Kotug Salvages Drifting Container Ship after Engine Room Fire

On the night of January 20, two of Kotug’s Rotortugs provided salvage assistance to container vessel Em-Oinousses, after it had suffered a fire in its engine room. Although the vessel’s crew adequately extinguished the fire, at approximately fifty miles off the coast of Mozambique, the ship lost its propulsive power.

Managing Director of the container vessel’s managing company Eurobulk, Marcos Vassilikos, has told SWZ|Maritime the fire broke out on Sunday in the late afternoon. The ship was laden with empty containers sailing from Maputo, Mozambique, to Mombasa, Kenya.

‘The fire expanded very quickly in the engine room area and it was extinguished by the crew a few minutes later, using the ship’s engine room CO2 system. All 25 crew member were mustered safely and there were no injuries. As the ship lost its propulsive power after the incident, tugs were called from the near-by port of Nacala,’ says Vassilikos.

In high swells, the salvage was carried out by the RT Spirit and RT Magic. The two Kotug tugs made fast to the ship around midnight and towed the ship to Nacala, where the convoy arrived after about 24 hours.

Awaiting Expert Fire-fighting Team

The ship is now safely anchored at Nacala inner anchorage waiting for the salvors’ expert fire-fighting team to open the engine room without risking a reignition of the fire. This also means the company has not yet been able to assess the damage suffered, as this can only be done after entering the ship’s engine room.

The Greek Oinousses Navigation in Athens is registered as the owner of the twenty-year old ship. The likewise Greek Eurobulk Ltd. manages the ship that was built by Samsung. It manages a fleet of 25 mainly older container ships.

Picture by Kotug.

Author: Mariska Buitendijk

Mariska Buitendijk is one of SWZ|Maritime's journalists as well as the magazine's copy editor.