The evolution of yachts, in size, and the form and function of their garages/storage spaces have led to an increase in risks associated with fire. Also from recent fire incidents’ investigations, it has been found that the storage/charging of lithium-ion battery packs were the main contributor to these increased garages/storage spaces fire risks, onboard yachts.
To this effect, the Malta Merchant Shipping Directorate has issued a Commercial Yachting Notice, in order to draw the attention of all concerned to the risks associated with the storage and charging of lithium-ion batteries including batteries for electric tenders and toys.
Reference is made to the imperativeness that:
- Surveyors/Designers/Yacht Builders/Masters are well acquainted with the up to-date requirements of the CYC;
- Existing Yachts should meet the updated requirements of the CYC;
- Any deviations from the requirements of the CYC shall be duly approved by this Administration;
- Crew onboard yachts are well aware of the associated risks/hazards and are well trained in order to deal with an eventuality of a fire;
- Masters should ascertain their yacht’s fire/smoke/gas detection and fire suppression equipment is fully functional and well maintained at all times;
- Any suspect/defective/problematic battery packs should immediately be disembarked from the yacht.
It is strongly recommended that all necessary precautions are implemented in order to mitigate fire risks associated with lithium-ion batteries.