Published On: Thu, Jul 27th, 2023

Burning Ship off the Dutch Coast with Approximately 3,000 Automobiles on Board

Dutch Coast

  • Several members of the crew jumped overboard to save themselves from the developing flames.
  • The Fremantle Highway ship had been departing Germany with the intention of arriving in Egypt.
  • Every member of the crew represented an Indian, ship owner.

On Wednesday, a fire broke out on a ship carrying cargo about 30 miles off the coast of the Netherlands. The ship had almost 3,000 automobiles on board. According to the coastguard, an individual of the crew was killed and several others were injured.

As a result of the fire that broke out on Tuesday evening on the 199-meter Fremantle Highway, which was registered in Panama and was traveling from Germany to Egypt, some members of the crew were compelled to abandon ship and leap overboard.

The Embassy of India in the Netherlands stated in a post on social media that it was in contact with the relatives of the dead and that the fire “paid off in the passing away of an Indian seaman and casualties to the crew.”

The statement also stated that the fire had occurred on an Indian ship. The ship’s owner, Japan’s Shoei Kisen, stated that all 21 members of the crew were of Indian descent.

The flaming vessel was doused with water from rescue ships in an effort to bring the fire under control; however, the Dutch coastguard warned that applying too much water could cause the vessel to capsize. In order to keep it from drifting away, it was secured to a salvage vessel.

According to the Dutch news agency ANP, which cited the coastguard as its source, the fire could burn for several days. The ship proceeded to spew smoke in the general vicinity of the Dutch coast of Ameland located in the north.

The blaze is most assuredly still not under control at this time. According to Edwin Versteeg, a representative for the Dutch Authority for Waterways and Public Works, the fire is extremely difficult to put out, which may be due to the cargo that the ship was carrying at the time of the incident.

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On the Coastguard’s website, it was stated that the source of the fire remained unknown; however, a spokeswoman for the Coastguard had previously told Reuters that it started near an electric vehicle. About 25 percent of the ship’s total fleet of 2,857 vehicles was powered by electricity.

According to a representative for the International Maritime Organization, which is responsible for regulating safety standards at sea, the organization aims to consider fresh regulations for ships carrying electric vehicles in the following year. This comes after a growing incidence of fires on cargo ships.

Combustion engine cars and electric cars produce the same amount of pollution. According to Uwe-Peter Schieder, a master mariner and an official from the German Insurance Organization, the situation becomes hazardous when the batteries become overheated and a phenomenon known as “thermal runaway” takes place.

Gases are produced as a byproduct of a chemical process that takes place within the battery, which causes it to expand.

New regulations are currently being considered, and the process of putting them into effect might take years. These regulations could include restrictions on the amount of charge that can be put into a battery, as well as restrictions on the sorts of fire extinguishers that can be found on boats.

According to the German business, approximately 350 of the vehicles that were involved were Mercedes-Benz (MBGn.DE) automobiles.


It was reported by the coastguard that the freighter Fremantle, which had left the harbor of Bremerhaven, was being hauled away from the maritime channels. When the fire began, it was located 27 kilometers (or 17 miles) to the north of Ameland.

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According to Willard Molenaar a member of the Royal Dutch Rescue Corporation (KNRM), which was one of the first people to arrive at the scene, the fire spread so rapidly that seven crew members jumped overboard.

Molenaar reported to NOS that several individuals had been injured when jumping into the sea and that one member of the crew had been killed in the flames.

According to him, there was a lot of smoke, and the blaze spread rapidly—much faster than anyone had anticipated. Everyone on board needed to disembark as swiftly as possible… They were retrieved from the water by fishing.

The remaining individuals of the crew were safely removed from the burning ship by means of an airlift provided by a helicopter. According to the local Dutch authorities, those who were hurt received medical care for issues related to their respiration as well as burns and broken bones.

Edwin Granneman, a spokeswoman for the Coast Guard, stated that salvage professionals were attempting to figure out the following steps for the boat that was on fire.

The ship’s owner, Shoei Kisen, announced that they were coordinating efforts to put out the fire with the Dutch authorities and the management business Wallem Ship Management.

The blaze was just the most recent of dozens that have broken out recently on automobile transporters.

Previously this month, a fire that was being fought on a container ship that was carrying several hundred vehicles claimed the lives of two firefighters from New Jersey and injured five more. According to the operator of the vessel, there were also no electric automobiles on board.

On a ship located in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of the Portuguese’s Azores archipelago in February of the previous year, a second fire damaged thousands of luxury vehicles, some of which were electric and had lithium-ion batteries.