Hapag-Lloyd said that all 23 crew onboard the 7,510 teu containership were safe after a fire broke out on the vessel on Thursday while it was sailing from Colombo to Halifax, Canada. The German container line said the fire started in one container on deck and spread to other containers.
“Efforts to extinguish the fire in the containers were launched immediately but have had to be suspended for the time being due to a significant deterioration of weather conditions,” it said.
The US Coast Guard (USCG) said it had been co-ordingating the response efforts to ensure the safety of the crew of the Yantian Express approximately 860 miles northeast of Bermuda on Friday. The vessel Happy Ranger was 20 miles from the containership diverted its coure to provide assistance.
“The Coast Guard is currently monitoring the situation. The Happy Ranger's crew remains nearby to provide assistance. A commercial tugboat is also en route,” USCG said.
The fire on the Yantian Express is the latest in string of casualties at the turn of the New Year. A fire on the car carrier Sincerity Ace that started on 31 December in the Pacific continues to burn with one seafarer missing and four others believed dead.
On 2 January containership MSC Zoe lost some 270 containers off the Dutch coast in heavy weather. Also on 2 January a Taiwanese cargo ship that sank off the coast of China’s Zhejiang province leaving one dead and 10 missing,