Barely had the news of the Iranian tanker Sanchi being ablaze for a week, and then sinking after being rocked by an explosion, died down, then reports come in of 3 different incidents of fires onboard vessels within the last 30 hours in Brazil, UK and India.
Brazil: A fire broke out in the transformer compartment of FPSO Cidade De Marica, positioned at Santos Basin, offshore Brazil, in the morning of Jan 16. The fire was brought under control within an hour by the FPSO’s personnel with standard firefighting equipment. Damages are said to be minimal, but production was halted, nevertheless. Safety survey and checks were carried out before restarting production.
Brazil’s Petrobras is operating the FPSO, located in the Lula field, in the pre-salt layer of the Santos Basin, offshore Brazil. The Cidade De Marica is a floating, production, storage and offloading unit that produces, stores and transfers oil. According to Petrobras, with a daily production capacity of up to 150,000 barrels of oil and 6 million cubic meters of gas, this is the seventh major definitive production system in the Santos Basin.
UK: Fire erupted on a lower cargo deck of the ferry Stena Britannica in the early hours of Jan 17, while the ferry was approaching Harwich en route from Hoek van Holland. The fire started in one of the trucks and spread to the other trucks. The ship, according to AIS, made a wide circle. According to the STENA statement, the fire was extinguished or isolated by the crew. The ferry proceeded to Harwich, where passengers disembarked while firefighters went aboard. Together with the crew, they extinguished the fire by 0700 LT and by 1015 LT all vehicles by the fire were taken off the ferry.
India: A major fire reportedly broke out on board the Indian product tanker MT Genessa, anchored at Kandla Port anchorage, Gulf of Kutch, western India late in the evening of 17th Jan. All 26 crew have been evacuated with 2 (Chief Engineer and Electrical Officer) suffering burns and are reportedly unconscious. The tanker is loaded with approximately 26,000 tons of diesel fuel. A vessel plying nearby noted the occurrence and informed Port Control, who in turn deployed tugs and other resources for firefighting. The tanker has been fenced with booms and all vessels anchored in the vicinity have been shifted to safer positions.
The firefighting tug Daisy Star is on location fighting the fire but has been instructed to keep a safe distance as there is understood to have already been one explosion that took place on the port side of the ship and there are fears that the flames may reach the cargo.
Currently, all inward movements in the Port have been cancelled and only skeletal outward movements will be carried out.
Read how 7 collisions in 7 days brought about the start of 2018.