MSC’s mega-vessel fleet given new fire safety notations

MSC Gulsun MacGregor

DNV GL has unveiled new fire risk notations to be implemented on the Mediterranean Shipping Company’s (MSC) 23,000 TEU MSC Gulsun class of container ship.

In a statement, DNV GL said the notations are targeted exclusively at container ships and will be designed around a function-based approach for an enhanced safety level beyond present SOLAS requirements.

The new notations have been developed and piloted with MSC and the 23,000 TEU MSC Gulsun class are the first vessels to be awarded them.

Development included a workshop in which DNV GL and MSC implemented operational and technological measures to mitigate fire risks on board vessels.

These included the world’s first use of on-deck firefighting monitors – fixed water cannons to slow and stop the spread of fire by cooling.

In addition to that, a unique thermal camera system was installed on the MSC Febe, one of the Gulsan class ships, which tracks irregularities and alerts crews to potential fires.

The new notations will be applicable to both newly built container ships and those already in operations.

Giuseppe Gargiulo, Head pf Newbuildings at MSC, said the increased size of container ships had container fires a “substantial risk to the safety of the crew, cargo and vessel”.

The MSC Gulsun is the largest container ship in the world, with an capacity of 23,756 TEU. It is the biggest of a six-vessel fleet of 23,000 TEU vessels that MSC launched in June 2019.

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