Recent research has shown that 570 fires have occurred on large vessels in Europe between 2000 and 2015, with 359 of these occurring at sea. The report produced by the Finnish Border Guard and Finnish Transport Safety Agency, shows that ship fires pose the greatest risk to maritime safety compared to other types of maritime incidents, and focuses in particular on the importance of external help when fighting fires on ships.

In slightly over a third of fires and explosions on cargo ships, external help was used to extinguish the fre. Perhaps not surprisingly, the report shows that external help was used more frequently at port than at sea, even though more incidents occurred at sea. Interestingly, it was communications connections that posed a challenge in several of the analysed cases within the report, with the greatest challenge being insufficient radio coverage within the ship interiors. Of course the most important part of safety at sea is training for crew, preparation and prevention. But in the event of a fire, first responders and emergency personnel need to know that they have the best, and safest, equipment to help them deal with the situation.

In November 2012, the International Maritime Organisation’s Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) set out a number of measures designed to improve fire safety at sea. Improvements include the mandatory provision of specific types of two-way radios for freighting operations: SOLAS (Safety of Lives at Sea) Chapter II-2, Regulation 10.10.4. This means ships must carry freighting radios that are explosion-proof or are intrinsically safe. Vessels constructed on or after 1st July 2014 must already carry these radios, but for ships constructed before 2014, compliance becomes mandatory on 1st July 2018.

As the 2018 deadline looms for the mandated SOLAS regulations, owners and operators are looking for a reliable and hardwearing radio that will support freighters at sea. During a potentially life-threatening situation it is imperative that emergency teams can rely on the very best equipment. The new SmartFind R8F from McMurdo2, for example, provides the right solution.

It is widely expected that MED approval will become a requirement for Fire Radios in early 2018. As McMurdo’s R8F is built with the Wheelmark standard in mind, we are confident we can meet increased quality requirements. We can also provide letters of compliance for units which have already been deployed on vessels. Allowing total confidence that McMurdo’s R8F can be trusted as a future proof solution in relation to the requirement for certified ATEX portables.

The SmartFind R8F UHF FireFighter Radio.The rugged McMurdo SmartFind R8F UHF Fire Fighter Radio is an intrinsically safe two-way radio that meets new SOLAS II-2 mandated regulations for improved fre safety at sea. It has everything an emergency team needs in a radio, from enhanced grip and large tactile buttons for easy and fast operation in an emergency situation, to a powerful inbuilt loud speaker and Ultra High Frequency (UHF) for optimised indoor use. Bright red and for emergency use only, SmartFind R8F is a reliable and hardwearing radio that will support freighters at sea during potentially life-threatening situations. It is imperative that emergency teams can rely on the very best equipment and this is exactly what they’ll get with the McMurdo SmartFind R8F.

A fire won’t wait, and you shouldn’t either.

For more information – Video: The Smartfind R8F UHF FireFighter Radio