A transporter ship that caught fire off the coast of Essex has arrived in Southampton.
The American crew of the RoRo M/V Courage are reported safe after fighting a blaze using the ship’s CO2 system when a cargo fire broke out on board Tuesday night. The vessel spent Wednesday afternoon anchored off the Isle of Wight before continuing to Southampton, her previously scheduled destination.
100 damaged vehicles, out of a total 600, are expected to be found when Hampshire Fire and Rescue enters the ship’s cargo hold. No pollution related issues are expected. The fire department will wait until Friday to inspect the vessel’s cargo hold because firefighters ” first must confirm there were no remaining pockets of fire”.
A Hampshire Fire and Rescue spokeswoman told the BBC: “The ship was monitored last night with no obvious signs of fire and the compartment remaining cool. This situation remains the same with no immediate danger or threat of fire. The next steps are to asses the damage, confirm there are no remaining pockets of fire and start the ventilation process to make the vessel safe for other agencies and crews.”
The UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) has issued a “prohibition notice” to stop the ship being moved until deemed safe.
The M/V Courage is a 52288 GRT Pure Car Truck Carrier (PCTC), built-in 1991. PCTC is a class of RoRo characterized by a highly optimized system of altering strength and liftable decks which join the main cargo section. This system enables the vessel to be reconfigured quickly to accommodate different cargoes and maximize lift capacity. Our ramp systems are permanently attached thus making them truly self-sustaining.
The ship is owned by American Roll-On Roll-Off Carriers (ARC). The company provides Ro-Ro shipping services in the United States and offers ocean services for the transport of automobiles, trucks, military vehicles, helicopters, and break-bulk cargos and has a space charter arrangement with Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics. The company was founded in 1990 and is based in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey. American Roll-On Roll-Off Carriers LLC. is a subsidiary of American Rollon Roll-off Carrier Holding LLC.
ARC told the BBC that it does not know how much damage the ship or the cargo had sustained but that it was carrying a mix of commercial and US military vehicles, it added.