maersk honam fire

Maersk Honam Fire: Firefighting Commences on Maersk Ship Adrift in the Arabian Sea

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 78
March 9, 2018

Maersk Honam fire in the Arabian Sea.

Firefighting is underway for the containership Maersk Honam which is adrift and continues to burn in the Arabian Sea off Oman, Maersk Line said in an update.

The salvage firms Smit Salvage and Ardent have been hired to lead the salvage.

An Indian Coast Guard vessel commenced firefighting on Thursday, March 8. Two additional vessels arrived on located early Friday morning and have initiated firefighting.

Maersk Line says it has sent two technical engineering teams to Salalah, Oman, where they will work closely with the salvors from Smit and Ardent.

As firefighting gets underway, the search continues for the four missing crew members, although at this point hope of finding survivors is fading, Maersk Line said.

Maersk Honam Fire
The MV Maersk Honam on fire in the Arabian Sea, March 8, 2018. Photo: Indian Coast Guard

Full Coverage: Maersk Honam Fire

The 353-meter Maersk Honam, an ultra-large container ship (ULCS) built in 2017, first reported a serious fire in one of its cargo holds on Tuesday, March 6, while heading west in the Arabian Sea approximately 900 nautical southeast of Salalah, Oman. Of the 27 crew members on board, 23 were evacuated to nearby containership.

One fatality has been confirmed and four crew members remained missing as of Friday. At least two of the evacuated crew members suffered serious injuries and are receiving treatment in a hospital. It was not immediately clear on Friday how many others may have been injured.

Twenty of the evacuated crew members have disembarked the containership ALS Ceres in Cochin, India, while the two injured crew members plus a third uninjured crew member were taken to the city of Trivandrum.

“We are relieved that a majority of our colleagues have been released from the hospital. We, however, remain deeply concerned about the health condition of our colleagues still in hospital and are grateful that they are in the capable hands of medical professionals. We are in regular contact with the hospitals and monitor the situation of all our colleagues,” says Palle Laursen, Chief Technical Officer for Maersk.

Photos of the burning vessel released on Thursday showed fire damage mostly to the forward part of the ship from bow to the superstructure.

The Indian Coast Guard on Friday said the fire has been “localized” and is no longer spreading. Tugs at the scene include the CSC Nelson and Maersk Involver, it said.

“We are appreciative of the partnering assistance we’ve received from local Indian authorities and we must now let the salvage team do their work. It is still too early to determine the cause of the fire or the impact to the vessel or cargo. Obviously, finding the cause of the fire is very important to us and a full investigation will be conducted as soon as possible,” said Laursen.

The Maersk Honam is carrying a total of 7,860 containers, corresponding to 12,416 TEU (twenty-foot equivalent). 

Some video of the firefighting is below:

Maersk Honam was built in 2017 at Hyundai Heavy Industries in South Korea. It has a nominal capacity of 15,262 TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit), and sails under the Singapore flag.

Full Coverage: Maersk Honam Fire


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