Friday, February 17, 2017

Fire aboard APL Austria Container Vessel Extinguished at Ngqura

Prompt Action by Disaster Team Save Vessel
Shipping News Feature
SOUTH AFRICA – A fire on the vessel APL Austria has been extinguished with minimal disruption to operations at the Port of Ngqura, according to port officials. Crew aboard the container vessel had reported the fire on board on the evening of Sunday, 12 February 2017, while the ship was about 30 nautical miles South-West of Cape St Francis.

Thanks to the efforts undertaken by a comprehensive Disaster Management team at the Port of Ngqura a potential maritime disaster was averted and the vessel was saved. Reports are that one crewman required hospitalisation but no fatalities were involved in the incident.

Ngqura Port Manager, Mpumi Dweba-Kwetana, said the port had lost only half a day of operation on Monday, 13 February before container offloading resumed at noon.

“It took just two and a half days to extinguish this dangerous blaze. Credit must be given to the disaster management role players for working together seamlessly. Our waterside and landside employees at the port also demonstrated that, despite being a relatively young harbour, Ngqura is well equipped to manage such a crisis,” she said.

Further investigations will determine the cause of the fire. Surveyors will assess the vessel for sea-worthiness and carry out any repairs before she is able to set sail from Ngqura to her next destination.

Photo: Fighting the fire aboard the Austria as she burns.