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Tragic Cargo Ship Fire off the Coast of the Netherlands: One Dead, Several Injured, and 3,000 Vehicles at Risk

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A cargo ship carrying thousands of vehicles is currently engulfed in flames just off the coast of the Netherlands.[0] The tragic incident has resulted in the death of one crew member, while several others have sustained injuries in their attempt to escape the fire.[1] The Dutch Coast Guard is currently facing challenges in extinguishing the fire, which is suspected to have originated from an electric vehicle onboard.[1]

The cargo ship, known as the Fremantle Highway, was transporting nearly 3,000 automobiles, including around 300 made by Mercedes-Benz Group AG.[2] The ship caught fire in the waters off the coast of the Netherlands, and there are concerns that it may be at risk of sinking.[3]

The fire broke out on the ship's cargo deck and quickly spread, leading to the tragic death of one crew member. In their desperate attempt to escape the flames, seven other crew members were forced to jump into the water.[1] They were later rescued by a Dutch Coast Guard vessel and a rescue helicopter.[4] In total, 23 crew members were saved from the ship.[1]

The injured crew members are currently being treated for various injuries, including breathing problems, burns, and broken bones.[1] It is unclear how the crew member died, but the Dutch emergency services have reported that the deceased and injured crew members are all from India.[4]

Efforts to control the fire and prevent further damage are ongoing. The Coast Guard has attached an emergency line to the ship to hold it in place while fire boats work to cool the vessel.[4] However, the fire continues to spread, making it impossible to board the ship or extinguish the flames.[4] The Coast Guard is now focused on cooling the ship and waiting for the fire to burn itself out. There are concerns that excessive water being pumped onto the ship could compromise its stability.[4]

As of the latest update, the fire is still raging, and emergency services remain at the scene.[5] The coast guard has stated that the fire could last for several more days.[6] The ship is currently located around 27 kilometers off the coast of Ameland, Netherlands.[7]

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but there are suspicions that it may have started with one of the 25 electric cars on board.[1] The crew members initially tried to extinguish the fire themselves but were unsuccessful.[8] The fire quickly spread, leading to the evacuation of the ship.

The Fremantle Highway, built in 2012, is nearly 200 meters long and has a capacity to carry approximately 4,000 cars in its cargo holds.[9] The ship departed from the port of Bremerhaven in Germany and was en route to Port Said in Egypt, with Singapore as its final destination.[10]

The incident has raised concerns about the potential ecological impact if the ship were to sink.[2] Ameland, the closest island to the ship's current location, is part of the ecologically sensitive Frisian Islands in the Wadden Sea area.[2] It is home to a diverse range of aquatic and terrestrial species, including over 140 species of fish.[2]

Salvage experts are currently assessing the situation and determining the next steps for the burning ship.[2] The Dutch Coast Guard, along with various recovery companies and Rijkswaterstaat, are working together to limit the damage caused by the fire as much as possible. The situation remains stable for now, but the fire continues to pose a significant threat.

0. “A ship carrying nearly 3000 cars is on fire off the Dutch coast” American Journal of Transportation, 26 Jul. 2023, https://www.ajot.com/news/a-ship-carrying-nearly-3000-cars-is-on-fire-off-the-dutch-coast

1. “Fire on Cargo Ship Carrying 3000 Cars in North Sea Leaves One Dead” Road & Track, 26 Jul. 2023, https://www.roadandtrack.com/news/a44649575/fire-on-cargo-ship-carrying-3000-cars-in-north-sea-leaves-one-dead/

2. “Electric car linked to deadly fire on cargo ship” The Telegraph, 26 Jul. 2023, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/world-news/2023/07/26/electric-car-linked-deadly-fire-cargo-ship-north-sea

3. “Cargo ship carrying almost 3,000 cars aflame off Dutch coast” Driving , 26 Jul. 2023, https://driving.ca/auto-news/industry/cargo-ship-3000-cars-aflame-fire-ev-fremantle-highway

4. “Crewmember Killed as Burning Car Carrier is Evacuated in the North Sea” The Maritime Executive, 26 Jul. 2023, https://maritime-executive.com/article/crewmember-killed-as-burning-car-carrier-is-evacuated-in-the-north-sea

5. “One dead and several injured in major fire onboard car carrier – Splash247” Splash 247, 26 Jul. 2023, https://splash247.com/one-dead-and-several-injured-in-major-fire-onboard-car-carrier

6. “Ameland rescue: Crew jump off ship ablaze with cargo of 3,000 cars” BBC, 26 Jul. 2023, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-66310280

7. “One killed in cargo ship fire in Netherlands – with electric car suspected as the cause” Sky News, 26 Jul. 2023, https://news.sky.com/story/one-dead-and-several-injured-after-major-fire-on-cargo-ship-near-ameland-in-netherlands-12927537

8. “One dead, several injured in fire onboard Fremantle Highway car carrier” Project Cargo Journal, 26 Jul. 2023, https://www.projectcargojournal.com/shipping/2023/07/26/one-dead-several-injured-in-fire-onboard-fremantle-highway-car-carrier

9. “One Dead as Major Fire Rips Through Car Carrier in North Sea” gCaptain, 26 Jul. 2023, https://gcaptain.com/major-fire-rips-through-car-carrier-fremantle-highway/

10. “K Line confirms death after fire breaks out on car carrier” theloadstar.com, 26 Jul. 2023, https://theloadstar.com/k-line-confirms-death-after-fire-breaks-out-on-car-carrier/

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