The Tanzanian-registered cargo ship MV Gold Star, loaded with an estimated 30 tons of cannabis, caught fire on Friday 6 September while in international waters 30 nautical miles north of Malta.
The cargo volume estimate comes from Italy’s Guardia di Finanzia, however very little data appears to exist to support the estimate of 30 tons. At first glance, it seems quite possible that the crew on board the vessel deliberately set fire to the cargo to avoid apprehension, and there’s no apparent reason why the crew would have admitted to have been transporting 30 tons of weed.
Upon receipt of the emergency call from the vessel on Friday, an armada of vessels were dispatched by the Armed Forces of Malta (AFM) to help subdue, or perhaps just hangout downwind, of the flames which had spread to the Gold Star’s bridge. The 9 members of the ship’s crew were rescued by AFM assets.
Unconfirmed reports indicate the firefighting vessels had to return to port early after running out of snacks.