Container ship YANTIAN EXPRESS on fire in North Atlantic Jan 5 UPDATE
Jan 5 UPDATE: The ship is moving in the same direction in keep with western wind, tug SMIT NICOBAR (IMO 9322592) already approached YANTIAN EXPRESS. No other information available at the moment – we don’t yet have information with regards to: Extent of fire – how many containers and rows are on fire; How many containers contain dangerous goods; How dangerous it is for the crew and is there need for evacuation, at least partial.
Jan 4: Photo was sent to MB by crew’s member – apparently taken from superstructure, most probably bridge, of containers on fire, which are located in fore area. Flames and thick smoke are directed fore, just like it should be with the ship bringing wind and sea to the aft. Fire erupted in one of the containers on board of container ship YANTIAN EXPRESS at around 0500 UTC Jan 3 NE of Bermuda in vicinity 35 48N 50 03W, and spread to other containers. The ship is en route from NE Asia to Halifax Canada via Singapore, Colombo. It was already known about fire on Jan 3, but confirmed only on Jan 4. The ship reduced speed and changed course in an attempt to mitigate wind force, assisting crew firefighting. At 1300 UTC Jan 4 the ship was moving in NE direction at some 7 knots speed, apparently continuing firefighting. No other information available at the moment. The weather is stormy, with W wind up to 20 ms, so probably Master is trying to direct flames and smoke in opposite from superstructure direction.
My name is Mikhail Voytenko, I’m Russian, professional merchant marine navigator, by education and former experience. I own and run Maritime Bulletin website for more than 10 years. I've been involved in solving a number of piracy hijack cases, including the hijack of ro-ro FAINA, loaded with tanks. It was me who made public, and unravel, freighter ARCTIC SEA mystery. I've been also closely involved in a number of maritime disaster, one of them being MSC FLAMINIA major fire.