Firefighters tested onboard passenger ferry en route to France

Contributed by editor on Feb 25, 2009 - 12:00 AM

Specially-trained marine firefighters have taken
part in an exercise aimed at preparing for a fire onboard a passenger

<script type="text/javascript"

The twenty firefighters in Kent Fire and Rescue
Service’s Maritime Incident Response Group were airlifted onto the
Norfolkline vessel en route from Dover to Dunkerque, by RAF helicopter
from Manston on Monday (24 February).

The exercise was carried out with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency
using marine equipment to help deal with a ‘fire’ in the vehicle
compartment of the ship.

The ship, the Maersk Delft was full of passengers at the time, although
they were made aware that it was only a drill.

Gavin Hayward, of KFRS’ training and development department, said: “We
are required to test our maritime response to incidents at sea on a
regular basis, working with our partner agencies the MCA and RAF.

“Norfolkline have very kindly hosted the exercise today which has
allowed Kent firefighters to work alongside staff from Norfolkline, not
only in firefighting, but with communications to the Coastguard and
issues such as ship stability and tactical planning.

“This type of realistic scenario is vital to ensure the effectiveness of
any future response to maritime incidents.”