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Monday, December 16, 2019 

Viking Life-Saving Equipment has secured a contract with ship manager V.Ships Hamburg to protect 44 container ships against one of the industry’s fastest growing safety hazards.

The company says that an alarming rise in the number of container fires has brought calls for urgent action from the International Union of Marine Insurance (IUMI), with IMO being urged to strengthen fire protection and review firefighting equipment onboard existing ships. Fighting a fire high up in the stack from the deck is often ineffective, with containers dowsed on the outside while materials inside continue to burn. As ship sizes have increased, so have stack heights.

Viking's HydroPen system is based on a drilling and spraying machine that allows deck crew to fight fires successfully high up in the stack. Developed by Rosenby Engineering and distributed exclusively by Viking, the HydroPen unit is attached to existing ship hoses and raised by a single crew member using a telescopic lift. Powered by water pressure alone, the HydroPen drills through the container door before switching to spray mode to extinguish the fire with water, foam or C02.

“For V.Ships, new technologies that support safety excellence are always welcome, while keeping customers ahead of the competition through innovation is one of our core values,” said Franck Kayser, V.Ships Group MD. “HydroPen is an easy to use but ground-breaking system that addresses a specific industry concern. Its adoption fleetwide aligns with our ‘safety first’ commitment.”

Viking will deliver 88 HydroPen systems by February 2020. One unit will be positioned astern and the other towards the bow to enable rapid response.

“Securing an order of this magnitude from one of the leading ship management companies in the world is a major vindication of the work behind bringing the HydroPen system to market,” says Lasse Boesen, Product Manager Trade, Viking. “Several of the most recent container fires have occurred on very large ships. These ships can only call at a limited number of ports, making it critical that container fires are dealt with on board. The feedback that we are getting on HydroPen is that the system’s true value comes from its being so easy to use.”  

The HydroPen has already seen service, after a pilot system was used to extinguish a real fire at sea.

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