MSC Box Carrier Catches Fire in Middle of North Atlantic

msc flaminia fire
MSC Flaminia, image by Ian Shiffman

Update (Tues. 7/24/12): Blaze Contained on MSC Flaminia

Update (Fri. 7/21/12): Salvors Board Burning MSC Flaminia

Wednesday Update: Photos Reveal Damage to MSC Flaminia, Second Blast Disrupts Firefighting

Tuesday Update: MSC Flaminia Update: Blast Leaves Two Dead, Three Injured

The 75k gross ton container ship, MSC Flaminia, is adrift and burning far out in the North Atlantic after it’s crew was forced to evacuate after an explosion in the ship’s hold on Saturday.

Of the 25 crew on board, one crew member is still missing.

ds crown frontline tankers supertanker vlcc
DS Crown, formerly Front Crown, image: Frontline

After receiving a relayed mayday call at 10:07 GMT yesterday, Falmouth UK Coastguard broadcast an alert to all vessels in the remote area half way between the UK and Canada.  Upon receiving the alert, the supertanker DS Crown (formerly Front Crown) immediately changed course to intercept the MSC Flaminia, and six other merchant vessels were also diverted to help with the search and rescue operation.

Upon arriving on-scene, DS Crown recovered 24 people from a lifeboat and a liferaft arrived and confirmed that the MSC Flaminia was still burning.  Four crew had suffered injuries and were subsequently transferred to the vessel MSC Stella which will take them to the Azores.

The crew of the MSC Flaminia included German, Polish and Filipino nationals and weather conditions on scene were winds force 3-4 with a one meter swell.

Last year, the MSC-owned container ship M/V Rena, ran aground in spectacular fashion on New Zealand’s Astrolabe Reef, spilling fuel, containers, and eventually cracking in half and sinking.