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Old 05-23-2022, 09:02 AM   #1
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Daisy Mae

Last night and this morning has been interesting. Early AM showed 200’ flames and huge plume of smoke. First thought it was on land. Soon saw it was a barge on fire headed south on Delaware. They went toward mouth of bay. Then turned around so smoke wasn’t covering the tug. Over VHF heard they left port Newark. We are now directly opposite on other side of shipping lanes 21nm up from Cape May. Still see flames. With binoculars seems hull of the barge is melting although flames much less. Smoke hasn’t decreased. If anything worse. CG and fire boat in attendance. VHF chatter interesting.
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Old 05-23-2022, 12:20 PM   #2
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Lee's post caught my eye because our recently sold boat is now residing on the Delaware. This seems to be the latest news:


https://www.wgmd.com/breaking-barge-...een-for-miles/


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Old 05-23-2022, 12:51 PM   #3
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What was interesting was the barge was low in its stern so had enough increased draft he needed to periodically cross the shipping canal to avoid running aground. This caused concern for ships transversing the channel. They strongly wanted the burning barge to stay entirely out of the channel. Which it did. The additional concern was if the barge sank in the channel the channel would be closed (think Suez). The stress in the voices of concern parties was quite evident. Especially the tug captain but he remained polite and professional.
Amusing was a CG boat brought out “dignitaries “ to observe the goings on. They circled the tug/barge then left.
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Old 05-23-2022, 10:26 PM   #4
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Agree that allowing the barge to sink in the channel would be bad for the Port of Philadelphia. There is nowhere in Delaware Bay deep enough, in channel or out, that a 40 ft draft ship could cross over top. It's a stubborn fire, still smoking heavily at sunset tonight.
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Old 05-24-2022, 07:18 AM   #5
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Anchored in Sandy Hook now so don’t know conclusion of the story. But even 1/3 up the jersey coast you could still see the smoke. Lost vision there. So know it was burning until night fall.
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Old 05-24-2022, 09:41 AM   #6
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All of the boats working the barge fire moved up to the northeast in the shallows far from the ship channel. Visibility was not good enough to see any smoke from North Cape May. Since its now in NJ, all of the Delaware fire boats left. Just commercial boats, an NYC fire boat, and the CG.
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Old 05-24-2022, 06:27 PM   #7
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Daisey Mae tows the "YNOT barges. There are YNOT 1-6. I'm not sure if Coyemans Marine owns all 6 , but they have at least 2. They move big piles of scrap steel from Port Newark, NJ to Camden, N.j. I think the ynot barges are whats known as 3x1's (300'x100')
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Old 05-24-2022, 06:32 PM   #8
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Did hear tug cap say he left from Newark. Can’t understand scrap steel producing a fire like that? Maybe appliances with attached plastic, insulation or other flamables.
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Old 05-24-2022, 07:01 PM   #9
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There were thunderstorms with lightning in the area at the time of the fire. Good target for a stray bolt.
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Old 05-24-2022, 08:02 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hippocampus View Post
Did hear tug cap say he left from Newark. Canít understand scrap steel producing a fire like that? Maybe appliances with attached plastic, insulation or other flamables.
Not sure about fire origin aboard that barge but I would suspect Magnesium (Class D , Burning metals) fire.....
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Old 05-25-2022, 05:34 AM   #11
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Or maybe Al. In discussion with other cruisers this came up. Although not even close to the risk of grp Al can burn. I did a welding course and given I’m clumsy remember even with TIG how easy it’s to “burn through” Slag did show some evidence of oxidation not just melting. Would think there’s more Al waste than Mg.
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Old 05-25-2022, 06:10 PM   #12
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I saw a 100 aluminum crewboat burn to the waterline and sink. You could see the outline of the engine blocks through the aluminum.

The scrap Daisey Mae Tows is already shredded before loading in Port Newark. I don't understand how they don't get shut down... Lots of metal ends up over the binwalls and in the water
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Old 05-28-2022, 07:48 AM   #13
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Itís still smoldering. Probably will be until they unload the barge.
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Old 05-28-2022, 08:31 AM   #14
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Fire controlled and just residual? Likelihood of them being shut down or massively fined? Was scary to watch.
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Old 05-30-2022, 11:35 AM   #15
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Finally out as of yesterday. Salvage in progress.
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Old 05-30-2022, 12:02 PM   #16
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Thanks for letting us know HW. Have you any thoughts on the consequences? Will it be the straw that breaks the camels back as S of F suggests?
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Old 05-30-2022, 12:49 PM   #17
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Scrap steel is a known hazardous cargo. The issue is a type of scrap known as Ďturningsí which are generally shavings of metal from industrial lathes discarded during the manufacturing process.

Steel oxidizes (rusts) very rapidly when it is in a raw state. Turnings have huge surface area to volume ratios so there is a lot of oxidizing happening. The oxidizing process creates heat. When large amounts of turnings are heaped up in piles the center of the pile can get very hot. Turnings are soaked in oil during the manufacturing process in order to keep the tooling sharp and keep the metal temperature reasonable. But in large piles of hot turnings, the oil will combust. Thus the fire. Such fires are difficult to fight as the source is deep within the pile. Pouring water on will often make things worse as the water turns to steam, breaks down to component parts (H2O), the hydrogen burns producing more heat and the oxygen attacks more steel to make more ferrous oxide.

In international shipping, scrap metal is classed as a hazardous cargo liable to spontaneous combustion. Before shipping a certificate must be produced certifying that there are no turnings in the cargo. This is not the case for domestic shipping and steel mills like turnings as it is pure steel.

On a ship, the fire would not be fought with water. Instead the hatches would be sealed tight and a blanket of CO2 gas introduced into the hold to limit the amount of oxygen available for the fire. Cooling would be effected with water sprayed around the outside of the cargo hold. (Boundary Cooling)

On an open barge, it is much more difficult. The quickest way is to use a crane with a clamshell bucket to dig out the pile and spread it out over a large dirt area where it can then be hosed off. Failing that the only option is massive amounts of water, hoping to eventually cool enough material to extinguish the fire. This is usually fruitless and it will continue to burn for a long time. By the time the fire is out though, all the turnings and oil will have been consumed.

If I were investigating this incident this would be my first area of focus.
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Old 05-30-2022, 02:54 PM   #18
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In the interest of accuracy, to my knowledge the temperatures present in an
ordinary fire are not capable of breaking the covalent bonds of the water molecules.

At 2200 deg C (4000 deg F) about 3% of the H2O molecules will undergo
dissociation while at 3000 deg C (5400 deg F) about half of them will.

It is interesting to note that at 3000 deg C, about half of the CO2 will also dissociate.
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Old 05-30-2022, 03:20 PM   #19
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Agree with KT. Don’t think fire reaches beyond the required temperature but don’t know for certain but McG’s post is most informative and helpful. Perhaps it does get pass 3000 Celsius which I think is the minimum temperature required. In that case would expect detonation not just fire. Didn’t hear any explosions But thank you So much like a compost pile but more severe rapid oxidation is going on and the oil produces the flame. Had a girlfriend who inherited a chicken farm. It ran on propane?methane? collected from chicken droppings. The chickens were is cages with several conveyor belts running through delivering food and such. There was also a conveyor belt below each rack of cages collecting waste. That belt eventually delivered the waste to a silo where it fermented and gas collected. I believe the gas was methane or propane don’t remember. That gas ran generators and farm equipment. Risk was fire and explosion. this was quite some time ago. Don’t know if that’s still done. Fire risk existed in the yet to be processed waste as well as the gas.
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Old 05-30-2022, 04:48 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KnotYet View Post
In the interest of accuracy, to my knowledge the temperatures present in an
ordinary fire are not capable of breaking the covalent bonds of the water molecules.

At 2200 deg C (4000 deg F) about 3% of the H2O molecules will undergo
dissociation while at 3000 deg C (5400 deg F) about half of them will.

It is interesting to note that at 3000 deg C, about half of the CO2 will also dissociate.


Good point. I failed to emphasis that this would be no ordinary fire. The temperature in the center is sufficient to melt the steel and it becomes a furnace. On a similar job, I was told explicitly by a chemist on site that we were feeding the fire with the water.

I didnít know that CO2 would disassociate at these temperatures. Most ships carry banks of CO2 bottles for the explicit purpose of fighting cargo hold fires. So, I learned something today. Thank you.

I once worked a job where a cargo of DRI (Direct Reduced Iron) ignited in a ships cargo hold. Similar type fire. We shot off two banks of CO2 to no effect. The ship was still at the loading dock so I brought in a truck of liquid nitrogen and released it into the cargo hold. That did the trick. Now I know why the CO2 didnít work.
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