In 2020, CMA CGM ordered Viking Life-Saving Equipment’s HydroPen sets to equip its larger container ships. This order has now been extended to cover the entire fleet of more than 270 ships. CMA CGM is not the only container liner making this decision, as Maersk also placed a fleetwide order for the container fire-fighting system in August.

In addition to Maersk and CMA CGM, the solution was also recently ordered for the first time by a marine salvage company, for deployment as a “response kit” to container fires on ships.

Also read: Maersk to equip entire fleet with HydroPen firefighting systems


Where conventional solutions use boundary cooling to dowse fires from outside the container, HydroPen is attached to the deck hose as a combined drill and spray unit which penetrates the door of the box before extinguishing the fire at source.

Working on or below deck, HydroPen is put into position by a crew member using a telescopic device to fight fires from a distance at any level, with the drilling action driven by pressure in the hose. Users need minimal training, while HydroPen is equally compatible for use with water, foam, or CO2.

Also read: ‘Ultra-large container ships bring unanticipated fire risks’

Online training

In addition to unprompted endorsements from marine insurers, HydroPen recently won TT Club’s Innovation in Safety Award. Judges expressed themselves ‘particularly impressed’ by Viking’s associated online training, which is also part of the HydroPen solution acquired by the CMA CGM Group.

Dorte Moeskjaer Hansen, Viking Vice President Sales Regions: ‘Even the most careful and safety conscious of owners and operators are more at risk of container fires today than ever before, but fires discovered at an early stage can be extinguished quickly and easily if the right tools are available in the hands of well-trained crew.’

According to Viking, since its launch in 2019, HydroPen has become the preferred extinguishing device for containers among a growing constituency of well-known container lines. The company says the system has already seen action multiple times, successfully extinguishing container fires.

Also read: ‘Prevention measures crucial to tackling risk of battery fires in shipping’