Fire on Maersk boxship after ‘serious collision’ off Ningbo

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The crew of the Maersk Line vessel Safmarine Meru abandoned ship after a “serious collision” off Ningbo caused a fire on the vessel.

Maersk Line said the 4,650 teu Safmarine Meru collided with another container ship, the 8,814 teu, German-owned containership Northern Jasper 120 nm east of Ningbo in the early hours of 7 May.

It said the collision caused “severe damage” to the Safmarine Meru and a fire broke out, and its crew of 22 abandoned ship.

Maersk said it had received confirmation that all the crew safe and onboard the Northern Jasper and then were being transferred to shore. The Northern Jasper is managed by Norddeutsche Reederei H. Schuldt.

On Sunday the Safmarine Meru was afloat and anchored and firefighting operations were underway, and although there was no visible fire smoke could be seen.

“We are very relieved that our crew are safe and have not suffered any serious injuries. The safety of our people, at sea and on shore, is paramount to us,” said Palle Brodsgaard Laursen, head of ship management in Maersk Line.

“It is too early to comment on the circumstances surrounding the collision and fire. Our focus now is to put the fire out and get access to the vessel to assess damage to the vessel and cargo,” he added.

The 2006-built Safmarine Meru was deployed on Maersk’s TP18 service and according to the line had less than 400 full containers onboard at the time of the collision.

Posted 9 May 2016

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Marcus Hand

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Editor, Seatrade Maritime News Marcus Hand is the editor of Seatrade Maritime News and a dedicated maritime journalist with nearly two decades of experience covering the shipping industry in Asia. In addition to running Seatrade's maritime and offshore news website based from Singapore he is the Asia Editor of Seatrade Maritime Review. Marcus is also an experienced industry commentator and has chaired many conferences and round tables. Prior to joining Seatrade at the beginning of 2010 Marcus worked for shipping industry journal Lloyd's List for a decade and previous to that the Singapore Business Times covering shipping and aviation.

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