The damaged container ship MSC Flaminia and its accompanying tugs were halted about 100 nautical miles off the British coast for inspection by firefighters and shipbuilding experts, owner Reederei NSB reported.
Two crewmembers died and three were injured July 14 when the ship caught fire in the mid-Atlantic, about 1,000 miles from land. The vessel was en route from Charleston to Antwerp.
Firefighting tugs towed the vessel closer to land while pouring water on the ship to extinguish flames that consumed three cargo holds.
Over the weekend, firefighters reboarded the ship in preparation for inspection of individual containers to check for smoldering fires. Crews also are assessing the stability of the vessel, which last week was reported listing at 10 degrees because of damaged cargo and water pumped onto the ship.
“Overall, the situation onboard MSC Flaminia continues to improve,” Reederei NSB said. “According to firefighting experts, almost no smoke generation can be observed from cargo holds 4 and 5. Nevertheless, hot spots inside of individual containers should still be reckoned with.”
The company said authorities would decide in a few days on permission for the ship to enter a sheltered coastal area. Once the ship is moved to that area, the vessel can be inspected more thoroughly, the company said.
The MSC Flaminia, built in 2001, has capacity of 6,732 20-foot-equivalent units.