Uncertainty Over Stricken Cargo Vessel

There appears to be some confusion surrounding plans for a stricken cargo vessel located in international waters southwest of the Isles of Scilly.

The crew of the MSC Flaminia were forced to abandon ship on 14th July after an explosion and subsequent fire in a cargo hold around 1,000 miles midway between Canada and the UK.

We understand the ship had been travelling from Charleston in the US to Belgium and the German operator has not released details of what cargo the vessel was carrying.

The 75,590-ton, German-registered ship had 22 crew and 2 passengers on board including German, Polish and Filipino nationals.

Falmouth Coastguard coordinated the rescue activity and the oil tanker DS Crown diverted to provide assistance. They rescued 24 people from a lifeboat and a life raft.

Four crew suffered injuries and were transferred to another vessels taking them to the Azores. One crewmember has subsequently died from their injuries and a second is missing.

It’s unclear whether the fire is now out and the ship is reported to be listing at 10 degrees due to damaged cargo and the water used for fire fighting. It’s accompanied by two fire vessels and a tug.

MCA spokesperson Maggie Hill, confirmed that the vessel is lying 230 nautical miles southwest of Land’s End in International waters. She said there had been plans last week to anchor 20 miles off Falmouth but said the vessel will now remain in International waters to perform a “stabilisation operation.”

She added the vessel is not in the UK counter-pollution zone and there’s no indication it’s planning to come into UK waters.

Maggie said there are currently, “conversations ongoing” between the UK, French and Belgian authorities about how the vessel will reach its final destination safely. However, she said it’s likely to pass up the French side of the traffic separation scheme in the Channel.