Hazardous cargo inflamed on board of container ship Safmarine Meru after collision

Safmarine Meru shipThe container ships Safmarine Meru and Northern Jasper collided in Yellow sea on 15 nautical miles off Shandong, China. The both vessels were on crossing routes, but negligeed the ColReg rules and despite of last minute maneuvers collided at high speed. The container ship Safmarine Meru suffered serious damages and breaches in the port side, as well as fire in containers. The fire extended to the deck and engulfed several hazardous containers with dangerous cargo. The container ship Safmarine Meru was anchored off Zhoushan and all the 22 crew members were evacuated by local coast guard, because of the danger from intoxication and fast growth of the fire. Two harbor tugs were dispatched to perform firefighting and to assist with extinguishing of the flames. All the people were rescued without serious injuries and after several hours the fire was taken under control, but tugs continue pouring water over the containers even without visible flames. The firefighting is under way, due to big danger of explosion from the burning chemicals.

The container ship Northern Jasper suffered also serious damages in the fore part and water ingress, which flooded one of the ballast compartments. The vessel was anchored off Zhoushan and crew is to be evacuated, because of danger from capsizing. The seamen on board are in good health and without injuries.

The local authorities started investigation for the root cause of the collision. According to preliminary information, the container ship Northern Jasper saw the vessel Safmarine Meru from her starboard and should be responsible for the collision. Among the root causes is the lack of communication between the both deck officers and poor watch keeping, as well as low visibility. The further investigation will give more details about the routes and course changes of the both vessels, which will show if both officers on board reacted correctly.

The container ship Safmarine Meru (IMO: 9311696) has overall length of 292.00 m, moulded beam of 32.00 m and maximum draft of 6.50 m. The deadweight of the ship is 50,415 DWT and the gross tonnage is 50,686 GRT. The container ship was built in 2006 by Hyundai Heavy Industries in their shipyard in Ulsan, South Korea. The owner and operator of the ship is AP Moller Maersk Singapore. During the collision the ship was en route from Qingdao to Ningbo.

The container ship Northern Jasper (IMO: 9466960) has overall length of 333.00 m, moulded beam of 43.00 m and maximum draft of 7.00 m. The deadweight of the vessel is 108,804 DWT and the gross tonnage is 94,407 GRT. The container ship was in 2009 by Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering in their shipyard in Geoje, South Korea. The owner and operator of the vessel Norddeutsche Reederei. During the accident the ship was en route from Zhoushan to Yangshan.