Bulk carrier CHESHIRE was en route from Norway to Thailand with 40,000 tons of fertilizer ammonium nitrate on board. As of afternoon Aug 15 abandoned vessel, billowing thick smoke, was adrift, with Spanish SAR PUNTA SALINAS nearby, monitoring situation. Salvage Company Resolve Marine was contracted for salvage.
Bulk carrier on fire, abandoned, drifting, Atlantic ocean
Bulk carrier CHESHIRE loaded with fertilizers on Aug 13 reported probable fire in cargo holds in the Atlantic south of Las Palmas, Canary Island, caused by chemical reaction. No visible fire or smoke were reported, but she was prohibited from approaching Las Palmas.
Early in the morning Aug 14 vessel suffered an explosion in Hold no.4, and after that, some minor explosions. The 24-crew were evacuated by Spanish Salvage helicopters in the afternoon, situation on board was found to be too dangerous for people.
As of 0400 UTC Aug 15, she was adrift in vicinity 26 38N 016 01W, some 80 nm south of Gran Canaria southern tip, with Spanish SAR tug PUNTA SALINAS (IMO 7931894) nearby.
Owner said to consider option of scuttling the ship, but changed his mind and decided to salvage bulk carrier, towing her to available port.
Bulk carrier CHESHIRE, IMO 9593646, dwt 56598, built 2012, flag UK, manager BIBBY SHIP MANAGEMENT LTD.