V.Ships will use the Hydropen system to fight container fires across its Hamburg container ship fleet after Viking Life-Saving Equipment secured a contract to protect over 40 ships against one of the industry’s fastest growing safety hazards
The “alarming” rise in the number of container fires has brought calls for urgent action from the International Union of Marine Insurance, said a statement by Viking, with stakeholders urged to encourage IMO to strengthen fire protection and review firefighting equipment on board existing ships.
“Fighting a fire high up in the stack from the deck is often ineffective, with containers dowsed on the outside while materials inside continue to burn. As ship sizes have increased, so have stack heights,” the statement says.
The HydroPen system is based on a drilling and spraying machine that allows deck crew to fight fires successfully high up in the stack. Developed by Rosenby Engineering and distributed by Viking, the HydroPen unit is attached to existing ship hoses and raised by a single crew member using a telescopic lift. Powered by water pressure, the HydroPen drills through the container door before switching to spray mode to extinguish the fire with water, foam or C02.
“For V.Ships, new technologies that support safety excellence are always welcome, while keeping customers ahead of the competition through innovation is one of our core values,” said V.Ships Ship Management group managing director Franck Kayser. “HydroPen is an easy to use but ground-breaking system that addresses a specific industry concern. Its adoption fleetwide aligns with our ‘safety first’ commitment.”
Viking will deliver 88 HydroPen systems to 45 V.Ships Hamburg container ships by February 2020. One unit will be positioned astern and the other towards the bow to enable rapid response.
“Securing an order of this magnitude from one of the leading shipmanagement companies in the world is a major vindication of the work behind bringing the HydroPen system to market,” said Viking product manager trade Lasse Boesen. “Several of the most recent container fires have occurred on very large ships. These ships can only call at a limited number of ports, making it critical that container fires are dealt with on board. The feedback we are getting on HydroPen is that the system’s true value comes from it being so easy to use.”
“…in the HydroPen we believe we have a solution that will quickly become a ‘must-have’ to address a serious and widespread issue,” said Viking senior vice president Benny Carlsent. The HydroPen has already seen service, after a pilot system was used to extinguish a real fire at sea, he adds.