As reported on 8 July
The captain on board Charlotte Maersk, currently off Port Klang in Malaysia, reported a fire on the foredeck of the vessel Wednesday, at 2100 hours local time (15 hrs CET). The vessel immediately initiated fire fighting procedures.
At the time of the incident it had left Port Klang and was en route to Salalah, Oman.
Charlotte Maersk (DIS flag and built in 2002) is a 8194 TEU container vessel. It is deployed in Maersk Line's Asia - Europe network.
As reported on 9 July
The fire on board Charlotte Maersk appears to be contained and under control. The fire is contained to the foredeck, in a safe distance from the bridge and crew accommodation.
The crew and the vessels assisting in the firefighting will continue to cool the surroundings around the fire source to prevent the fire from spreading.
The next step is to plan the extinguishing of the fire. To assist in this work a team of eight fire fighting experts and one marine chemist are en route to the vessel. They are expected to arrive this afternoon/evening local time. Already on board is a salvage master.
The crew of Charlotte Maersk is doing a fantastic job. The 21 crew members are working tirlessly to contain the fire in cooperation with the vessels at the scene.
There is no timeline as to when the situation will be resolved and the fire extinguished. Maersk Line's priority remains the continued safety of the crew, vessel and cargo, and will take the time needed to ensure a successful resolution of the situation on board Charlotte Maersk.
The Malaysian coastguard has two vessels on scene, one assisting with fighting the fire, and which will remain on site until situation is resolved.
One tug arrived Thursday evening local time and has since assisted in the fire fighting. One tug arrived Friday morning local time and is on stand-by at the scene. An additional two tugs are on route to assist with expected arrival Friday afternoon local time.
The fire on board Charlotte Maersk continues to appear contained and under control. Surgical container extinguishing is progressing. Captain Danielsen has been quick to praise the efforts of the entire team.
The initial assessment estimates that around 150 containers have to be opened and surgically (i.e., one container at a time) extinguished. 13 containers have been extinguished.
The fire extinguishing operation progresses so that first cooling of 4-6 hours of one or more containers in an specific area takes place. Then a thermal camera is used to asses the temperature, and if it is possible to enter the area surgical container extinguishing takes place.
The temperatures are very high - some places round 1000 degrees Celsius. In the latter case, it is impossible for fire fighters to approach before additional cooling has taken place. This is also one of the reasons why the fire extinguishing takes time and why it is difficult to estimate when the fire will be extinguished.
Maersk Line cannot speculate on when the fire will be extinguished. The priority remains the continued safety of the crew, vessel and cargo, and the company will take the time needed to ensure a successful resolution of the situation on board Charlotte Maersk. Once it will be safe to discharge containers, we will do so ensuring a minimum of delay to customers' cargo.
The Captain of Charlotte Maersk, Dick S. Danielsen, reports of excellent teamwork among the onboard leadership team (Captain, Salvage Master and the fire fighting team leader) as well as all other involved parties. The Malaysian authorities have been very accommodating and their assistance in this matter is greatly appreciated by all involved parties.
There are at this point in time no reported injuries to our 21 crew members - of Danish, Indian and Pilipino and Ukranian nationality -nor any reported pollution to the environment. They are doing fine, but naturally exhausted from an outstanding performance fighting and containing the fire.
The vessel's engine, thrusters and other equipment is operational.
|The following resources are now assisting with the fire fighting:
|• 21 crewmembers containing the fire with
|• 1 Malaysian coast guard vessel assisting
with fire fighting monitor
|• 1 Salvage master
||• 1 Malaysian coast guard vessel stand-by
|• 1 Fire fighter expert team leader
||• 4 tugs with fire fighting capabilities
|• 7 Fire fighting experts
||• Special container cutting and fire fighting equipment
|• 1 Chemist
||• 2 Launch boats
|• 1 Svitzer shore coordinator