More tugs are being mobilised to recover Hapag-Lloyd’s damaged container ship Yantian Express, which is stranded in the Atlantic off North America.
This 7,500-TEU container liner caught fire on 3 January and salvage tug Smit Nicobar was sent to extinguish the fire. It was joined by anchor handling tug Maersk Mobiliser, which started to tow Yantian Express to safety in Nova Scotia, Canada.
According to the US Coast Guard, two anchor handling tugs have been deployed to assist the fire-fighting and towage. Donjon Marine’s Atlantic Enterprise was sailing from the US East Coast and Boskalis-owned Union Sovereign was en route from Rotterdam to assist with the salvage.
Hapag-Lloyd said the fire was under control and five crew had returned to Yantian Express to assist salvage operations.
US Coast Guard watchstanders with the First District command centre in Boston received the initial onboard fire report from Yantian Express on 3 January. They requested assistance through the Automated Mutual-Assistance Vessel Rescue System (AMVER) for vessels in the area.
AMVER vessel Happy Ranger was 20 miles from burning Yantian Express and diverted course to help evacuate the crew. Smit Nicobar arrived on scene the following day to assist Happy Ranger’s crew.
The German shipping line said it was not possible to make a precise estimate of damage to Yantian Express or its cargo.
Yantian Express, which is 320 m long and sails under German flag in the East Coast Loop 5 service, was built in 2002 and was on its way from Colombo to Halifax via the Suez Canal.
Meanwhile, cruise ship Forever Lucky ran aground on 7 January in the Sulu Sea, 15 nautical miles of Cagayancillo Island, in Palawan province, the Philippines. It was en route from Bataan for repairs when it grounded. 15 crew were evacuated and a Filipino salvage company was contracted for salvage, according to Fleetmon.