On April 19, the 119 meter long, 7124 dwt tanker Usichem caught fire in the Mediterranean Sea near Rhodes, Greece. The Usichem was headed to Sudan from Turkey with 5900 tonnes of sunflower oil when a fire broke out in the engine room. The vessel’s crew quickly responded and were able to extinguish the blaze. However, the fire had damaged the engine and the tanker went adrift.
The Usichem contacted the Greek Coast Guard who dispatched a helicopter, lifeboat and patrol vessel to the scene. Rescuers stood by and monitored the situation as a tug was requested to take the tanker under tow. The following day, a tug arrived and proceeded to take the Usichem under tow. Both vessels arrived in Rhodes a few hours later. No reports of injuries or pollution released.