One seafarer missing after fire disables MSC container ship in Indian Ocean

An engine room fire was reported late on Thursday June 24th to have broken out aboard container ship MSC Messina (IMO 9074042) while it was travelling in the Indian Ocean. The ship was reported as disabled, and that one crew member had gone missing after the fire. The Indian Coast Guard was responding to provide assistance to the vessel, which was within Sri Lanka’s search and rescue zone.

Maritime Rescue and Coordination Centre (MRCC) at Port Blair on South Andaman Island in the Indian territory of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands was reported to be coordinating the efforts.

The MSC Messina said when reporting the fire that  it was 425nm from Port Blair, placing it about halfway between Sri Lanka and the Malacca Strait. According to reports from the Indian Coast Guard, there were 28 crew aboard. The Liberia-registered 26-year-old vessel had left Colombo on June 23rd and was bound for Singapore.

Pictures from the Indian Coast Guard showed smoke stains/soot on the vessel, but the fire was believed to have been extinguished while still contained to the engine room. The vessel looked to be sailing empty at the time

A larger MSC container ship, the MSC Deila was also reported to be in the area, sailing from Algeciras for Singapore on a similar timeline. The vessel was reported to have diverted and was standing by to assist as needed.

1995-built, Liberia-flagged, 60,862 gt MSC Messina is owned by Messina Marine Ltd care of manager Eastern Pacific Shipping Pte Ltd of Singapore. ISM manager is MSC Shipmanagement Ltd of Limassol, Cyprus. It is entered with UK Club on behalf of Conglomerate Maritime Ltd.