Burning car carrier too hot to board, another attempt set for later today [Versão em Inglês]

Burning car carrier too hot to board, another attempt set for later today [Versão em Inglês]

Por: Bojan Lepic

A salvage team was unable to enter the Fremantle Highway car carrier which has been on fire since Tuesday evening as the ship was still too hot.

Around midnight on July 25, the Dutch coastguard received a report that a major fire broke out on the vessel. One crewmember died, while the remaining 22 were rescued by boat and helicopter. The injured crewmembers were taken by ambulance to nearby hospitals with breathing problems, burns, and broken bones. No injuries were life-threatening.

The Dutch coastguard said last night that the fire was still raging and that there was still a lot of smoke. However, the intensity of the fire has decreased compared to Wednesday, but it was still unsafe to bring a salvage team aboard the ship.

At a certain point during Thursday, the flames could no longer be seen on the ship. However, the coastguard said it was too early to give the all-clear as the fire could flare up again.

The ship is also no longer constantly cooled since too much water entering the ship could lead to structural integrity and stability issues. There was continuous cooling done on Wednesday as the fire was more intense then. The situation is still stable.

According to the coastguard, a recovery team on board the emergency tug Guardian monitors the situation on-site and an aircraft is monitoring the situation from the air. They’re gathering information for a salvage plan.

A new attempt to board the ship will be made today if both the temperature and vessel stability permit it. If the salvage team decides that the ship is stable enough, it will be towed to a safe place.

An attempt was initially made to tow the ship in an easterly direction, as it started to drift. The wind changed direction later and the car carrier started drifting westward towards Terschelling in a “controlled manner” which poses no additional risks.

The tugboat Fairplay 30, which took over the emergency connection to the Fremantle Highway from the Hunter, established a much stronger towing connection than the previous one. It is now keeping the ship between the shipping routes so that vessels can pass at a safe distance.

During the evening, the Fremantle Highway was held in place by the tugboat. The current and wind direction are continuously monitored to determine the most favourable drift direction.

Regardless of the vessel drifting, it is still located near the Wadden Islands, which are part of the largest tidal flats system in the world and are a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The owner of the vessel, Shoei Kisen, has reportedly confirmed to Dutch media that there were 900 more cars on board than originally thought bringing the total to around 3,800. These include cars from Mercedes Benz, BMW, and Mini.

The box-like design of roll-on roll-of vessels such as this one has its benefits but it also has its fallacies. Due to the open character, seawater can quickly enter the vessel in the event of an accident causing the ship to capsize or even sink. Smoke and fire spread just as quickly.

Because of that, the Fremantle Highway is not the first ro-ro ship to be involved in an accident. According to local media covering the incident, at least 41 such ships have caught fire, capsized, or sunk since 1953. In the 41 accidents, 6,556 people and five entire crews have died. Added to that number is the latest fatality from this fire.

Incidents on such vessels bring with them massive damage as well. In the case of the Felicity Ace which sank off the Azores last year after a fire that lasted three weeks, the damage was estimated to be around $400m due to its precious cargos of Bentleys, Lamborghinis, and 1100 Porsches.

While the coastguard claims the source of the blaze is unknown there has been widespread speculation that an electric vehicle is once again to blame. Such vehicles use lithium-ion batteries which, when on fire, can reach temperatures of more than 2,700 degrees Celsius.

The dangers of carrying lithium-ion batteries on ships were highlighted in an Allianz Global Corporate & Speciality report, which ranked fire and explosion as the number one cause of marine insurance losses by value from 2017 to 2021.

“The debate about EVs in the shipping industry is ongoing, with conversations about whether there is a need for dedicated Ro-ro vessels for EVs,” Allianz said.



Acesse também o site da HCT BRASIL –

www.hctbrasil.com.br | +55 11 2366–2169 | +55 11 99601-8992 | +55 11 98382-9999

#hctbrasil #PrevençãoDeIncêndios #SegurançaContraIncêndios #ManutençãoDeBombasDeIncêndio #NormasDeSegurança #NFPA25 #ProteçãoContraIncêndios #ServiçosEspecializados #InspeçõesTécnicas #RelatóriosDeTestes #LaudosTécnicos #energia #Inovação #SegurançaContraIncêndios #Tecnologia #InteligênciaArtificial #DetecçãoDeIncêndios #Segurança #GerenciamentoDeIncêndios #CoordenaçãoDeEmergência #PrevençãoDeIncêndios #AnáliseDeDados #NFPA11 #nfpa #epa #cepa #ul #rina #reach #mpa

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