Race against time to tow burning ship to refuge


While one tugboat continues to cool the area of the blaze onboard the explosion-ravagedMSC Flaminia, a second is towing the stricken ship towards an as-yet-unnamed European port of refuge.

With the influx of water from the fire-fighting operation now giving the ship a 10% starboard list, the salvers need to take advantage of relatively calm seas to get the ship to safety.

A salvor boarding team has succeeded in reactivating the MSC Flaminia’s own fire-fighting system and was also able to see the extent of the damage, which has destroyed cargo holds 5 and 6, along with hold 4 - where the fire originated on 14 July.

How much of the ship’s 2.876 teu of cargo can be salvaged remains to be seen.

There is considerable speculation as to the reason why the order to abandon ship was given rather than some crew remaining onboard to fight the fire; another of the many questions that will no doubt be on the list of the German investigators.