RFA Wave Ruler’s crew put through their paces

Fire, fire, fire… personnel aboard RFA Wave Ruler were put through their emergency drills at sea.

A ‘blaze’ in the auxiliary diesel generator compartment of the Fleet tanker saw crew members in the ship’s Standing Sea Emergency Party tackle the fire using portable kit as well as the vessel’s fixed Watermist system.

Once all personnel had been accounted for, the initial attack was then backed up with intermediate attack using a five-man fire-fighting team wearing protective suits and breathing apparatus and carrying fire hoses.

For exercise purposes the fire team was beaten back (a scenario in which the team are unable to deal with the raging fire), so the compartment was sealed and by cooling the bulkheads and decks, the fire was contained.

By conducting regular exercises like these we build upon skills learnt and consolidate our training, building confidence in our teams in order to be able to deal with any emergency safely and effectively.

1/O Katherine Morgan

CO2 was then injected into the compartment to smother the fire, which it did. The compartment was then left to cool down for as long as possible while preparations were made for the next stage, of re-entering the compartment.

The second phase of the drills saw a ten-man team enter the compartment with charged hoses and a thermal-imaging camera to search the area to ensure the fire was out and to assess the damage.

A smoke clearance plan to remove any smoke as well as any CO2 left in the compartment was then implemented and led to the compartment being regained.

1/O Katherine Morgan said: “By conducting regular exercises like these we build upon skills learnt and consolidate our training, building confidence in our teams in order to be able to deal with any emergency safely and effectively.”