Fighting the Fire
Normally the Chief Officer is in charge of the attack party which carries out operations directly related to extinguishing the fire. He would ensure that the fire flaps of the hold are shut down. Head count should be taken to cross check if anyone hasn’t gone inside the hold.
If the ship is fitted with the CO2 injection system, the same would be activated and released into the appropriate hold and after that the Captain would access the situation and again start moving towards the port, which could be either the initially destined port or some other nearby port.
Important Notes – Discipline & Caution
An important point to remember is that sometimes the damage done by fire is not visible with naked eyes and hence it is always good to send out an urgency signal so that the external world knows about the situation and coordinates of the ship. Sometimes it might so happen that the fire causes some sort of explosion and subsequent flooding, not giving time to think twice and the ship goes down.
Last but not least, discipline and calm is important even in such situations. The orders of the superiors should be followed by the juniors and even if they want to differ or remind the seniors, they should do it in a polite and tactful manner. Then only will the fire fighting be a complete success. Remember there is no other help available in the middle of the ocean except your own calm, cool and collective action apart from a bit of good luck and the Blessings of Mother Nature.