VIDEO: Fire forces crew to abandon ship
Wed, 12 Sep 2012 7:16a.m.
By 3 News online staff / NZN
All 43 crew members of a burning fishing boat off the Canterbury coast have abandoned ship and been transferred to two other fishing vessels.
The 64-metre trawler, the Amaltal Columbia, with 43 people on board, alerted the Rescue Coordination Centre to a fire in its hold at 5:24am. The alert was upgraded to a mayday call at 6:20am.
Shortly after 8am, a Maritime NZ spokesman confirmed to NZ Newswire that the crew was abandoning the ship, following an order issued by the ship's master.
The fire had reached the engine, leaving the vessel unable to be controlled.
Initially, 39 crew members were transferred to a Russian fishing vessel which responded to the mayday call. The name of the rescuing ship is not known at this stage.
The remaining four crew members were transferred to another vessel which arrived at the scene later. It is believed this was the San Discovery.
All the crew members are being taken to Lyttelton. No injuries have been reported.
Search and Rescue Mission Coordinator Tracy Brickles said the safe transfer of crew off the vessel was an excellent result.
"The priority in these situations is always the safety of the crew. This is a good result in difficult conditions with winds of 30 knots and a swell of four metres."
Earlier, the crew battled the fire, which started in the fish meal hold, and sealed it off in an effort to starve it of oxygen.
The Talley's-owned factory freezer trawler is about 85km northeast of Lyttelton Heads.
The Transport Accident Investigation Commission has launched an inquiry into the fire.
The Talley's website describes the Amaltal Columbia as the flagship of its deep-sea trawling fleet, with world-leading fishing technology.
In 2005, it was grounded in Bluff. It was helped off the mud by pilot vessel the Awarua. A subsequent report by Maritime NZ blamed the pilot for failing to ensure it berthed safely.
The ship has capabilities to process all waste products for recycling or non-polluting disposal and its boilers are able to run on waste fish oil.
Comment is expected from Talley's later on Wednesday.
Images taken from the Air Force's Orion aircraft:
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15/09/2012 3:54:38 p.m.
Rina Hodgson wrote:
Well done captain Chris Patrick,Very proud of you
12/09/2012 1:43:52 p.m.
Kathryn Marshall wrote:
We are so pleased to hear you are all safely off. Well done Chris Patrick.We had confidence in a company as large and as well resourced as Talleys to be able to do the best by all on board, in this situation. Thanks Talleys.
12/09/2012 12:58:36 p.m.
So does anyone know whats happened to the ship now.Is it just floating around out there ready to sink?I hope this is not going to break up like the Rena did and spill oil and fuel into our nice waters.Hopefully they can keep it contained.
12/09/2012 12:31:22 p.m.
Glad to hear everyone is safe, my brother was on it. Can't wait to see him!
12/09/2012 12:21:05 p.m.
A real tradegy.A beautiful boat. Good company, good boats and top staff. Talleys will be genuinely gutted about this. They are often first on the scene when someone else needs help. Good to see other fishers stepping up to help.
12/09/2012 11:42:43 a.m.
Is there any chance of oil pollution? and what has been done about it?
12/09/2012 11:35:30 a.m.
Elizabeth Adams wrote:
All the best and hope all turns out well for all. All that were on board would have done the best they could. And we cant ask for more. I just hope the rest get off safely and she makes her way safe to Lytton
12/09/2012 10:06:07 a.m.
Daren Coulston wrote:
Congratulations to the outstanding professionalism of the crew for getting off the vessel with no loss of life in difficult conditions.
12/09/2012 10:03:57 a.m.
What a shame, from what I have seen this ship and Talleys are an example of how fishing should be done in a way that is best for New Zealand.
12/09/2012 9:14:59 a.m.
Amee Lewis wrote:
Hope all the guys and girls get off safe xx
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