Burning car carrier towed to new location

Written by Nick Blenkey
burning car carrier

Though smoke had lessened, car carrier was still burning when towed to a new location further from traffic lanes [Image: Rijkswaterstaat]

The still-burning car carrier Fremantle Highway has now been successfully towed to new temporary location some 16 miles north of the West Frisian Islands of Schiermonnikoog and Ameland.

The agency handling the salvage and pollution prevention aspects of the response is the Rijkswaterstaat, which is part of the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management. It says that the towing of the ship, which started on the afternoon of July 30, went without any problems.

“Due to the cooperating current during the second part of the tow it was possible to sail faster than previously calculated,” says Rijkswaterstaat in its newsfeed on the incident. “Smoke development from the freighter also remained minimal during the entire tow route.”

Yesterday the agency said that the plan is for a salvage team from Multraship and Smit Salvage to go on board the vessel, as soon as possible, to carry out an inspection. Meantime, the Fremantle Highway remains attached to the tugs. The oil recovery vessel Arca is also on scene.

The final port where the ship will be taken remain undecided. The choice of port will depend on the situation on board the Fremantle Highway, the expected weather conditions and the availability of a port with the right facilities.

As we reported earlier, the fire aboard the Shoei Kisen vessel, which is on charter to K-Line, broke out at about at 11.45 p.m., local time, July 25. The crewmembers were evacuated, but one died and several were injured. There have been conflicting reports on the number of electric vehicles on board, with one report suggesting that it could be nearly 500.

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