Yantian Express Rerouted to Bahamas After Fire

yantian express closeup
Yantian Express pictured January 15, 2019 in the Atlantic Ocean. Photo: Cameron Brunick

The containership Yantian Express is now headed for Freeport, Bahamas for the recovery and assessment of cargo from the fire which broke out January 3, 2019, as the ship sailed across the Atlantic.

In an update on Friday, Hapag-Lloyd said the ship is currently located approximately 1250 nautical miles from the Bahamas and it is now sailing under its own power with tug escort. The ship is expected to arrive in Freeport by next week, the company said.

The fire on board the Yantian Express started in a single container on January 3rd as the ship was en route to Halifax, Nova Scotia. Hapag-Lloyd said the fire was largely contained and brought under after about one week thanks to fire-fighting efforts. Since then, the remaining salvage operations have made considerable progress, the company said Friday.

It was previously reported that the Yantian Express would be towed to Halifax, however, it’s now apparent that those plans have changed.

“The responsible salvage master from the company Smit has decided today to sail the “Yantian Express” to the Port of Freeport (Bahamas). Once there, the recovery and assessment efforts of the cargo can proceed in a safer environment,” Hapag-Lloyd said Friday.

“It is still not possible to make a precise estimate of any damage to the “Yantian Express” or its cargo. Hapag-Lloyd is working in close cooperation with all relevant authorities,” the company added.

The 7,510 TEU “Yantian Express” is 320 meters long and sails under German flag in the East Coast Loop 5 (EC5) service. It was built in 2002.

It was originally on its way from Colombo to Halifax via the Suez Canal when the fire broke out.

No injuries have been reported as a result of the incident.