This incident happened when we were alongside a berth discharging cargo.

A fire started up on the port side lifeboat. This took place in the evening when everybody had just taken off from the day's work. We were relaxing on the poop deck below the boat deck on the port side.

There was a smell of burning which we all became aware of and somebody noticed the fire on the inside of the port lifeboat. We all ran up to the boat deck which was adjacent to the bridge. When we reached the spot we saw that the coir ropes kept inside the boat were on fire.

Immediately we rigged up fire hoses and started the fire pump. The fire in the meantime had spread and the side of the lifeboat was actually burning. In the meantime the port fire brigade also joined us in fighting the fire.

Finally the fire was extinguished and the cause of the fire was investigated. A cigarette butt was found inside the boat which means somebody had carelessly thrown a burning cigarette into the boat without bothering to see where it had fallen. Sheer negligence!
hindustan institute of marine training chennai