The 15,226-TEU Maersk Honam experienced a serious fire in one of its cargo holds Tuesday in the Arabian Sea, One dead, leaving four crew members still missing.
Amidst concerns over its Saturday night’s loss of 70 or more containers onboard its container ship, Maersk Shanghai, in rough seas caused by stormy weather off North Carolina, the world’s largest ocean carrier, Maersk Line, revealed that its liner vessel, the 15,226-TEU Maersk Honam, reported a serious fire in one of its cargo holds at 15:20 GMT Tuesday.
Twenty-three crewmembers have been safely evacuated to the 4,380-TEU ALS Ceres, while four remain unaccounted for.
The Singapore-flagged Maersk Honam was built in 2017. It operates on 2M Alliance’s Asia-Mediterranean AE11/Jade service, along with 10 other vessels. These other vessels range in size from 13,050 TEUs and 15,098 TEUs, according to BlueWater Reporting.
The Maersk Honam departed Singapore March 1, and was scheduled to arrive in Malta March 14 via the Suez Canal, according to Maersk’s most recent online service schedules. It was in the midst of its 806W voyage, which departed Qingdao Feb. 13.
Maersk reported the vessel was carrying 7,860 containers, and that affected customers would be contacted.
The full port rotation of the AE11/Jade is Qingdao, Busan, Ningbo, Shanghai, Xiamen, Nansha, Yantian Shenzhen, Singapore, Malta (Marsaxlokk), Barcelona, Valencia, La Spezia, Gioia Tauro, Port Said Egypt, King Abdullah City, Dubai Jebel Ali, Singapore, Shekou Shenzhen (Chiwan), Xiamen and Qingdao.
The cause of the fire has not yet been determined, and no information regarding replacement vessels has been released.
“We will investigate this incident thoroughly, but for now our focus is on doing our utmost to continue the ongoing search and rescue operations and taking as good care as possible of the evacuated crew members,” a Maersk spokesperson told American Shipper.
Aiding in the search for the missing crew members are the vessels Gerd Maersk and MSC Lauren of 2M’s TP2/AE12/Jaguar/Phoenix, and the Edith Maersk of the AE7/Condor.