Allianz have predicted, using their risk barometer, that fire and explosion will be the biggest safety threat for the Marine and Shipping sector in 2020. According to their 2019 Safety and Shipping Review, there were 174 fire incidents reported the previous year, with a fire breaking out on average every 60 days. At the same time, the number of containers moving through ports increases annually, which can only exacerbate the problem.
Therefore, in an era when ships are larger than ever and moving more containers every year, seafarers are often ill-equipped to monitor, detect and contain fires themselves, leaving the task to tugboats that can take days or weeks to arrive. Each failed attempt presents a sizeable environmental, financial and, most importantly, human cost.
To detect fires as early as possible, temperature sensors, novel gas sensors or similar systems that detect substantive warming or changes in a container can be deployed on the ship. The vessel's structure below deck offers the right environment for deploying thermal sensors, or similar detection systems. This Lloyd’s Register Safety Accelerator Innovation Challenge, set in conjunction with Seaspan, seeks innovative solutions which could deliver real-time detection of potential fires in the below deck container hold.
Seaspan is an association of Canadian companies primarily involved in coastal marine transportation, shipdocking/ship escort, ship repair and shipbuilding services in Western North America. In addition to the marine transportation services offered directly through Seaspan, commercial ferry, shipyard and bunkering services are provided via affiliate companies: Marine Petrobulk, Seaspan Ferries, Vancouver Drydock, Vancouver Shipyards and Victoria Shipyards.