Report on the investigation of a fatality on board a pleasure craft - Gorgeous 2 - in the Oslofjord 15 July 2017

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Description

In the afternoon 15 July 2017, underway southbound in the Oslofjord, an engine room fire occurred onboard the pleasure boat Gorgeous 2, around 1745 hrs. There were two persons on board, the skipper (owner) and a passenger.

The fire probably started due to a rapid loss of freshwater cooling of the port engine. The bracket holding the engines’ two diesel filters were exposed to heat dissipation through an overheated exhaust manifold, and began to melt. This caused diesel to leak or sprinkle into the engine compartment, which spontaneously ignited in contact with a hot surface. AIBN has not been able to determine the direct cause of the loss of freshwater cooling for the port engine.

The fire escalated, however the fixed automatic fire extinguishing system in the engine compartment did not release. Due to a lot of smoke in the lounge, the skipper did not reach the manual release panel for the extinguisher, nor the boat’s VHF radio, both mounted at the internal steering position. The skipper did not contact the coastal radio (direct number 120) over the cellular network to alert about the situation, but called a friend who notified further. Hence, there was no direct communication between the pleasure boat and the rescue resources.

From the upper steering position (flybridge), the skipper managed to anchor the pleasure boat approx. 200 meters from shore at Hvitsten by using the starboard engine that continued at a low speed. By then, several other pleasure boats had arrived in the same area.

Shortly after anchorage, the passenger left the boat into the sea, trying to hold on to the anchor chain until the grip loosened. Hence, the passenger drifted beneath the hull, and hooked up under water in the port rudder. Neither the skipper, nor the rescue crew were able to release the person. Later, a rescue diver from Oslo Fire and Rescue Services were able to release the deceased before the boat sank.

Based on the findings in this investigation the AIBN has not issued any safety recommendations, however encourages the Norwegian Maritime Directorate to utilize the findings in further safety work for the pleasure boat fleet.

Location
Hvitsten, the Oslofjord
Occurrence date
15.07.2017
Accident category
Misc. accidents
Area
Norwegian Territorial Waters
Name of vessel
Gorgeous
Accident type
Fire/Explosion, Fatal Accident
Vessel type
Misc. Ship
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