Fire in MSC boxship prompts emergency response

Container ship MSC Shannon (IMO 8913423) sustained an engine room fire in the Gulf of Finland early on the morning of Sunday November 7th, disabling the vessel and prompting a large-scale emergency response.

At about 02:00 Sunday local time the Finnish Coast Guard received a distress call from the MSC Shannon reporting a fire in the engine room. The vessel was located about 11 nm to the south of Jussarö, a small island near the mouth of the Gulf of Finland. The container ship had 24 crewmembers aboard and about 1,200 tonnes of containerized cargo – including some hazardous materials. The vessel was travelling from Russia to Le Havre.

The Finnish authorities mounted an emergency response, mobilizing two patrol ships (Turva and Uisko), along with two rescue helicopters. However, the MSC Shannon’s crew managed to bring the fire under control and did not require firefighting assistance.

At about 08:00 a maritime patrol aircraft conducted an overflight and found no signs of pollution. No injuries were reported aboard the ship.

The MSC Shannon later anchored off Sommaro, Finland, where it remained as of Sunday evening. Janne Ryönänkoski, a rescue official for the Helsinki region, told local media that the shipowner was in talks to arrange an emergency tow. However, the MSC Shannon’s crew will first attempt to make repairs and resume the voyage under the vessel’s own power.

As a precautionary measure, the Finnish Coast Guard is keeping two patrol ships nearby until the vessel can get under way.

As of November 8th the vessel was recorded as being in the Gulf of Finland, underway from St Petersburg to Antwerp, with an ETA of November 10th.

1991-built, 37,071 gt MSC Shannon is owned by Shannon Naviera Co SA care of MSC Mediterranean Shipping Co Sa of Geneva, Switzerland. ISM manager is MSC Shipmanagement Ltd of Limassol, Cyprus. It is entered with North of England on behalf of Conglomerate Maritime Ltd.