Report No 133

Date:  11-Jun-98 
Released:  20-Jan-99 
Location:  DAMPIER 


On 11 June 1998, the Netherlands flag dredger Leonardo da Vinci was engaged in widening the approach channel to the Parker Point Terminal at Dampier, Western Australia.

At approximately 1750, the fire alarm sounded and crew members in the engine control room saw a fire on No. 1 diesel engine. The engines were stopped, the fuel supply shut off and the engine room battened down. A fire party attacked the seat of the fire with portable dry powder extinguishers, but as the party could not be certain the fire was fully extinguished, the Halon system was activated.

Two harbour tugs provided assistance in boundary cooling until a shore fire brigade party arrived on board. Members of the shore fire brigade party entered the engine room and, after a careful inspection, declared the fire to be fully extinguished.

The fire was caused by diesel fuel oil spraying onto the hot exhaust trunking of the engine. The source of the diesel fuel oil leak was traced to the shut-off cock to the pressure differential indicator on the No. 1 engine fuel oil filter. The bonnet of the cock had become dislodged, permitting diesel oil, under 8 bar pressure, to be sprayed upwards onto the exhaust trunking.

The fire caused extensive damage to electrical wiring and fittings, resulting in Leonardo da Vinci being out of commission for three weeks. One person was injured in the incident, receiving burns to the face and left forearm.


These conclusions identify the factors contributing to the incident and should not be taken as apportioning either blame or liability.

The following factors are considered to have contributed to the Technician sustaining burn injuries: