Burnt-out cargo ship arrives at Dutch port


A burned-out cargo ship, which was transporting cars, arrived at a port in the Netherlands on Thursday, more than a week after a fire broke out on the ship at sea. An environmental disaster was avoided.

The Fremantle Highway arrived at Eemshaven and local media shared photos of tugboats towing the burnt-out ship into the harbour.

One sailor died and 22 others were rescued after a fire broke out on the ship on 25 July. The ship, with its flag of Panama, carries more than 3,700 vehicles, including hundreds of electric cars.

“I can confirm the ship has arrived in Eemshaven,” Jente Wieldraaijer, spokesperson for the regional security authority, told AFP.

The Fremantle Highway lay close to the Terschelling and Ameland, which form part of a group of ecologically sensitive islands in the Wadden Sea, when the fire broke out and fears arose of an ecological disaster. These islands have been declared a Unesco world heritage site.

Although the situation was under control for several days, terrible weather in the North Sea raised further concerns about a possible oil spill or that the ship could even sink when it is towed to port.

A boat, which specifically focuses on cleaning up oil spills, stayed close to the ship throughout the trip.

The cause of the fire is not yet known. The vessel’s owner suspects one of the electric motors on board was the source.

According to Japan-based K Line, the ship’s leasing company, the freighter carried a total of 3,783 new cars, including 498 electric cars.

Some crew members had to jump from high heights into the sea when the fire broke out. Several persons were taken to a hospital.