Search begins for four crew after Maersk Honam fire

Image: Indian Coast Guard
Image: Indian Coast Guard

The search is continuing for four crew members after a “serious fire” broke out in the cargo hold of the Maersk Line vessel Maersk Honam in the Arabian Sea.

The Indian Coast Guard reported on Twitter that 23 crew members had been successfully evacuated by merchant vessels and that search-and-rescue operations were ongoing for the missing crew members.

“Indian Coast Guard swiftly responded to major fire onboard Maersk Honam about 650nm from Kochi on March 6. MRCC Mumbai coordinated immediate rescue of 23 out of 27 crew through merchant vessels in area. ICG ship Shoor diverted for further assistance,” it tweeted.

En route from Singapore towards Suez, the 2017-built Maersk Honam is positioned about 900 nautical miles southeast of Salalah, Oman.

“After being unsuccessful in their firefighting efforts, the crew sent out a distress signal and a total of 23 crew members were safely evacuated to the nearby vessel ALS Ceres, which arrived at the scene around 18:30 GMT,” Maersk Line said.

Two crew were treated with first aid and crisis counselling offered to the seafarers signing off.

“The container vessels MSC Lauren, Edith Mærsk and Gerd Mærsk, all en route in the Arabian Sea, have diverted their routes and are approaching the area with expected arrivals in the early morning Wednesday, March 7 local time,” said Maersk Chief Operating Officer Søren Toft.

The 15,262TEU vessel was carrying 7,860 containers. Its 27 crew members are from India (13), the Philippines (9), Thailand (two), Romania (one), South Africa (one) and the United Kingdom (one).

The cause of the fire is unknown.

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