Posted on January 29, 2019 by Ilias Kiritsis

Hapag-Lloyd has declared general average on its fire-stricken boxship, Yantian Express.

The fire that devastated the unfortunate boxship first started back on January 3rd.

It managed to quickly spread across multiple decks, forcing the crew to evacuate the vessel.

It took firefighting services a full three weeks to manage to put the fire under control, but due to the extent of the damage, the company was forced to declare general average.

“After evaluation of the salvors with regards to safety and operational items, it has been decided that Freeport Harbor, Bahamas will be the next port of call for the Yantian Express, with an estimated arrival by mid next week. Please also note that General Average was declared,” the company statement reads.

General average is a maritime law principal, under which all parties involved in the voyage must proportionally share losses resulting from an incident.

Furthermore, Hapag-Lloyd will be appointing Average Adjusters to oversee the operation.

“In conjunction with declaring general average, the owners will appoint average adjusters, responsible for coordinating the collection of general average securities and all documentation required from parties with interest in cargo, containers, vessel, and fuel. Cargo interests (or their insurance companies) should plan to contact the average adjusters directly once they are appointed,” a customer advisory said.

The Yantian Express is expected to arrive at the port of Freeport, Bahamas on February 1st where it will undergo an assessment of the status of its cargo.

 

Image Courtesy of Marine Traffic`

 

Please see full story below:

 

2nd Statement: 

 

"Further to our Customer Info of January 10, 2019 we would like to provide you with following status update:

The salvage operations show continuous progress.

The fire is widely contained and meanwhile the ocean-going tug “Union Sovereign” has arrived at the vessels position on January 15, 2019 to further assist the operations. Another ocean-going tug is on its way.

At this time, it is not yet possible to make a precise estimate of any damage to Yantian Express or its cargo; this can only be more clearly assessed once the vessel reaches a port.

Unfortunately, we cannot provide you with an ETA at the moment; this will be advised as soon as determined.

We regret any inconvenience caused by this incident and shall keep you closely informed on actual development of the rescue operation and further proceedings."

The fire that originally broke out on January the 3rd onboard the Yantian Express only now shows signs of stopping, more than two weeks after the fact. The crew of the vessel, all Filipino nationals, were taken to Halifax, where they met with the members of the local Filipino community who provided them with food and other necessities, before being flown back to the Philippines.

 

1st Statement: 

 

"Further to our Customer Info of January 7, 2019, we would like to provide you with the following status update:

Based on the currently available information, we have to assume that all cargo in Bay 12 on deck and forward is directly affected by the fire, also all cargo in Hold 1 (Bay 1 to 9). Further, we have to expect that all cargo in Hold 2 (Bay 11 to 17) is affected by fire, smoke and/or damage caused by firefighting water. Damage caused by smoke, heat and/or firefighting water in adjacent areas is possible.

All Reefers in Bay 1 to 24 are without power and switched off. All other Bays with Reefers are continuously supplied with power and in operation.

As soon as the full extent of such damages can be accurately determined, we will promptly revert with further details.

We fully understand that even at this point you would like to have further clarification on your shipment(s) onboard. Please appreciate that at this moment we are not in a position to provide any more specific information.

Let us assure you that we are working hard on getting more detailed information on your cargo and will share this with you as soon as possible.

We thank you for your trust in our company."

 

Original Story Below:

 

Hapag-Lloyd’s German-flagged containership, Yantian Express, caught on fire approximately 650 nautical miles off the east coast of Canada on January the 3rd.

The ship was transiting from Colombo, Sri Lanka, to Halifax, UK at the time of the incident.

The fire originated in a single container but soon spread to the rest of the deck.

The crew tried to extinguish the fire but had to suspend its efforts due to rapidly worsening weather conditions.

The vessel then reduced speed and changed its course in an attempt to lessen the wind force and assist firefighting efforts but to no avail.

A commercial salvage tug arrived at the scene to assist the vessel, but due to the adverse weather conditions in the area, it has met with limited success.

As a precaution, due to the nature of potentially dangerous cargo onboard containerships, the crew of 23 seafarers onboard the Yantian Express has been evacuated onto the salvage tug.

“The crew of 8 officers and 15 seafarers is unharmed. Efforts to extinguish the fire in the containers were launched immediately but have had to be suspended for the time being due to a significant deterioration of weather conditions. It is still too early to make a precise estimate of any damage to the vessel or its cargo. Hapag-Lloyd is closely cooperating with all relevant authorities,” the company said in a statement.

Posted in News , North America , Safety , Fire , Risk

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