MV Gold Star

REUTERS/Armed Forces of Malta Press Office

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.

MV Gold Star fire

Image taken September 6, 2013, (c) REUTERS/Armed Forces of Malta Press Office

Unconfirmed reports indicate the firefighting vessels had to return to port early after running out of snacks.

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  • Philip Brown

    Did we get an interview with the crew?

  • Alyssa Abbott

    Not sure what’s harder, fighting the fire or fighting the munchies!

  • Heather

    Ran out of snacks haha

  • Paul Francis Mongi

    Look, I AM Tanzanian. The ship was registered in #Zanzibar, which is part of the Union, that is, United Republic of Tanzania. Because of Zanzibar’s semi-autonomous status, it could not issue it’s own registration, nor flag. So there, you call it “Tanzanian-registered”, but it’s just that… a DAMNED registration!

    If I was head of Marine Registrations, I would have chopped off the heads of those who registered the ill-fated ship! Hell! It’s details arent even on #Wikipedia, like the ill-fated #MVSkagit and #MVKalama, which were SOLD to a #Zanzibar outfit! What is with #Zanzibar????

  • Michael

    Is that ship still under power ?? ouch ..

    • Kurt

      Once the crew realized that the snacks were gone and that they were really “feeling” the heat; it turned into a FAST abandon ship…

  • Jeffrey Loan

    I’m curious as to how much of the ship was damaged. Obviously it seems like the cargo was pretty much toast (excuse the pun). By the way, it’s very interesting to see how the BDI has jumped the last few days. Very good news for the shippers.

    – Jeff (

  • Jim

    Captain Cheech and Chief Chong!

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