Maersk Honam reaches anchorage outside Jebel Ali Port

Copenhagen, 23 April 2018

The Maersk liner vessel Maersk Honam, which was hit by a serious fire on 6 March, will reach anchorage outside the Jebel Ali Port (UAE) on Tuesday 24 April 2018.

The fire broke out around 900 nautical miles southeast of Salalah, Oman, and remains under control. Firefighting activities were initiated by the Indian Coast Guard until vessels with special firefighting capabilities arrived at the scene. Salvage operations are led by Smit Salvage and Ardent – two best-in-class companies within maritime salvage.

After careful evaluation with port authorities in the area, Jebel Ali was chosen as the most suitable to accommodate the vessel. During anchorage hot spots in affected areas will be completely extinguished and further work to stabilise the vessel and bring it alongside will be carried out. Maersk Line expects this work to take 4-5 weeks whereafter Maersk Honam will be moved alongside for discharge operations to commence.

22 crew members who were safely evacuated from the vessel have travelled home and are reunited with their families. Maersk Line continues to maintain regular contact and offer support to them.

The remains of three of the four missing crew members who were found onboard the vessel remain unidentified. After the remains were discovered they were immediately transferred to Mumbai, India, where local authorities are working on identification. Maersk Line is closely collaborating with the concerned authorities who oversee the identification process, ensuring this progresses as efficiently as possible. Frequent contact with the relatives of the lost crew members is maintained, with an offer of continued support in this challenging time for them.

A full investigation in collaboration with relevant authorities is ongoing to determine the cause of the fire. A further assessment of the impact to the vessel and cargo will take place when the vessel has arrived alongside in the port. Maersk Line remains committed to assist all relevant authorities during the investigation.

Background
On Tuesday 6 March 2018 at 15:20 GMT, the Maersk liner vessel Maersk Honam reported a serious fire. The crew managed to release the vessels’ CO2 system into the cargo hold. Regrettably that did not stop the fire. 27 crew members were onboard the vessel, and 22 were safely evacuated. One evacuated crew member passed away due to injuries sustained during fire, and the remains of three of the four missing crew members were found on board the vessel.

The vessel is carrying a total of 7860 containers, corresponding to 12416 TEU (twenty-foot equivalent). All impacted customers have been contacted directly.

Maersk Honam was built in 2017, has a nominal capacity of 15262 TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit), and sails under Singapore flag.


Image by Indian Coast Guard

Remains of three out of four of the missing crew members found onboard Maersk Honam

12 March 2018

It is with deep sadness that we announce that the human remains of three of the four missing crew members after the fire aboard Maersk Honam have been found on board the vessel. At this point in time our three colleagues are unidentified.

Given the time passed and the severe fire damages of the vessel we must conclude by now that we have lost all four colleagues who have been missing since the fire onboard Maersk Honam which began on 6 March. All four families of our deceased colleagues have been informed.

“Our most heartfelt condolences go out to families of our deceased colleagues. We share their sorrow and do our outmost to support them in this devastating time,” says Chief Operating Officer, Søren Toft.

A thorough search on board the Maersk Honam continues. However, the active search and rescue mission at sea will be brought to a halt. The search and rescue operation began immediately after Maersk Honam had sent out a distress signal on 6 March due to a serious fire aboard. Several container vessels diverted their route to assist in the search and rescue operation.

The evacuated crew
On land, the medical conditions of the evacuated crew members are progressing positively. All 22 have received medical treatment and the majority have been released from hospitals. Colleagues who initially received intensive care have been moved to a general ward and are recovering well. A crisis psychologist has been made available to all crew.

“Our colleagues that were evacuated to local hospitals in varying conditions of health are improving and we are now preparing to bring them back to their families as their condition allows,” says Palle Laursen, Chief Technical Officer for Maersk Line.

The India Marine Police is conducting a routine investigation of the incident, and they will be interviewing all crew members.

The fire-fighting progresses
The fire-fighting efforts on board Maersk Honam are progressing. Specialized firefighting vessels remain engaged, with salvage operations led by Smit Salvage and Ardent – two best-in-class companies within maritime salvage operations. Maersk Line is cooperating with the salvors and has two Marine Engineers onsite, working closely with Smit and Ardent.

A full investigation will be conducted to determine the cause of the fire and the impact to the vessel and cargo


Evacuated crew are on land, firefighting at sea initiated

09 March 2018

The evacuated crew from Maersk Honam are on land. While some are receiving medical care, others have been released from hospital.

Evacuated crew members have disembarked in the cities of Cochin and Trivandrum in Southern India. They have all received professional medical treatment and are offered crisis counseling, and a majority have been transferred to a hotel. Of the crew members that remain hospitalized some are currently receiving intensive care.

“We are relieved that a majority of our colleagues have been released from the hospital. We, however, remain deeply concerned about the health condition of our colleagues still in hospital and are grateful that they are in the capable hands of medical professionals. We are in regular contact with the hospitals and monitor the situation of all our colleagues,” says Palle Laursen, Chief Technical Officer for Maersk.

The search continues to locate the four crew members still missing after the fire aboard Maersk Honam that began on Tuesday 6 March although hopes of finding them are fading.

Ongoing firefighting
The Indian Coast Guard has a vessel present onsite which initiated firefighting during Thursday 8 March. Further, specialised firefighting vessels have been engaged and the first two vessels arrived on location in the early morning on 9 March local time where they initiated the firefighting.

“We are appreciative of the partnering assistance we’ve received from local Indian authorities and we must now let the salvage team do their work. It is still too early to determine the cause of the fire or the impact to the vessel or cargo. Obviously, finding the cause of the fire is very important to us and a full investigation will be conducted as soon as possible.

”The salvage operation is led by Smit Salvage and Ardent – two best-in-class companies within maritime salvage operations. Maersk Line is cooperating with the salvors and has sent two technical engineers to Salalah, Oman, to work closely with Smit and Ardent.


Hope fades for finding the missing seafarers after the fire onboard Maersk Honam

08 March 2018

Four crew members remain missing despite comprehensive search efforts as a response to the fire that broke out aboard Maersk Honam on Tuesday, 6 March.

“While search operation continues the hope of finding our missing colleagues is fading. We are in contact with their families and they know that tragically, the time passed decreases the likelihood of finding their loved ones alive. Our thoughts and prayers go to them,” says Søren Toft, Chief Operating Officer of A.P. Moller – Maersk.

The nationalities of the four missing crew members are: two Filipinos, One South African and one Indian. All male.

23 crew members were evacuated by the vessel ALS Ceres after the fire broke out. One is reported dead due to injuries sustained in connection with the fire. Furthermore, two crew members, one Thai and one Filipino, were in urgent need of medical care as their conditions worsened. They have been evacuated by an Indian navy vessel and handed over to the Indian coast guard of Trivandrum and are now receiving medical treatment. They are accompanied by one of the evacuated Indian colleagues with local language skills.

The remaining 19 crew members onboard ALS Ceres are en route to Cochin, South West India, where medical professionals and crisis psychologists have been arranged for.

“We are doing our outmost to care for and closely follow the conditions of all evacuated colleagues. Also, we have an ongoing contact with their closest relatives”, Søren Toft says.

Maersk Line will continue to provide updates on the situation.


One evacuated crew member has passed away

08 March 2018

Maersk Line yesterday night reported a serious fire in one of the cargo holds onboard Maersk Honam. 23 crew members were evacuated from the distressed vessel. Maersk now reports that one of the evacuated colleagues, a Thai national male colleague, has tragically passed away. His health condition drastically deteriorated Wednesday afternoon (CET) due to the injuries sustained in connection to the fire.

“We are deeply saddened with the passing of one of our colleagues who in the first place had been evacuated. The seriousness of the event has escalated and everyone in Maersk is moved by this. We are in contact with the family of the deceased and our thoughts and condolences go to them,” says Søren Toft, Chief Operating Officer and member of the Executive Board of A.P. Moller – Maersk.

The current status is that 22 crew members are enroute to Sri Lanka on board the vessel ALS Ceres, four crew members remain missing and one is reported dead.

“We are doing our outmost in this tragic situation to care for all evacuated colleagues and continue the intense search and rescue operations ongoing for the four crew members currently reported missing,” Søren Toft says.

Maersk Line will provide continued updates on the situation.

Background
Tuesday 6 March 2018 at 15:20 GMT, the Maersk liner vessel Maersk Honam reported a serious fire in a cargo hold. Enroute from Singapore towards Suez, the vessel is currently positioned around 900 nautical miles southeast of Salalah, Oman. After being unsuccessful in their firefighting efforts, the crew sent out a distress signal and a total of 23 crew members were reported evacuated to the nearby vessel ALS Ceres, which arrived at the scene around 18:30 GMT.

Firefighting capabilities are approaching the area, which is 900 nautical miles southeast of Salalah, Oman.

A number of container vessels have diverted their route to assist in the search and rescue operation which continues. Currently five vessels are involved.

The nationalities of the 27 crew members are: India (13), the Phillipines (9), Romania (1), South Africa (1), Thailand (2) and the United Kingdom (1).

The vessel is carrying a total of 7860 containers, corresponding to 12416 TEU (twenty-foot equivalent). All impacted customers have been contacted directly.

The cause of the fire is currently unknown. Maersk Line will investigate the matter thoroughly in cooperation with all relevant authorities.

Maersk Honam was built in 2017, has a nominal capacity of 15262 TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit), and sails under Singapore flag.

Maersk Line Press Release