Safety update

June 1997 Diesel stoves on board fishing vessels

This safety update is for owners of vessels with diesel stoves. It is issued to raise awareness of the potential serious risk to safety on board vessels where diesel stoves are used. It provides practice tips for how best to reduce the risks involved and to alert people to the risk to safety associated with diesel stoves.


Mariners are warned that Dickinson diesel fired stoves should be shut down when they cannot be attended and should have fusible links installed to prevent uncontrolled fires. Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) recently investigated the loss of a fishing vessel in which a Dickinson diesel fired stove caught fire, and MNZ is aware that other onboard fires have been caused by two models of Dickinson stoves, the Pacific and Adriatic. In the most recent case the stove’s "over temperature fuel regulator shut down device" did not work and air moving through the wheelhouse caused a down draft in the stove flue. Poor combustion caused un-burnt fuel to flood the stove. The stove’s flame was fanned by the changing draft and ignited the excess fuel.

Safe practice tips

Owners of vessels with these types of diesel stoves are reminded that changing wind and temperature conditions and fluctuations in oil viscosity and quality will affect the way the stoves operate. Such stoves should be shut down when they cannot be attended.

To further safeguard against fire, a fusible link should be fitted which will melt if the stove over-heats, and activate the shut off valve. This will prevent additional oil entering the burner when the fuel line becomes hot enough to activate the link.

Original source content - Boat Notice 061997, June: Diesel stoves on board fishing vessels.

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