C2/2003M Air Cushion Vessel JK-135 (FIN), Fire off Hamina on 27.2.2003
Air Cushion Vessel JK-135, owned by Finnish Coast Guard, was on her way from Hamina to Island Haapasaari in wintry conditions. Onboard there were two persons. The person operating the vessel suddenly saw flames in the rear mirror. He stopped the vessel and the two men rushed out to the ice covered sea. The fire was very intense and fast. The vessel was a total loss. There were no fatalities or personal injuries.
The vessel was a prototype which had been developed in co-operation with the manufacturer and Coast Guard during a period of more than a year. The intention was to develop a reasonably priced vessel to pass the fairways in wintertime. During the time of development many changes and alterations were made in the machinery space as well as to the cushion hem.
The investigation could not find the cause of the fire. The investigators did not have the chance to start the investigation on site because the information of the accident was given only on the next afternoon. Most of the wreck’s residue had then already been brought ashore by the Coast Guard.
The investigators do recommend that the Coast Guard alters it’s survey and inspection standards. The Coast Guard vessels should have the constructional safety standard as high as the regulations are for merchant vessels.