More fishermen are expanding their onboard fire suppression arsenal with aerosol extinguishers that can be activated and thrown into the engine room in case of fire.

John Reardon, the general manager for New Bedford, Mass.-based Hercules SLR, is the U.S. distributor for DSPA, a company based in the Netherlands that manufactures the aerosol fire-extinguishing systems. Reardon said fishermen are buying up the DSPA 5M aerosol generator as a backup to handheld extinguishers.

The system has already been deployed several times with success, most recently when a fire broke out in the engine room of an East Coast scalloper.

“The skipper saw smoke billowing out of the engine room, and he threw the suppression device down there. When the smoke had cleared, they went down, replaced the broken hydraulic hose that had caused the fire, cleaned up, and four hours later they were fishing again,” Reardon said.

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Brian Hagenbuch is National Fisherman's products editor, a contributing editor to SeafoodSource and a Bristol Bay fisherman. He is based in Seattle.

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