Salvors report that a fire on the container ship MSC Flaminia has been brought under control as a tug continues to tow the stricken ship toward Europe, the ship’s owner said.
Thick fog prevented the salvage team from boarding the ship early Tuesday. Shipowner Reederei NSB said that when visibility improved, a salvage team would board the ship to check each container and extinguish any remaining fires.
This procedure must be completed before the ship receives permission to enter a port, Reederei NSB said. The shipowner said it has not decided which port the vessel will call next.
The MSC Flaminia was being towed by the tug Fairmount Expedition at a speed of 5 knots, with the tugs Anglian Sovereign and Carlo Magno on standby. The group of vessels was reported 320 nautical miles off the U.K. early Tuesday.
“The tugboat Anglian Sovereign is constantly monitoring temperatures onboard the vessel via a laser thermometer and is ready to resume cooling if necessary,” Reederei NSB said on its Web site.
The vessel was still listing by approximately 10 degrees because of damaged cargo and water sprayed on the fire, Reederei NSB said.
The vessel’s owner said earlier that the ship’s holds 4, 5 and 6 were “demolished” by the fire, which broke out in hold 4 on July 14 while the ship was about 1,000 miles from the U.K., en route from Charleston to Antwerp.
One crewmember died from burns, a second seaman is missing and three remain hospitalized. Eighteen crewmembers and two passengers escaped injury. They were rescued from lifeboats and arrived at Falmouth, England, early Thursday.
The MSC Flaminia, an 11-year-old ship with capacity of 6,732 20-foot equivalent units, reportedly was carrying 2,876 containers.
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