Air tanker used on ship fire 60 miles at sea

Air tanker used on ship fire

An amphibious Bombardier “Superscooper” air tanker was used to help extinguish a fire on board a container ship 60 miles off the coast of Malaysia. The fire started on July 7 after the container ship M/V Charlotte Maersk left Port Klang (map) in Malaysia bound for Oman. There are reports that an explosion in one container caused the fire, which spread to 150 others.

Air tanker used on container ship fire

In addition to the Superscooper, some of the resources brought to the ship to assist the crew with the fire included:

  • 1 Malaysian Coast Guard vessel assisting with fire fighting monitor
  • 1 Salvage master
  • 1 Malaysian coast guard vessel stand-by
  • 1 Fire fighter expert team leader
  • 4 tugs with fire fighting capabilities
  • 7 Fire fighting experts
  • Special container cutting and fire fighting equipment
  • 1 Chemist

Some of the containers were burning at 1,000 degrees Celsius, and each had to be opened and extinguished one at a time, after cooling for four to six hours. A thermal camera was used to evaluate each area before firefighters began their close-in work.

After two days of firefighting the fire continued to burn, but it had been contained to the 150 containers. The main infrastructure of the vessel was not affected, and the engine, thrusters, and other equipment was still operational.

A report on July 15 said the “fire had been put out”, but some areas were still too hot for firefighters to enter. And, “There was only smoke, no more fire”. Hmmmm. How does that old saying go? “Where there’s smoke….” I forgot the rest. But we could find no other reports about the fire after July 15, so they must have eventually fully controlled it.

More information.

P.S. — the fire has a wet line all the way around it. What’s the problem? 😉

Thanks Kevin

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.