MSB after the Stena fire: Take your own initiative

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full screen Stena Scandica finally made it into the harbor in Nynäshamn on her own machine. Archive image. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

The passenger ship Stena Scandica suffered a fire and drifted without power in rough weather for several hours.

Now MSB has investigated the accident and the conclusion is clear: Do not wait for “someone else” to initiate cooperation.

Around 300 people were on board the Stena Scandica when a fire broke out at lunchtime on August 29, 2022. The ship became partially filled with smoke and drifted for six hours in rough weather. About 30 children and the elderly were evacuated in the evening by helicopter.

The authority for social protection and preparedness (MSB) now states that the incident shows a great need for “proactivity” between actors.

“Do not hesitate to initiate cooperation early on in complex events and do not wait for ‘someone else’ to initiate,” says Henrik Larsson, head of unit at MSB, in a press release.

For example, a first formal collaboration meeting was not held until 8 p.m., almost eight hours after the fire broke out.

The County Administrative Board should call for such a meeting early and on its own initiative, believes MSB, which also emphasizes that there must be an acceptance for proactive action “in the entire Swedish preparedness system”.

The authority also points to the municipal rescue service, which it believes needs to develop its proactive thinking and action in complex events.

Different levels must also cooperate better, according to MSB.

“There is a continuing need to develop collaboration between state, regional and municipal actors in the event of major accidents and incidents,” says Larsson.

MSB’s investigation does not address the cause of the fire or how the rescue efforts were technically carried out.