News Centre

Fire protection system for UK’s new polar research ship goes live

posted on February 17, 2020 categories Project News

RRS Sir David Attenborough’s water mist fire protection system has been commissioned, marking another important milestone in the construction of the UK’s new polar research ship.

A full test of the Marioff HI-FOG® system was carried out at Cammell Laird’s Birkenhead shipyard last week, allowing engineers to confirm that the spray pattern would cover all required areas of the vessel in the event of a fire. Following the successful trial, the system was verified by Lloyd’s Register classification society.

Scroll down to watch video highlights from the trial


More than 500 water mist heads are located throughout RRS Sir David Attenborough’s accommodation and engine spaces. The system splits the vessel into separate zones, ensuring a targeted approach if a fire breaks out.

The spray heads are designed to trigger automatically once a specific temperature is reached, immediately releasing water pressurised to 18 bars. The resulting mist displaces oxygen at the seat of the fire and cools the surrounding air, effectively suppressing and controlling any blaze before it can spread or reignite.

The entire fire protection system can be manually operated from the ship’s bridge if the situation requires.

RRS Sir David Attenborough is of the most advanced vessels of its type in the world and is set to transform how ship-borne science is carried out in the Polar Regions. She has been designed to accommodate up to 30 crew members, plus 60 scientists and support staff, and will provide access some of the most remote locations on the planet.

Now in the final stages of construction, the ship achieved two more important milestones last month with the testing and commissioning of its of lifeboats and power systems.