On 30th July, a secure tow begun to Fremantle Highway, after a fire broke out on the cargo ship on 25th July, off the northern tip of Netherlands, forcing several crew members to jump overboard.
n particular, the car carrier is now under way with both tugs pulling at about three knots, accompanied by the Kustwacht response vessel Guardian and the pollution control vessel Arca.
As explained, the tugs will remain connected for control and position-keeping, after the vessel towed to the new location.
In addition, Dutch maritime authorities would like to bring the ship alongside a pier to complete salvage operations.
The fire swept through most of the ship’s car decks above the main deck level, from bow to stern. The Fremantle Highway has taken on a slight list to starboard.
However, there are no information about the cause of the fire.
On 28 July, it was reported that there were almost 500 electric cars on the ship, which was significantly more than originally assumed. A total of 3,783 new cars are on the ship, as reported by the Dutch media.
In addition, during the 2023 SAFETY4SEA Limassol Forum, Taslim Imad, Manager Loss Prevention Department at Steamship Mutual, gave a presentation on safety measures of carriage and stowage of electric vehicles, from a P&I perspective. As explained, electric vehicles are completely safe, according to some parties in the business. Yet, the dangers are greatly increased in the event of a thermal runaway.
Electric vehicles can be transported on a variety of vessels (ferries, Ro-Ros, car carriers, container ships, general cargo etc.). The main issue with these vehicles is that they use Li-ion batteries.