Fire-Ravaged Maersk Honam Reaches Gulf of Oman

Maersk Line’s containership Maersk Honam, which is being towed to an anchor at Jebel Ali, has reached the Gulf of Oman, based on its latest vessel tracking data from Marine Traffic.

“We have received the permission from the port authorities in Jebel Ali to anchor the vessel off Jebel Ali, and we expect it to reach the anchorage in the second half of April, all going well,” a spokesperson from Maersk Line told World Maritime News.

The ship, which was hit by a major fire on March 6 while underway in the Arabian Sea, continues burning, according to an update from MSC, Maersk Line’s 2M Alliance partner.

“The firefighting and cooling operations are ongoing, with various hotspots remaining,” MSC said on April 12.

The vessel was halfway between Muscat and Karachi, in the northern Arabian Sea, at the time.

The fire broke out in one of the ship’s cargo holds while the vessel was sailing some 650 nautical miles from Kochi. The fire has since claimed five lives of the crew.

“At the anchorage, hot spots in the affected areas will be cooled down and completely extinguished. Further necessary work to bring the vessel alongside will be performed to ensure safe cargo discharge operations and the stability of the vessel, ” Maersk Line spokesperson said.

Once these activities are completed, the vessel will move from anchorage to the Jebel Ali terminal to commence the discharge operations. However, the time of the arrival depends on a variety of unknown factors and can possibly change, the spokesperson explained.

“We will only be able to clarify the situation once the cargo has been discharged and inspected but we can now provide to the owners of cargoes that were stored in the holds 1 to 3 some certificate of total loss if requested.

“For the other cargoes, insurers should prepare the required GA and Salvage security bonds (when supplied by the General Average Adjusters), as those documents will be essential for the cargoes to reach their final destinations and be released under General Average,” according to MSC.

The berthing and discharging operations of the fire-ravaged boxship are expected to result in high extraordinary costs, as confirmed by Maersk Line.

The company has declared General Average, under which all parties with a financial interest in the voyage are to proportionally share the losses resulting from the incident.

World Maritime News Staff; Image Courtesy: Indian Coast Guard

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