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On 4 August 2020, a fire broke out in the engine room of the liquefied petroleum gas/ethylene carrier Moritz Schulte when the recently promoted third engineer opened an auxiliary engine’s pressurised fuel filter allowing marine gas oil to spray onto an adjacent auxiliary engine’s hot exhaust. The third engineer attempted to stop the fuel leak and tried unsuccessfully to escape from the toxic smoke-filled engine room. He was found an hour later by a shore fire and rescue team but did not recover consciousness and died 9 days later in hospital.

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The MAIB conducted this investigation on behalf of the Isle of Man Ship Registry in accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding between the MAIB and the Red Ensign Group Category 1 registries of Isle of Man, Cayman Islands, Bermuda and Gibraltar.

Safety issues
• fire and fatality due to unintended release of fuel onto an ignition source
• crew training scheme weaknesses that enabled the crew member to bypass requirements and gain promotion twice when he was not ready
• inadequate crew fire training, affecting the potential for a successful escape and recovery of a crew member from a smoke-filled environment

As a result of the actions already taken, no safety recommendations have been made.

Source: MAIB