We have recently been advised of a potentially life threatening incident which occurred on a Member’s ship while taking on stores.
Due to time pressure prior to departure, a last minute operation took place to get the frozen and fresh foodstuffs off the deck. As there were time and manpower constraints, this meant the delivery was quickly checked off and placed in the store rooms. There had been no time to correctly unpack and stow the dry, frozen and fresh items.
We have been advised that amongst the stored items was a large order of fish that had been packed in dry ice (CO2).
When a member of the catering staff entered the coldstore the next day to attend to the delivery, the crewmember nearly passed out. It seems that when the dry ice evaporated, the atmosphere in the fridge was saturated with CO2 and this depleted the oxygen content in the room.
A Department of Transport Merchant Shipping Notice No M 1254, Use of Solid Carbon Dioxide, has covered this subject.
We advise Members to bring this M Notice to the attention of all crewmembers and to advise never to bring dry ice into the accommodation, storerooms or other enclosed spaces. Dry ice must remain on deck at all times.
Source of Information: Loss Prevention Department