BREAKING: Fire on Halifax Bound Ship.

** I have sticky’d this post to the top of the front page, and will continue with chronological updates. New posts will appear below this.

The container ship Yantain Express, suffered a container fire yesterday. Efforts to fight the fire were reportedly suspended due to weather.

The ship is a regular caller to Halifax on the EC5 Service and was due today at Fairview cove. That arrival has since been delayed. Hapag lloyd issued the following statement

The crew of 8 officers and 15 seafarers is unharmed. Efforts to extinguish the fire in the containers were launched immediately but have had to be suspended for the time being due to a significant deterioration of weather conditions.

The 7,510 TEU vessel, which is 320 meters long and sails under German flag in the East Coast Loop 5 (EC5) service, was built in 2002 and was on its way from Colombo to Halifax via the Suez Canal. At present, the ship is approximately 650 nautical miles off the coast of Canada.

It is still too early to make a precise estimate of any damage to the vessel or its cargo. Hapag-Lloyd is closely cooperating with all relevant authorities.

Updates will Follow as they are known

UPDATE Jan 4, 1449:
SAR responsibility is with the USCG 5th District (Mid Atlantic) out of Virginia. Awaiting updates from Marlant PAO and USCG 5th PAO.

the last Halifax container fire was in 2001 aboard the 3800TEU Kitano

UPDATE 1542:

USCG 5th District PAO informed me that they were notified of the situation this morning, with the ship approximately 980nm South East of Cape Cod. The USCG watch-standers are monitoring the situation at this time. there is a Good Samaritan vessel on Scene, but no other response at this time.

Photo reportedly from a crew member, sent to maritimeBulletin.net

UPDATE 2255:
questions were raised about the authenticity of the above photo. nothing can be confirmed, however there look to be several orange Hapag-Lloyd Containers, and several magenta ONE containers, which suggests a recent photo from a ship operating for the Alliance.

Word is the tug Smit Nicobar is on scene to assist with firefighting, and the BigLift vessel Happy Ranger responded to the initial call and is standing by.

Update Jan 5, 0920:
Hapag-Lloyd spokes person Tim Seifert told me that overnight conditions were still to dangerous for firefighting to continue, and they are waiting on improved weather. the tug did arrive on scene to assist. he was unable to confirm if the photo above is real.

Update 1447:
the supply vessel Maersk Mobiliser has sailed from St. Johns NF to respond. The ship is giving an eta of 4am, Monday the 7th to arrive on scene.

UPDATE 1600:

photo posted to maritimeBulletin.net

UPDATE Jan 6, 1200:
12 of the crew have been transferred to the Smit Nicobar, the remainder will be taken off the ship. the Maersk Mobiliser is planning to tow the the ship to Halifax. Weather has improved, and firefighting from the Smit Nicobar is underway.

UPDATE 1300:
the remainder of the crew has been safely removed to the Smit Nicobar. Hapag Llyod reports all crew are unharmed. Firefighting efforts from the tug are ongoing. the ship is now reported to be 800NM off Nova Scotia.

Update Jan 7, 1000:
Maersk Mobiliser encountered heavy weather, and has not reached the ship yet, but is about 80nm away. Hapag-Lloyd has stated that the fire is not under control and has intensified at times. The USCG reports that firefighting is continuing today. The Happy Ranger departed after the arrival of the Smit Nicobar.

UPDATE 1043:

Minor Update – this is now the 5th most popular post of all time.

UPDATE 1252:
Maersk Mobiliser has arrived on scene, and will assist with firefighting efforts before towing the Yantain Express to Halifax.

Update 1428:
the Halifax Employers Association is giving an ETA of the 18:00 on the 16th for the Arrival of Yantain Express. this is probably an optimistic estimate. The tow at a max speed of 5 knots will take about 10Days.

UPDATE Jan 8, 0956:
USCG is reporting that the fire is still burning, with firefighting efforts continuing on and off last night.

UPDATE 1146:
Fire is still burning, Yantain Express is now drifting further from Halifax- now over 1112 nautical miles away.

This has to now be a significant fire. possibly spread to multiple stacks, or into the holds below deck.

The photos below Show what the spacing is like between stacks. Not an ideal place to fight a fire.

Note the Open hold on the right in the photo below.

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Lashing

A post shared by Peter Ziobrowski (@ziobrop) on

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More underneath

A post shared by Peter Ziobrowski (@ziobrop) on

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Middle hatch

A post shared by Peter Ziobrowski (@ziobrop) on

UPDATE Jan 9 0835:
the tugs are making progress however smoke is still pouring out of the ship according to a Canadian Press Report. the firefighting is taking place under the Direction of Smit, who have likely been hired on as salvors.

UPDATE Jan 10 1000:
Yantain Express looks to be under tow. its now heading towards Halifax at 1.5kn. The HEA is currently showing an eta of the 20th.

Update 1122:
Hapag-Lloyd has released a statement. Wednesday evening the fire was brought under control and is contained. 5 crew were transferred from the Smit Nicobar back to the Yantain express, and the ship was brought under tow by the Maersk Mobiliser, bound for Halifax. a third tug has been dispatched, with an eta of the 13th

UPDATE 1155:
We now have a Damage Report From Hapag-Lloyd:
Further to our CustomerInfo of January 7, 2019 we would like to provide you with following status update:
Based on the currently available information, we have to assume that all cargo in Bay 12 on deck and forward is directly affected by the fire, also all cargo in Hold 1 (Bay 1 to 9). Further, we have to expect that all cargo in Hold 2 (Bay 11 to 17) is affected by fire, smoke and / or damage caused by firefighting water. Damage caused by smoke, heat and / or firefighting water in adjacent areas is possible.
All Reefers in Bay 1 to 24 are without power and switched off. All other Bays with Reefers are continuously supplied with power and in operation.

red line shows stack 24 which is the extent of cargo loss.

Each stack has 3 number assigned to it. Odd numbers are for 20′ containers, and evens are for 40′ containers. essentially this is suggesting that all cargo in the first 8 stacks is effected.

UPDATE Jan 14 1000:

latest from CBC’s Brett Ruskin. I talked to him on Friday. Also Latest position.

UPDATE 1100:
I have been told that Hapag-Lloyd is sending a vessel direct to Halifax. Over the weekend the Tug Atlantic Enterprise arrived at pier 9. Owned by Donjon Marine of New Jersey, they work in a joint venture with Smit providing salvage services. it is assumed to be here as part of the salvage effort.

Atlantic Enterprise at pier 9

UPDATE 1203:
Shanghai trader sailed from Bremerhaven on the the 12th. Hapag Llyod shows it calling on the EC5 service with stops in Halifax and New York. due to arrive on the 18th, according to marine traffic. this will likely move undamaged cargo from the ship. the ship is rated at 5047Teu, and was built in 2005. Owned by Lomar Shipping, this is likely an available vessel for charter.

UPDATE 1324:
The tug Atlantic Enterprise is due to Sail at 9am tomorrow – its currently giving its destination as New Jersey. It arrived from New York.

UPDATE 1500:
the tug Sovereign sailed from Rotterdam with an eta of the 15th. vessel track suggests firefighting efforts have resumed, as weather is reported to be good. The tug is owned by Boskallis – smit’s parent company.

third tug responding
vessel tracks.

UPDATE Jan 15 0750:
The Horizon Star sailed around 6am from Halifax giving Yantain Express as her destination. I have reached out to Horizon Maritime for comment on the tasking.

UPDATE 1318:
TC has received a request for a place of refuge from the salvers.

Position as of noon Atlantic.

due to the length of this post, i have unsticked it from the front page, and replaced it with a link.

UPDATE 1521:
The Horizon Star is apparently bringing a salvage team and supplies to the incident.

UPDATE 2251:

The Philippine embassy in Ottawa released a statement:
“All 17 Filipino seafarers on board the Yantian Express have arrived safely in Halifax, Nova Scotia, on 14 January 2019, after they were evacuated from the burning container ship. Philippine Honorary Vice Consul in Halifax Ms. Elizabeth Eustaquio-Domondon reported that the seafarers were in high spirits and were being assisted by their fleet manager to arrange their return to the Philippines. The Filipino community in Halifax also met the seafarers and provided them with food and other necessities.”

The Tug Atlantic enterprise appears to have sailed out towards the Yantain express, and likely brought the crew back to Halifax. Its unclear how the Crew were transferred from the Smit Nicobar, as the two ships remained about 600km apart.

UPDATE Jan 16 11:50:
G-captain has photos from a crew member of a ship that passed 3 miles from the Yantain Express. the photos were taken yesterday, and smoke is still rising. for the bow of the ship.

Photo: Cameron Brunick via gCaptain

It looks as though the center of the stacks have collapsed and at least 3, if not 4 are significantly damaged. More photos are available at gCaptain

Photo: Cameron Brunick via gCaptain
Photo: Cameron Brunick via gCaptain

UPDATE 1300:
CBC was also provided the photos form the same source.

UPDATE 1330:
Smit Nicobar has sailed for Mexico, which was where it was headed before it responded to the fire. Horizon Explorer is still on route. No word on the Sovereign, which was sailing form Rotterdam. Maersk Mobiliser is in front, so the tow may have resumed at a speed of 2 knots.

UPDATE Jan 17, 0947:
the tug Sovereign has arrived on scene. the Ship may be under tow again, based on speeds and tug position.

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4 thoughts on “BREAKING: Fire on Halifax Bound Ship.

  1. Pingback: This Week in the Herald | Halifax Shipping News.ca

  2. Ben Goldberg

    With the firefighting activity throwing water on the ship, how do they keep it from swamping? Are the bilge pumps strong enough to pump out the water? Or are they using chemicals to dose the fire?

    Reply
  3. Pingback: Latest News on Yantain Express: | Halifax Shipping News.ca

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