Update: Maersk Honam Fire Localized

The fire on board Maersk Line’s ultra large containership Maersk Honam, which has been raging since Tuesday, March 6, has been localized, the Indian Coast Guard said.

“Fire has been successfully localized and prevented from spreading,” the coast guard informed on its Twitter account.

The offshore patrol vessel Shoor remains at the site, about 650 nautical miles from Kochi coast, fighting the fire.

Two tugs CSC Nelson and Maersk Involver have also joined the fire-fighting operation, according to the latest update.

The salvage operation is led by Smit Salvage and Ardent, Maersk Line said, adding that it was cooperating with the salvors and has sent two technical engineers to Salalah, Oman, to work closely with the two salvage companies.

Four crew members, of the total of 27 seafarers that were on board the ship prior to the fire, remain missing despite comprehensive search efforts. According to Maersk Line, the hope of finding any survivors wanes due to the time passage since the fire broke out.

The missing seafarers include two Filipinos, one South African and one Indian.

Furthermore, one crew member passed away, while two more mariners, one Thai and one Filipino, are being provided with medical treatment for the injuries sustained connected to the fire.

The remaining 19 crew members have disembarked in the cities of Cochin and Trivandrum in Southern India, Maersk Line said earlier today.

All crew members have received medical treatment and are offered crisis counseling, and a majority have been transferred to a hotel. Of the crew members that remain hospitalized some are currently receiving intensive care, the company added.

“We are relieved that a majority of our colleagues have been released from the hospital. We, however, remain deeply concerned about the health condition of our colleagues still in the hospital and are grateful that they are in the capable hands of medical professionals,” Palle Laursen, Chief Technical Officer for Maersk, said.

Based on the initial findings, there was no oil spill detected in the vicinity of the vessel.

A number of container vessels have diverted their route to assist in the search and rescue operation which continues. Currently, five vessels are involved, Maersk Line said on Thursday.

The cause of the fire, along with the extent of damage to the ship and its cargo are yet to be determined.

World Maritime News Staff; Image & Video Courtesy: Indian Coast Guard