On June 4, the 183 meter long, 12250 dwt vehicle carrier Höegh Xiamen caught fire while berthed at Blount Island, Jaksonville, Florida. The fire started on her seventh deck shortly after the crew had completed loading operations. The crew was unable to contain the blaze and requested assistance. The Jacksonville Fire Department dispatched multiple crews to the scene. Firefighters found the blaze had spread to several decks. While trying to contain the blaze, there was an explosion below deck which injured several fire fighters. All 21 crew on board the Höegh Xiamen were safely evacuated from the vessel.
Fire tugs arrived on scene and began spraying water on the vessel to keep it cool. Dewatering pumps were also deployed to control the amount of water inside the hull. Firefighters continued their efforts for several days to contain the blaze. Firefighters continued to spray the vessel’s with 25,000 gallons of water per minute and were able to contain the blaze, but did not extinguish it. Reports on June 11, state the fire remained contained, but continued to burn on the car decks.
Authorities are monitoring the Höegh Xiamen for structural integrity and any potential pollution release. Authorities have launched an investigation into the incident.
On April 10, the 177 meter long, 12594 dwt vehicle carrier Grande Spagna became disabled on the Wester Scheldt off Terneuzen, Netherlands. The Grande Spagna was headed to Antwerp from Southampton when it suffered a power blackout after engine failure. Multiple tugs were dispatched and were able to bring the car carrier under control. The Grande Spagna dropped anchor until the engines could be restarted. The car carrier was able to proceed a few hours later and berthed at Antwerp. No reports of injuries, damage or pollution released.
On August 30, the 167 meter long vehicle carrier Viking Sea allided with the quay at Hamilton, Bermuda. The Viking Sea was heading out of port bound for Panama. The car carrier was being assisted by two tugs being pulled away from the berth when one towline snapped. The wind quickly pushed the Viking Sea back towards the dock. The vessel’s stern swung back striking the quay before the tugs could respond. No reports of injuries.
The tugs were able to bring the Viking Sea back under control. The car carrier remained in port to allow a survey to inspect for damage. The following day the Viking Sea was allowed to resume its voyage. No reports of injuries or pollution released. Authorities have stated they have launched an investigation into the incident.