Ricochet News

Firefighters and authorities still on scene at APL Austria ship fire

Feb 14, 2017
Firefighters and authorities still on scene at APL Austria ship fire

Local fire fighters and authorities were on Tuesday morning still attending to a fire that broke out aboard a passing container ship, the APL Austria, which is currently anchored at the deepwater Port of Ngqura, adjacent the Coega IDZ, just outside Port Elizabeth. The fire has since been brought under control.

According to the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI), at 20h30, on Sunday, their Port Elizabeth and St Francis Bay duty crews were placed on alert following reports that the Container Ship Motor Vessel, APL Austria, with 21 crew onboard, had reported a fire in a forward container hold.

The ship's crew were fighting the fire South West of Cape St Francis while the ship make headway towards the Port of Ngqura, Port Elizabeth, and had requested assistance once they got closer to Port.

"At 00h43, Monday, 13th February, NSRI Port Elizabeth duty crew launched the sea rescue craft Eikos Rescuer IV and rendezvoused with M/V APL Austria off-shore of the Ngqura Port and NSRI stood-by on-scene for safety while crew of the APL Austria continued to fight the fire onboard," said NSRI spokesperson, Craig Lambinon.

"During the early hours of the morning fire fighting tug boats arrived on the scene assisting to fight the fire and authorities and a fire fighting team boarded the casualty vessel where efforts to fight the fire continued.

"Four non-essential crew were taken off the casualty vessel and all 4 crew were transported aboard the sea rescue craft into the Port of Ngqura."

He said that one of the crew that had been taken off of the casualty vessel was treated by EC Government Health EMS paramedics for a leg injury and he is in a stable and satisfactory condition.

"The remaining 3 crew were not injured and there were no reports of injuries sustained to any of the remaining 17 crew onboard.

"During the mid morning NSRI Port Elizabeth sea rescue craft Eikos Rescuer IV stood-by on the scene while APL Austria made her way into the Ngqura Port and the casualty vessel was safely docked in the Port of Ngqura where tug boats and fire fighters continued to assist the ships crew with dousing the fire and containing the fire," added Lambinon.

"NSRI Port Elizabeth were released from the scene during the mid afternoon and the Nelson Mandela Bay Fire and Rescue Services were on stand-by to assist.

"NSRI Port Elizabeth remained on alert to assist if required."

Images: Taken by NSRI Port Elizabeth – show the vessel during the early hours of this morning off-shore of Port Elizabeth.