A fire broke out aboard the Safmarine Meru containership after it collided with a German-owned container vessel Northen Jasper some 120 nautical miles East of Ningbo.
Shortly after, a crew of 22 people were evacuated from the Maersk Line-owned Safmarine Meru as it suffered severe damage, according to the owner of the vessel.
The collision occurred in the evening hours of May 7, 2016, while the 2006-built Safmarine Meru was en route from Qingdao to Ningbo in China, according to Maersk Line.
Maersk Line said that they received confirmation that all crew were safe, sound, and accounted for on board the container vessel Northern Jasper.
The owner said that the 4,650 TEU Safmarine Meru is afloat and anchored.
“Firefighting was initiated Sunday morning local time. While there is no visible fire, there is smoke and firefighting continues. The Chinese authorities are on the scene and Maersk Line is cooperating with same,” Maersk Line said.
“It is too early to comment on the circumstances surrounding the collision and fire. Our focus now is to put the fire out and get access to the vessel to assess damage to the vessel and cargo,” said Palle Brodsgaard Laursen, Head of Ship Management in Maersk Line.
At the time of the collision, Safmarine Meru had less than 400 full containers on board and was deployed on Maersk Line’s TP18 service.
“We are very relieved that our crew are safe and have not suffered any serious injuries. The safety of our people, at sea and on shore, is paramount to us,” Palle Brodsgaard Laursen said.