Salvage and fire-fighting experts have made progress in containing the fire on board the 33,772 dwt multipurpose ship Purple Beach in the German Bay near Wilhelmshaven.
Smoke emissions from the vessel, owned and operated by German breakbulk liner company MACS, have decreased after fire-fighters started yesterday to flood the affected cargo hold, the German Central Command for Maritime Emergencies said.
The vessel’s 22 crew members were rescued and taken to hospital suffering from minor smoke inhalation. Purple Beach, which was bound for the port of Brake on the river Weser, carries 20,000 tonnes of fertiliser (‘Nitrophoska’).
One cargo hold with about 5,000 tonnes caught fire last Monday. Stability rules by class society DNV GL allow the affected cargo hold to be fully flooded without risk of capsizing.
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However, the Central Command said that operations had to be halted today after one of the fire hose-pipes broke and could not be re-connected to its salvage tug Neuwerk due to strong winds and significant wave heights.
During the disruption the rescue and pollution control vessels are today replenishing supplies and changing personnel, the Central Command said.