Not all ships are fitted with a CO2 fire fighting systems in their cargo holds. The systems are quite expensive and those ships that are fitted are able to load combustible cargoes that other ships cannot. Cotton seeds are one such cargo.
Sometime these ships command a premium in the market..
The Co2 system consists of a fire detection system (smoke detectors) and an alarm system, along with Co2 cylinders. During an indication of fire in the cargo hold, the gang of co2 bottles are released depending upon the cargo permeability (how much space is empty over the cargo for co2).
When there is a fire in any of the cargo hold compartments, the smoke is sucked into the sampling pipes and is passed through diverting valves in to the wheel house, thus warning the bridge personnel about the fire. Simultaneously, the sample from the pipes is passed over a smoke detector which senses the smoke and activates the audio visual alarm indicating the outbreak of fire.
There are other fire fighting systems available to shipowners but the Co2 system is easily the most popular...
Re current crop of students.
A great mix from some of the worlds largest brokerage firms and even a few cargo charterers aswell. To those who didn't enrol you missed a chance to network with people controlling millions of tonnes of cargo. And those cargo principals who are thinking of enrolling next time.....you should. Its a great way to improve your knowledge, expand your horizons and make friends in other fields...
Great fun and this is a really good crew to teach..
We all rock