Nineteen crew members rescued from a Greek bulk carrier, which flooded following a fire at sea, are to arrive in Cape Town harbour on Monday, the South African Maritime Safety Authority (Samsa) said.
A fire broke out in the engine room of the Antaios, owned by the Greek shipping company Amalthia Marine Inc, while it was in the mid-Atlantic, some 860 nautical miles west of Cape Town, over the weekend. The carrier was sailing from Argentina to Saudi Arabia.
“The fire caused some damage which led to flooding in the engine room. When the flooding became uncontrollable, the captain decided to make a distress call and order the crew to abandon ship,” Samsa said in a statement.
Samsa’s Centre for Sea Watch and Response (CSWR) received a satellite phone call from a Japanese ore carrier, the NSU Inspire, about getting a distress call from the Antaios.
The captain of the Inspire, which was sailing from Brazil to Singapore, informed Samsa’s CSWR and proceeded to rescue the stricken crew.
“All 19 crew members were plucked to safety on board the giant 330m ore carrier and are currently on the way to be dropped off in Cape Town, from where they will be repatriated,” said Samsa. They are expected to arrive at around midnight
A local shipping agency had been appointed to take care of the crew once they arrived in Cape Town.[Source: News24]