Fire on Maersk boxship after ‘serious collision’ off Ningbo

Maersk Line said the 4,650 TEU Safmarine Meru collided with another container ship, the 8,814 TEU, German-owned containership Northern Jasper 120 nautical mile east of Ningbo in the early hours of 7 May.

It said the collision caused “severe damage” to the Safmarine Meru and a fire broke out, and its crew of 22 abandoned ship.

Maersk said it had received confirmation that all the crew safe and onboard the Northern Jasper and then were being transferred to shore. The Northern Jasper is managed by Norddeutsche Reederei H. Schuldt.

On Sunday the Safmarine Meru was afloat and anchored and firefighting operations were underway, and although there was no visible fire smoke could be seen.

“We are very relieved that our crew are safe and have not suffered any serious injuries. The safety of our people, at sea and on shore, is paramount to us,” said Palle Brodsgaard Laursen, head of ship management in Maersk Line.

“It is too early to comment on the circumstances surrounding the collision and fire. Our focus now is to put the fire out and get access to the vessel to assess damage to the vessel and cargo,” he added.

The 2006-built Safmarine Meru was deployed on Maersk’s TP18 service and according to the line had less than 400 full containers onboard at the time of the collision.

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