Posted on September 24, 2019 by Ilias Kiritsis
A fire erupted onboard the Russian-flagged Factory Ship, PYOTR ZHITNIKOV during the early morning hours of September the 24th while the vessel was operating in the Sea of Okhotsk.
The incident occurred approximately at 02:25 am LT; the vessel had been operating in the Southern Kuril Islands, some 22 nautical miles east of Iturup Island.
According to initial reports, the fire erupted in the fish equipment compartment of the vessel.
"The packing room was at the ship’s head; the fire was contained but it spread to adjacent rooms. There is no information about the area of the fire. The fire was not put out and it continues to burn. Fire-fighting efforts continue,” reads the statement by the Russian Federal Agency for Marine and River Transport.
The extent of the fire was such, that the Captain was forced to issue a distress call and request an evacuation of the vessel.
At the time of the fire, there were some 412 seafarers onboard the vessel, a combination of factory workers and crew.
The majority of the people on board, some 363 individuals, mostly factory workers, were successfully rescued by fishing vessels operating in the area before being transferred to the factory ship, VSEVOLOD SIBIRTSEV.
However, some 56 seafarers remained on board in order to continue the firefighting efforts.
A number of rescue vessels also arrived at the scene and began to cover the superstructure with water, in an attempt to stop the fire from spreading. As of 14:00 LT, the fire was under control. Reports suggest that the vessel has lost power and is currently disabled.
Tugs have been hired in order to tow the vessel to an appropriate port facility where repairs can take place.
Image Courtesy of Marine Traffic