was not considered safe to allow the Kitano to enter Halifax Harbour for almost 24 hours because of the danger of the fire spreading to the containers filled with camphene-90 wax. The Kitano's crew had been fighting the fire without assistance for 25 hours before they received any outside assistance due to the bad weather.
The fire was extinguished by 2215. The content of fifteen containers had been damaged by the fire or by the fire fighting efforts. The Kitano departed Halifax on March 26, 2001 with the rest of her cargo.
- "Marine Investigation Report, Container Fire, Container Vessel Kitano, Off Chebucto Head, Nova Scotia, 22 March 2001: Summary". Transportation Safety Board of Canada. 28 January 2003. Retrieved 2008-02-13.
- "Marine Investigation Report, Container Fire, Container Vessel Kitano, Off Chebucto Head, Nova Scotia, 22 March 2001" (PDF). Transportation Safety Board of Canada. 28 January 2003. Retrieved 2008-02-13.
The wind and sea conditions stopped the fire tug CFAV Firebird from proceeding beyond the middle harbour and prevented the other surface SAR vessels from getting alongside the vessel for any length of time to assist.
- "Fire under control aboard former coast guard ship". CTV News. 2008-10-11. Retrieved 2010-01-16.
- Aldo E. Chircop, O. Lindén (2006). Places of refuge for ships: emerging environmental concerns of a maritime custom. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. ISBN 90-04-14952-X. Retrieved 2010-01-16.
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