Viking acquires HydroPen, maker of container firefighting system


(ESBJERG, Denmark) — Viking Life-Saving Equipment has acquired HydroPen, the company behind the unique HydroPen container firefighting solution supplied to hundreds of ships.

HydroPen’s rapid uptake has been due to its combination of innovation, efficiency and ease of use. Attached to a ship’s hose and raised on a telescopic arm by a single crewmember, water pressure alone powers its “drill and spray” nozzle to penetrate a container door before switching to spray mode to extinguish a fire with water, foam or CO2 – directly at its source.

HydroPen was founded in 2016 by Martin Winkel, CEO, and Jesper Rosenfeldt Hansen, CTO and system inventor. Their inspiration was to apply innovative, safe and user-friendly technology to revolutionize firefighting on board container vessels.

Viking Life-Saving Equipment photo

Around the same time, the need for new solutions was on the rise across the industry. Nine major containership fires were reported in 2019 followed by 10 incidents in 2020, while the leading transports and logistics insurer, TT Club, estimates that a container fire occurs on average once every 60 days. The International Union of Marine Insurance has called for ship design and firefighting equipment improvements on ultra large containerships.The acquisition also follows a fire in April on board a 4,200-TEU containership off Malaysia, which called 50 local firefighters into action after the vessel returned to anchorage.

“This is a significant acquisition for Viking and for safety in the container shipping industry,” said Lasse Boesen, senior product manager, Viking. “We approached the HydroPen originators shortly after the system won the 2017 Danish Tech Challenge accelerator prize. From its official launch at SMM 2018, Viking became HydroPen’s exclusive distributor, going on to support orders from some of the industry’s biggest names.”

“Once crews familiarize themselves with HydroPen, there is no going back – and since its introduction, the system has already proven itself in live firefighting situations. Recently, HydroPen has also generated interest among land-based firefighting operators who have been quick to recognize its value,” Boesen said.

– Viking Life-Saving Equipment

By Professional Mariner Staff