Salvors battle container ship fire

Cargo forward of the accommodation was affected by the 'Maersk Honam' fire (Indian Coast Guard) Cargo forward of the accommodation was affected by the 'Maersk Honam' fire (Indian Coast Guard)
Industry Database

Global salvage specialists Ardent and Smit Salvage are engaged in a major salvage operation following a container ship fire in the Arabian Sea.

Fires on container ships, often originating from within the containers themselves are a major concern for all involved including salvors and this latest incident reinforces the importance of the professional salvage industry.

Maersk Honam was underway from Singapore towards Suez when, around 900nm southeast of Salalah, Oman it reported a serious fire in one of its cargo holds; it was carrying 7,860 containers at the time. After being unsuccessful in their firefighting efforts the crew sent out a distress signal whereby 23 were safely evacuated to the nearby vessel ASL Ceres. Four crew were reported missing with the situation on the vessel reported as very critical. One of those rescued sadly passed away and two of the remaining crew in urgent need of medical care were evacuated by the Indian Navy.

An Indian Coast Guard vessel commenced firefighting and an additional specialised firefighting vessel was engaged to tackle the blaze which was restricted to the section of the ship forward of the accommodation. It was also announced Ardent and Smit Salvage had been engaged for the salvage operation.

All involved were prepared for what would be a lengthy operation including boundary cooling and protecting the cargo abaft the accommodation. The ripple effect of course goes beyond the actual incident itself with much of the remaining cargo, potentially unaffected now delayed and General Average declared.

Good progress was made with firefighting although many hotspots remained, and plans were put in place to find a suitable port where the remaining cargo could be discharged. Around six weeks after the fire started, Maersk reported that Maersk Honam had arrived under tow at an anchorage outside Jebel Ali Port, UAE. At the time of writing it was expected a further four to five weeks would be required to completely extinguish the fire and further stabilise the vessel before it could be berthed. AIS data indicated four tugs and associated vessels in attendance: Posh Perseverance, Maersk Involver, Zwerver 2 and Alice Prima.

By Peter Barker

Latest Press Releases

MYTASKIT NAMES PACSOFT FIRST INTERNATIONAL RESELLER

Expanding its global presence, MyTaskit has signed its first international reseller. Auckland, New Z... Read more

Fred. Olsen Windcarrier Jack-up Brave Tern completes major crane refit at Damen Shiprepair Amsterdam

Brave Tern, the 132-metre jack-up operated by Fred. Olsen Windcarrier AS, has completed a major cran... Read more

Damen Marine Components to supply Chilean Navy for ANTARCTIC I project

Damen Marine Components has won a contract to supply steering gear, rudders and stern tube parts for... Read more

Damen Verolme Rotterdam wins refit contract for drilling rig Stena Don

Damen Verolme Rotterdam (DVR), one of Damen Shipyards Group’s most experienced yards in the repair a... Read more

Industry insights with Lloyd’s Maritime Academy:

INDUSTRY INSIGHTS WITH LLOYD’S MARITIME ACADEMY: What's next for the shipping industry? Read more

Damen signs with VTS Vasiliko Terminal Services for ASD Tug 2310

On 24th July, Damen Shipyards Group signed a contract with Cyprus-based VTS Vasiliko Terminal Servic... Read more

View all