Fire-Damaged Safmarine Meru Reaches Port in China

Safmarine Meru pictured Monday, May 9.
Safmarine Meru pictured Monday, May 9.

The Maersk Line containership Safmarine Meru was towed to port Friday after firefighters spent five days extinguishing a fire resulting from a collision last Sunday with another containership off Ningbo, China.

Maersk Line said Friday that the Safmarine Meru safely arrived alongside at the Meishan container terminal in the Port of Ningbo at approximately 17:10 local time after being towed 78 nautical miles from the site of Sunday’s accident.

“We are pleased for the Safmarine Meru to be safely berthed and that all crew remain safe, sound and accounted for. I would like to thank the local Chinese authorities for their cooperation and assistance rendered in the response to this incident. Our current priorities are to safely discharge the cargo and conduct inspections to further survey the damages to the vessel,” said Palle Laursen, Head of Ship Management.

The Safmarine Meru collided with the Northern Jasper, a German-owned containership, early on May 8 while approximately 120 nautical miles east of Ningbo. The collision caused severe damage and a fire onboard to break out the Safmarine Meru, forcing its crew of 22 abandoned ship. No injuries were reported on board either vessel.

The 4,650 TEU Safmarine Meru was sailing from Qingdao to Ningbo, China with less than 400 full containers on board when the incident occurred. The Hong Kong-flagged ship was built in 2006 and is deployed on Maersk Line’s TP18 service. Safmarine is wholly-owned subsidiary of A.P. Moller-Maersk Group specializing in container shipping primarily in Africa and West Central Asia.