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Falmouth fire crew ready for stricken ship Athena

Discussion in 'News' started by Halfhidden, Oct 28, 2010.

  1. Halfhidden

    Halfhidden Untouchable Staff Member Administrator

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    View attachment 224
    Fire crews are on standby at a Cornish port to board a stricken factory fishing ship amid concerns that a blaze on board may still be burning.
    The Athena, which caught fire about 230 miles (370km) south west off the Isles of Scilly on Wednesday, is due at Falmouth some time after 1400 BST.
    The container ship Vega, which rescued 98 of the crew from the Athena, is due to arrive on Thursday morning.
    None of the 111 crew was injured in the fire which was confined to a store.
    Falmouth coastguard watch manager Martin Bidmead said: "There is considerable damage in the fishmeal store and the captain has not entered the area because of the danger of re-igniting the fire.
    "He has been monitoring the area overnight and says the temperature is gradually reducing.
    "If the fire is still alight Cornwall Fire and Rescue will be involved."
    Thirteen people stayed aboard the Faroes-based Athena to bring it to Falmouth.
    Coastguards who co-ordinated the rescue operation, were alerted to the fire at about 0620 BST on Wednesday.
    The master of the ship evacuated non-essential personnel to life rafts after the blaze broke out while it was sailing to its next fishing area.
    The Athena was constructed in 1992 and rebuilt in China this year following another fire.
    The crew people on board included Chinese, Russians, Peruvians and Scandinavians.


    Article BBC News
     
  2. Halfhidden

    Halfhidden Untouchable Staff Member Administrator

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    More on this article from the BBC

    The Faroes-registered Athena caught fire about 230 miles (370km) south west of the Isles of Scilly on Wednesday and is now under tow off Falmouth.
    Nearly 30 firefighters and crew members on board were taken off after a release of carbon monoxide, coastguards said.
    About 650,000 cardboard boxes are believed to be on fire on board.
    The final four firefighters and the captain of a pilot boat were taken to the Royal Cornwall Hospital overnight suffering from the effects of breathing in smoke.

    'Large release' The fire had been kept under control while the vessel sailed in from the Atlantic under its own power.
    Twelve Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service personnel specially trained in dealing with marine fires were airlifted on to the Athena by helicopter on Thursday.
    The group, and other specialists brought on board to assess the situation, joined 13 crew members who had remained on the vessel to tackle the fire.
    The fire started to get worse again from about 1700 BST on Thursday, Martin Bidmead from Falmouth Coastguard said.
    He said: "A large release of carbon monoxide from somewhere on board this vessel caused the fire officer in charge on board make the decision that the vessel should be evacuated for the safety of the 28 persons on board."
    The vessel has no power after heat from the fire affected the engine room. [​IMG] Rescued crew members arrived in Falmouth on Thursday
    Coastguard tug Anglian Princess took it under tow at about 1900 BST. It is being kept about five miles (8km) outside Falmouth's harbour limits.
    A Dutch tug, the Typhoon, is also nearby. It was to spray water jets at the Athena in an attempt to cool the Athena's exterior, coastguards said.
    Decisions were also to be made later about whether it was safe to go back on board and fight the fire, they added.
    The Secretary of State's Representative for Maritime Salvage and Intervention, Hugh Shaw, was due in Falmouth later to meet salvors and decide on the next move, Mr Bidmead said.
    Coastguards were alerted to the fire, which is believed to have started in a store, at about 0620 BST on Wednesday.
    A container ship, the Vega, rescued 98 of the 111-strong crew on Wednesday afternoon and arrived at Falmouth on Thursday. Tugs and tenders brought the crew ashore a few at a time.
    No-one was hurt in the fire or the evacuation of the vessel, but the Athena's skipper has been kept in hospital overnight suffering from exhaustion after his ordeal at sea.
     

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