To update: K-Ships has issued a statement saying the fire was confined to the engine room and smokestack and there is no risk of pollution. “Despite this difficult situation, we are proud of both our crew and our shore team for how they have dealt with this urgent moment,” the company said. You can find K-Line’s full explanation at the bottom of this article.
A tanker carrying diesel and aviation fuel catches fire in the Atlantic off the coast of Portugal.
The Portuguese Navy reports that the Lisbon Maritime Search and Rescue Coordination Center (MRCC) received an emergency call about a fire on board the Maltese-flagged tanker around 3:30 p.m. Tuesday Greta K. The ship was about 1.5 miles offshore, about 3 kilometers from Ingleses Beach in Foz do Douro, Portugal, the navy said.
The tanker has a crew of 19 Filipino nationals, some of whom have already been evacuated. The Navy reports that a pilot from APDL is already on board the ship and steering it towards Leixões – one of Portugal’s main seaports – when the fire broke out.
The Port Authority of Douro, Leixões and Viana do Castelo (APDL) has dispatched three tugboats to help fight the fire. In addition, the captain of the Port of Douro and Leixões sent two boats from the Leixões life-saving station to assist in fighting the fire.
At the time of the report, the fire was still active.
Twelve crew members were safely evacuated by boats from the Leixões Rescue Stations, Póvoa de Varzim and the local Leixões Maritime Police Command. The remaining seven crew members are still on board.
The tanker is towed to an offshore area for safety reasons.
Its cargo consists of diesel and jet fuel, the Navy said.
In anticipation of possible pollution, the Portuguese Autoridade Marítima Nacional is preparing supplies and putting together anti-pollution teams. The Navy’s Hydrographic Institute is also closely monitoring the situation and stands ready to calculate drift patterns in the event of a pollution event, the Navy said.
The Greta K is an oil/chemical tanker built in 2016 and sailing the Maltese flag. The ship has a cargo capacity by weight of 24,768 DWT.
AIS data from www.marinetraffic.com showed the Greta Ks Not Under Command status when moving offshore at a speed of 2.5 knots. It shows that the ship was bound for Leixões from Sines, Portugal.
Equassis data shows the Greta K is managed by Italy-based K-SHIPS SRL and owned by San Giorgio del Porto SPA.
As the dispossessed owners of MT Greta K (blt 2016), we, K-Ships, regret to announce that the ship suffered a fire in the engine room and funnel on March 21, 2023 at 15:31 LT / 15:31 UTC off the Portuguese coast . This happened while the vessel was maneuvering for berthing operations in Disport Leixoes.
All activities were strictly and directly coordinated with the crew and authorities by the K-Ships shore team. In addition, two tugs involved in the maneuvering work provided immediate assistance – one tug pulling the ship away from the port and shore while the other tug extinguished the fire.
The crew, totaling 19 members including the captain, acted promptly according to protocol and attempted to extinguish the fire in E/R, activating the Co2 Fixed Plant. For safety reasons, the crew members went to the muster station to evacuate the ship.
In the first instance, the majority of crew members evacuated the ship through Search and Rescue
The master and the remaining key crew members switched to one of the supporting tugs to coordinate the ongoing firefighting work
Fortunately, there is no risk of pollution. Despite reports from some websites and news broadcasts, the fire was limited to the engine room and the chimney. The ship is a new construction (2016) with class suffix “Green Star” – with full double hull with double bottom: no cargo tank or bunker tank are in direct contact with the shell side.
Despite this difficult situation, we are proud of both our crew and shore team for how they have handled this urgent moment.