Twenty rescued crewmen at Falmouth while MSC Flaminia smoulders at sea
TWENTY crewmen of the 6,732-TEU MSC Flaminia, rescued after a fatal explosion in the North Atlantic, have arrived at Falmouth in Cornwall while the ship has now been moved 360 nautical miles offshore escorted by salvage tugs with firefighting equipment. Tuesday, 07.Aug.2012, 10:51 (GMT+3)
TWENTY crewmen of the 6,732-TEU MSC Flaminia, rescued after a fatal explosion in the North Atlantic, have arrived at Falmouth in Cornwall while the ship has now been moved 360 nautical miles offshore escorted by salvage tugs with firefighting equipment.
Smit tugs have relocated the vessel's "waiting position" to about 360 nautical miles off the UK coast suggesting that its refuge port may be elsewhere. Earlier reports had the ship 100 nautical miles off UK shores.
The Falmouth Packet newspaper reported the crew - Germans, Poles and Filipinos - abandoned the 75,590-ton ship two hours before being picked up. Four transferred to the 6,402-TEU MSC Stella and sent for treatment in the Azores. One man died and another is missing, presumed dead.
The Mission to Seafarers in Falmouth welcomed survivors from the German-registered MSC Flaminia with one man confirmed dead and another missing with three in hospital in the Azores, reported BBC News.
The containership was travelling between Charleston and Antwerp when the explosion and fire occurred.
Falmouth Coastguard co-ordinated the rescue of the crew who were 1,000 miles west of Cornwall at the time.
Said Falmouth port chaplain Mark Mesley: "We can put them in touch with their families, we can also provide a certain amount of clothing and all sorts of practical help. The crew will no doubt be quite shaken so we'll just have to wait and see whether they want to talk about it."
According to the Hamburg ship managers, NSB Niederelbe Schiffahrtsgesellschaft, conditions aboard the partially burnt out ship repelled firefighters, who were unable to board due to bad weather.
However, NSB said the weather was expected to improve which may allow boarding parties to re-assess the condition of the listing ship, which has taken on much water in the course of quelling the blaze, which continues to smoulder in No 7 hold.
NSB said that a decision to enter a sheltered coastal area is expected in the next few days, presumably after the salvors have provided a further onboard update, reported Containerisation International.