Coastguard and tugs respond to a series of fires on ships, all thought to have started in enginerooms
Over the weekend (13-14 February), the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) doused a fire on offshore support vessel Greatship Rohini, which claimed three lives. The fire is thought to have started in the engineroom of the 2010-built platform supply vessel. Greatship Rohini was 92 nautical miles off the Mumbai coast operating close to the NQO platform of the Mumbai High field area, when the fire broke out. Of the 18 seafarers working on board, 15 were evacuated.
ICG’s offshore patrol vessel Samarth was mobilised to fight this fire, while offshore vessel Priya 27 and other boats helped the rescue and carried out boundary cooling operations. After the fire was doused, ICG members boarded Greatship Rohini to search for survivors. They found two bodies on the tween-deck area and another in the engineroom.
India’s director general of shipping Amitabh Kumar told local reporters an investigation had started, but the likely cause was from maintenance work in the engineroom. He said Greatship Rohini was towed away to a safe port for further investigation by another offshore support vessel, Greatship Anjali.
Elsewhere, tugs responded to a fire on board bulk carrier Prince 4 in the Black Sea off the Ukrainian coast on 12 February. According to Fleetmon, the 1986-built ship was bound for Yemen from Nikolayev, Ukraine when fire erupted in the engineroom. Crew on board refused to be evacuated and assisted tugs in fighting the fire. Once extinguished, the tugs towed Prince 4 to Ochakov port, Ukraine.
In another incident, a tug responded to a fire on general cargo ship Turkestan in the Caspian Sea on 8 February. Crew on board the 2007-built ship tackled a fire in the engineroom, thought to have originated from a funnel insulation cover. They extinguished this fire by sealing off the engineroom and activating the CO2 firefighting system. However, Turkestan was disabled and required a tug to tow it back to Baku, Azerbaijan.
In northern Europe, tugs were mobilised to assist general cargo ship Ultda Cape Town after it suffered engine failure. The 2013-built ship was passing locks in the Kiel Canal on 13 February, en route from Klaipeda Lithuania to Gibraltar, when the incident occurred. Tugs manoeuvred the disabled ship to Kiel for survey and repairs.
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