HMS Duncan Ship’s Company prove they can stand the heat in the galley

Topic: Fighting armsSurface Fleet Storyline: HMNB Portsmouth

HMS Duncan’s ship company is working hard to bring her back to operational status following time in a dry dock at HMNB Portsmouth for her programmed upkeep period.

Before moving back on board they have also been tested on their ability to keep the ship and her personnel safe.

Fire onboard a warship is a constant risk, even more so in the galley where hot oil, moving machinery and tight spaces make for a potentially lethal combination.

Under the leadership of Chief Petty Officer Paul Cook, the sailors from HMS Duncan recently proved they were up to defeating this danger as they prepare to move back on board, the ship having been in the care of BAe Systems for her first upkeep period.

As part of the training scenario, the fire proved too large to be put out with handheld extinguishers so the team had to close the door, testing their ability to contain the blaze which now threatened to divide the ship in two.

The containment team, led by PO Luke Savage were now key to holding back the fire, buying time for the support party to get into their firefighting suits.

Once the electrical supplies had been isolated and all preparations were in place, the support party could re-enter the galley, shielded behind ET (WE) Cameron Cumming’s water wall which for a real fire would put out 37.8 tonnes an hour of water. Once in, ET(ME) William Bell could smother the fire with a blanket of foam, while LCS Craig McCheyne could use the thermal imaging camera to confirm that the fire was extinguished through the smoke.

This was all the more challenging as the Fleet Operational Sea Training (FOST) team were on hand to advise and assure, declaring at the end of the exercise that had this been a real fire the team would have extinguished it and saved the ship.

HMS Duncan’s Commanding Officer, Commander Hugh Harris said: “The success of the exercise is entirely down to the teamwork and dedication of the Ship’s Company over the last few months, as Duncan continues her journey back to being a fighting warship.”

I’m really pleased with the hard work of the team; their knowledge and enthusiasm was impressive.

CPO Cook