NTSB: Lack of Fire Dampers May Have Hindered Response to Yacht Fire

NTSB: Lack of Fire Dampers May Have Hindered Response to Yacht Fire

La dolce vita
The stays of La Dolce Vita (USCG)


The runaway fire aboard the electric motor luxury yacht La Dolce Vita off Key West in 2014 was most likely triggered by an electric fire in the engine area, according to the NTSB. Once began, the engine area fire might not be snuffed out – partly since the room had no fire dampers or arrangements for remote closure of the air flow followers.

La Dolce Vita was a 100-foot Hargrave increased pilot residence luxury yacht integrated in 2009. On the night of March 16, 2021, the primary friend aboard the luxury yacht scented something burning and also uncovered smoke in the engine area, emanating from the room on the starboard generator collection. He closed the hatch and also went to obtain the captain. They returned with each other, and also when they unlocked, they saw fires and also smoke rippling from the generator.

The captain safeguarded both generators and also tried to utilize fire extinguishers to produce the blaze. Seeing that they had no result, he closed the hatch once more and also – without taking more primary actions – turned on the fixed-firefighting system, launching FM-200 fire reductions gas right into the room.

After that continued to make a distress signal to the united state Coast Guard over VHF, and also he purchased the travelers to prepare to leave. After making one last effort to produce the fire with a fire extinguisher, he deserted the ship in the luxury yacht tender with the travelers and also various other crewmembers. A Coast Guard quick action watercraft out of Key West gotten here quickly after and also securely saved all survivors.

NTSB: Lack of Fire Dampers May Have Hindered Response to Yacht Fire

La Dolce Vita’s fiberglass-composite framework combusts, March 16, 2021 ( NTSB)

La Dolce Vita shed to the waterline, as is common in major fires aboard the fiberglass-composite craft after that sank to the base in an assigned national Marine Sanctuary The vessel was proclaimed a failure at a price of regarding $3.9 million. The wreckage was recovered and also brought a coast for evaluation, yet as a result of the level of the damages, it was not feasible to figure out the origin of the fire with assurance.

However, private investigators had the ability to figure out that the staff had a long shot of protecting air flow to the engine area. The room was fitted with 2 consumption followers and also 2 exhaust followers, which might just be turned on and also off at the major switchboard at the forward end of the engine area. Even if these were turned off, the room had no fire dampers, as they were not called for by the suitable luxury yacht requirements at the time of the vessel’s building and construction and also had actually not been retrofitted later on.

“Fixed fire-extinguishing systems in machinery and other hazardous spaces require a minimum concentration of extinguishing agent to either halt the chemical reaction producing the fire, displace the oxygen feeding the fire, or effect a combination of both,” kept in mind NTSB. “To ensure the effectiveness of the system and prevent the reintroduction of oxygen to the space, vessel designers and owners should ensure that the ventilation, both natural and forced draft, can be completely and remotely secured.”

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