The crew of a UK-flagged bulk carrier has been evacuated after a fire broke out in a cargo hold off Las Palmas in the Canary Islands.
Spain’s Salvamento Marítimo confirmed that two SAR helicopters evacuated all 24 crew members on Monday from the MV Chesire, which is carrying a cargo of ammonium nitrate fertilizer.
The fire is believed to have started due to a chemical reaction in the fertilizer that caused it to overheat.
The vessel is currently adrift in the Atlantic Ocean a few hundred miles south of Gran Canaria.
Salvamento Marítimo said the ship owner has hired Resolve Salvage to retrieve the vessel. The SAR tug Puntas Salinas is reportedly on scene with the Chesire.
The 56,597 dwt MV Chesire is owned by Bibby Line. It is a geared Supramax bulk carrier with five cargo holds and four loading/unloading cranes. The vessel has been under Bibby Line ownership since March 2012 when she was delivered to the company direct from the Jiangsu Jinling Shipyard in China.
The fire was first reported on Sunday and later was denied entry to the port of Las Palmas.