A view of the vessel during a Coast Guard overflight on the evening of 7 December 2021. Credit: Swedish Coast Guard

Conditions Worsen for Almirante Storni Firefighting in Sweden

Mike Schuler
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December 8, 2021

Conditions on board the burning MV Almirante Storni have deteriorated over the last 24 hours as the fire continues to burn in the ship’s cargo of timber.

Increased “heat dissipation” combined with worsening weather has now made the situation “worrying,” according to the Coast Guard’s latest update. The government has now called in help from the Norwegian Coast Guard.

An overflight of the vessel on Wednesday morning indicated that heat is “dissipating.”

“Heat dissipation is serious. This is about an increased risk of escalation and risks for the ship, which has 600 tonnes of fuel on board,” said Jesper Bäckstedt, rescue leader for the Swedish Coast Guard. “We are now working intensively with everyone involved to get ahead in this situation.”

The fire broke out in the Almirante Storni’s timber cargo on Saturday and has been burning ever since as the ship remains at anchor off the island of Vinga, near Gothenburg. The Coast Guard is now considering a plan to bring the ship to calmer waters or to a nearby berth to continue firefighting.

The Swedish Coast Guard has also called in help from the Norwegian Coast Guard’s KV Bergen, which is currently en route to the scene. KV Bergen is expected Wednesday night and will join the Swedish Coast Guard’s KBV 002 Triton and KBV 001 Poseidon which have been fighting the fire since Saturday.

“[KV Bergen] is a welcome reinforcement that increases the endurance in total for everyone who participates in the firefighting work,” says Jesper Bäckstedt.

Icing on board the Swedish Coast Guard’s KBV 001 Poseidon

Icing is now also a problem amid dropping temperatures and strong winds that picked up Monday night.

All seventeen crew members remain on board MV Almirante Storni even as the fire burns in the forward portion of the ship. As of now it is reported that the vessel itself remains structurally sound.

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