Norwegians join Firefight on Bulker after worrying developments
Swedish authorities are receiving additional support from the Norwegian Coast Guard and an offshore commercial vessel as they report that conditions remain difficult and there are worrying new developments in the cargo fire aboard the bulk carrier Almirante Storni near the port of Gothenburg, Sweden. Previously, the Swedish coastguard had reported that the situation was stable but that they were unable to reach the heart of the fire in the tight cargo of timber.
Another survey of the bulk carrier using thermal imaging cameras from a police helicopter shows that the fire could start to spread aboard the ship. Previously, they had reported that it was contained, but warned that the water applied to the vessel only dampened the cargo of timber and did not reach the center of the fire. The latest images show heat transfer in the fire.
âHeat transfer is serious,â said Jesper BÃ¤ckstedt, chief of rescue at the Coast Guard. âThis is an increased risk of escalation and risk to the vessel, which has 600 tonnes of fuel on board. We are now working intensely with everyone involved to move this situation forward. “
As part of a mutual assistance agreement, the Swedish authorities requested support from neighboring countries and the Norwegian Coast Guard sent their patrol boat on KV Bergen join the effort. Late in the day, the Bergen took up a position to rescue the Swedish coastguard ships. BÃ¤ckstedt expressed his satisfaction saying that the Norwegian efforts would increase the stamina of all involved.
The owner of the bulk carrier also hired the Loki Viking, an anchor handling supply vessel registered in Norway. The ship also joined the firefighting effort to support the Swedish Coast Guard. It is in addition to the tugs already on site rented by the shipowner.
Ice formation on Swedish coast guard ship’s equipment due to cold temperatures and wind
Strong winds and cold temperatures persist, further complicating the shooting. The Swedish coastguard reports that in addition to putting pressure on personnel, the weather conditions are starting to have an impact on their equipment. âOur ships are now starting to get very icy,â said BÃ¤ckstedt.
The main part of the effort remains the fight against the fire and the limitation of its propagation on board the Almirante Storni, but they have no idea of ââwhen the fire might be extinguished. The teams are also continuing to explore the possibilities of moving the vessel to calmer waters or possibly to a dock which they believe would create better conditions to put out the fire and eventually rescue the vessel.
Network of vessels around the bulk carrier assisting with fire cargo during the night of December 8, 2021 (courtesy of Marine Traffic)