On January 3, the 321 meters long, 100003 dwt container ship Yantian Express caught fire in the Atlantic Ocean between Bermuda and Canada. The Yantian Express was en route to Halifax from Colombo, Sri Lanka when a fire started in one of the containers on the fore deck. Winds caused the fire to quickly spread to other containers on deck. The vessel changed course to reduce the winds as crew attempted to extinguish the blaze. The fire continued to spread as strong winds made it difficult to contain. The Yantian Express requested assistance with several salvage tugs responding.
On January 6, the salvage tug Smit Nicobar arrived on scene and began fire fighting efforts. The tug also evacuated 11 of the 23 crew off the Yantian Express. Reports state another tug had been dispatched from St. John’s to tow the Yantian Express to Halifax. No reports of injuries.
Update January 12
The owners of the Yantian Express provided an update stating the fire has spread from the deck to containers in Holds 1 and 2. Containers in Bay 1 to 24 have been damaged by fire, smoke, heat or by water in the fire fighting efforts. All reefer containers in the area impacted were turned off as a precaution.
Update January 19
Reports state there are three tugs assisting the Yantian Express. The container ship was taken under tow on January 16 to be towed to Halifax. Owners report that the fire was “widely” contained, but fire fighting efforts were still ongoing.
On August 23, a severe storm struck off the southwestern tip of Taiwan. Heavy winds and strong winds battered the shoreline near the port of Kaohsiung. Several vessels which had been sitting in ballast were quickly blown ashore.
The 113 meter long, 6835 dwt container ship Jin Hua was blown aground north of Kaohsiung near Tainan City.
The 89 meter long, 2000 dwt container ship Unlimited 2 ran aground between Kaohsiung and Tainan City.
The 107 meter long, 6555 dwt tanker Dragonaria went ashore along the southern breakwater of Kaohsiung.
The 83 meter long, 4063 dwt cargo vessel Shun Hong ashore off Kaohsiung.
The 98 meter long, 5000 dwt cargo vessel Chang Long 68 was blown ashore.
The 98 meter long cargo vessel An Li 669 went aground off Kaohsiung.
The 126 meter long, 8085 dwt cargo vessel Shun Yue 19 reported ashore near Kaohsiung.
Reports state some 66 crew were rescued safely off five of the stranded vessels. No reports of injuries. Reports state a fishing vessel also went ashore and broke up, but all the crew were safely rescued by authorities. Authorities and salvage companies responded after the storm and began removal of fuel off the stranded vessels. Some 85 tons of fuel was estimated to be on board the multiple vessels at the time of the incident.
The 152 meter long, 13031 dwt container ship Heinrich Schepers allided with a wall on the Scheldt just outside the entrance to Deurganckdok, Belgium. The Heinrich Schepers had suffered a mechanical fault and swung into the metal deflection wall resulting in a 2 meter hull breach above the waterline. No reports of injuries. Authorities report damage to the wall was minimal and has launched an investigation into the incident.