Fire disables underway ferry in Tyrrhenian Sea

Photo: Italian Coast Guard
Photo: Italian Coast Guard

A Ro-Pax ferry went adrift in the Tyrrhenian Sea off western Italy after suffering an onboard fire and subsequent power loss on Wednesday, January 12.

The Tirrenia-operated ferry Beniamino Carnevale was some 11 kilometres off Ventotene Island when the captain sent out a distress call at 01:10 local time on Wednesday saying that a blaze had ignited in the engine room.

The crew were able to bring the fire under control. However, the resulting damage meant that the engines could not be restarted.

The Italian Coast Guard deployed two patrol boats and a surveillance aircraft to the area to render assistance after receiving the captain's distress call.

Italian maritime authorities decided to have the stricken vessel towed to port to disembark the passengers and crew and to allow repairs to be completed, as an evacuation at sea was deemed too risky due to the stormy weather conditions in the area.

An offshore tug arrived at the scene at around 19:30 on Wednesday. The tug then towed Beniamino Carnevale to Naples, arriving at the port the following morning.

No injuries have been reported among the eight passengers and the 22 crewmembers.

The ferry was sailing from Naples to Sardinia when the incident occurred.

The coast guard and classification society RINA have begun investigating the events that led to the fire.

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