One feared dead following cargo ship fire off Turkey

Photo: Turkish Directorate-General of Maritime Affairs

Turkish authorities have reported that one person has gone missing and is feared to have died after a cargo vessel caught fire off the country’s northern coast on Tuesday, December 20.

The Panamanian-flagged, 92,000DWT general cargo vessel Beata was underway seven nautical miles off the city of Sinop when a blaze ignited in an undisclosed onboard area at around 20:30 local time on Tuesday.

All but one of the ship’s 17-strong crew were safely evacuated out of the area by a coast guard helicopter and Good Samaritan fishing vessels. Four of the survivors suffered varying degrees of injury though none are considered to be life-threatening.

No trace of the vessel’s captain, identified as an Egyptian national, has yet been found.

Officials believe the captain drowned after he jumped into the sea to avoid being consumed by the flames.

The fire on Beata was subsequently extinguished by a responding tug deployed by the Turkish Ministry of Transport.

Reports stated that the ship continued to drift for another 15 nautical miles afterwards.

Officials said salvage operations will commence once it is confirmed that the hull has sufficiently cooled down to allow the ship to be towed to port.

Baird Maritime

The best maritime site on the web. The sea's our scene!