Fishing Vessel On Fire Off New Zealand, 43 Crew Abandon Ship [UPDATE]

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September 11, 2012

FV Amaltal Columbia. Image via

Update: All 43 crew of the 64m New Zealand fishing boat Amaltal Columbia, owned by Talley’s, have abandoned ship and been transferred to two other fishing vessels following a fire on board, approximately 70km north-east of Lyttelton Heads.

A total of 39 members of the crew are now safely on board the Russian fishing vessel, the Ivan Golubets, which initially responded to the mayday call from the vessel.

Four other crew have been transferred the San Discovery, which subsequently arrived at the scene.

The crew are being taken to Lyttelton.

No injuries have been reported.

Original: A 64-meter fishing boat with 43 people on board is on fire about 45 nautical miles off north-east coast of coast of New Zealand’s South Island, Maritime New Zealand said in a statement Wednesday.

MNZ it had received an initial call from the FV Amaltal Columbia about the fire at approximately 5:24 a.m. local time (1724 GMT) and a mayday call from the boat at around 5:30 a.m. MNZ added that vessel is currently making its way toward Lyttelton port at about seven and a half knots.

“It is anticipated the fire will cause the loss of the main engine in due course,” Maritime New Zealand said. “A Royal New Zealand Air Force Orion is in position above the vessel monitoring the situation, with two vessels responding to a mayday relay call.”

The fire is said to have been in the “meal hold” of the vessel, which has been sealed off in an effort to starve the fire of oxygen, but the engine remains at risk.

So far no injuries have been reported.

Local media reports have just indicated that an abandon ship order has been issued and crew of 43 have transferred to three lifeboats in “difficult” conditions, says the Rescue Coordination Centre’s Steve Rendle.

An earlier report by MNZ says that there is a 3 meter swell in the area with winds of 15–25 knots.

Story developing…

About FV Amaltal Columbia

The FV Amaltal Columbia is the flagship vessel in New Zealand’s Tally’s Group’s deep sea fishing fleet.  The ship was the world’s first factory freezer trawler to be registered with ISO 9002 certification.

The ship has extensive capabilities to process all waste products for recycling or non-polluting disposal. Even the ship’s boilers are able to run on waste fish oil.

Amaltal Columbia
Length overall (m): 64
Gross tonnage (MT): 1970
Main engine (HP): 3340

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