A tragic incident occurred in the North Sea, about 30 kilometers off the coast of the Netherlands, where a cargo ship caught fire. The ship was on its way from Germany to Egypt and was carrying around 3,000 cars.
The Dutch Coast Guard revealed that the fire was still ongoing, but all 23 crew members on board had been successfully evacuated. Some were rescued by a maritime rescue services ship, while others were airlifted to safety by helicopter.
Sadly, one crew member lost their life in the incident, and 16 others sustained injuries. Fortunately, none of the injured crew members are in critical condition, but they were taken to nearby coastal hospitals for treatment, mainly due to respiratory issues caused by the fire.
The cargo ship, named Fremantle Highway, was sailing under the Panamanian flag and had departed from the German port of Bremerhaven, heading for Port Said in Egypt. Among the vehicles on board, 25 were electric cars. The Coast Guard suspects that the fire might have started in one of these electric vehicles and rapidly spread to the others.
Despite the crew’s efforts to control the fire, it became too intense, leading seven crew members to safely jump off the ship until rescue services arrived to save them from the water.
Besides the Coast Guard’s response, a fishing boat that happened to be in the area at the time of the fire also came to the aid of the crew.
To prevent the ship from drifting further, a tug managed to attach a cable to the Fremantle Highway. This action was crucial to keep the important shipping lanes to and from Germany unblocked, especially with strong wind currents in the area. However, the Coast Guard is closely monitoring the situation and considering all possibilities, including the chance that the freighter may already be sinking.