Latest Update: 4.pm Tuesday, 08 November 2016
The MFV “Verano”, a fishing trawler berthed at quay 703 at the port of Cape Town and which has been on fire since Wednesday last week, is reported to have cooled down substantially, and that even though she is listing to starboard, she remains in a stable condition.
Shortly after the fire broke out, five crew members on board were safely evacuated with no injury or loss of life and a Primary Joint Operations Centre involving the Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) was established with a mobile incident command on site on a 24 hour basis.
Heavy plumes of smoke, believed to be coming from burning plastic packaging material and polystyrene stored in a fish hold within the vessel, covered the area as firefighters from the Cape Town Firefighting Department joined forces with tugs to try and extinguish the blaze.
A fishing vessel adjacent to the burning vessel had to be shifted to another area in the port and the Transnet temporarily shut down the container terminal operations.
The following day, Thursday the fire at the front of the vessel as well as the accommodation section had been contained but remained burning aft of the vessel due to the plastic packaging material onboard.
Plans were discussed to debunker the fuel onboard.
On Friday the fire was still emanating in number 2 fish hold and in the paint store located in the forecastle. This prompted plans to pump water out from the hull and open hatches to apply high expansion foam into the vessel.
Over the weekend the fire situation continued to be at a moderate condition and to secure the area, an oil boom was deployed around the vessel to prevent any pollution that could occur. By this time, Transnet Port Terminals Container Terminal was back to full operational.
On Monday this week the joint operations team reported further improvement in the situation with the vessel now substantially cooled down. It reported the vessel as still listing to starboard but in a stable condition.
Early Tuesday smoke still bellowed from the number one fish hold while boundary cooling continued on either side of the vessel.
In a statement during the day, it was announced that an assessment has been undertaken by a TNPA appointed Marine Surveyor and P&I surveyor while the vessel owners had also appointed Salvors, to help extinguish the fire, de-water and make the vessel safe.
Meanwhile, records indicate that the MFV “Verano”, a Russia registered but South Korean owned vessel, has been stationed at the port of Cape Town since October 2013 after it had reported for cargo discharge, thereafter berthed for repairs before uplifting bunkers after which it docked at quay 703 – its current position.
SAMSA is maintaining a close eye on the process and will conduct an investigation when once it is safe to do so.
Report Updated: 3.20pm Thursday.
Cape Town: 02 November 2016
Efforts by firefighters to put out a fire engulfing a Russia flag bearing vessel docked at the Cape Town harbour continued into late afternoon on Wednesday.
According to the website, sea-web.com; the 41 year old vessel, known as a ‘factory stern trawler’ type, is owned and operated by Insung Corporation of South Korea.
The cause of the fire which broke out on the vessel named Verano, at about noon on Wednesday, was still unknown, according to the South Africa Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA).
Samsa’s Western Region acting Regional Manager, Captain Gustav Louw confirmed
- that a surveyor had been dispatched to do some preliminary inspection soon after the fire broke out on the vessel.
- Full investigation would take place only after the fire was put out.
- He also confirmed that crew of the vessel had successful escaped the fire on the vessel.
- At 17h00 the Cape Town Fire Department and TNPA tugs were still on the scene trying to extinguished the fire.