On Tuesday afternoon, the vessel “Maersk Honam” sustained a serious fire in one of its cargo holds. 23 crew members have been successfully evacuated, but search and rescue operations are ongoing for four crew members who are missing.
Enroute from Singapore towards Suez, the vessel is currently positioned around 900 nautical miles southeast of Salalah, Oman. After unsuccessful firefighting efforts, the crewmembers sent out a distress signal and a total of 23 crew members were safely evacuated to the nearby vessel “ALS Ceres”. However, four crew members are missing. The fire onboard the Maersk Honam continues and the situation of the vessel is very critical.
Søren Toft, Chief Operating Officer and Member of the Executive Board, A.P. Moller – Maersk, stated:
We’ve received the news of Maersk Honam and the four missing crew members with the deepest regret and are now doing our outmost to continue the ongoing search and rescue operations. This by rerouting our own vessels, with assistance of vessels in the area – most notably ALS Ceres that thankfully acted promptly upon our distress call – and the local authorities.
The container vessels MSC Lauren, Edith Mærsk and Gerd Mærsk have changed their routes and are approaching the area, and are expected to arrive on Wednesday 7 March. The weather conditions in the area are currently fair.
Søren Toft added:
The evacuated crew is obviously distressed, with two crew members currently receiving medical first aid onboard the ALS Ceres. We will offer crisis counselling for the seafarers signing-off and returning to their families and our thoughts and deepest empathy go out to the families of the crew members that are still unaccounted for. We will offer them all the support we can in this very difficult situation.
The nationalities of the 27 crew members are: India, the Phillipines, Romania, South Africa, Thailand and the United Kingdom.
The cause of the fire is currently unknown, and Maersk Line will investigate the matter in cooperation with all relevant authorities.
Maersk Honam was built in 2017, has a nominal capacity of 15262 TEU, and carries the Singapore flag.