The MSC Rachele container ship, which was stranded, drifting without power following an engine room explosion and fire in the Mediterranean has been towed to the port of Fos-sur-Mer, in southern France.
French authorities said the vessel had arrived at around 04:30 and was docked at the port by late morning on Wednesday.
The French Navy responded to the fire and explosion on Tuesday and co-ordinated a medical evacuation of three of the container ship’s crew members, including two who are reported to be in a serious condition According to Maritime Executive, the regional search-and-rescue operation centre, Cross Med in Toulon, France, organised the rescue operation and placed an assessment team on board the ship to determine the status quo. The team reported that the fire had been extinguished but that the vessel was inoperable after an explosion in the engine’s gearbox disabled propulsion.
“The team confirmed that it was safe to tow the vessel and MSC hired commercial tugs from the port of Marseille to rescue the ship. Weather conditions also remained favourable in the area during the rescue and subsequent tow,” Maritime Executive reported.
French authorities said their chartered support and assistance vessel BSAA Pionnier had remained in the vicinity of the MSC Rachele to provide assistance in the case of a further emergency while it was waiting to be towed. The towing operation started on June 21 around 20h00.
MSC released a brief statement confirming the incident.
“MSC is very thankful to the French Navy for their prompt assistance. Three seafarers were injured in the incident and have been evacuated by helicopters for medical care.”
MSC said it was monitoring the situation and assessing the condition of the container ship.
“Our preliminary reports indicate that there has been no damage to the containers on board. We have informed affected customers with cargo on board about the vessel incident and will keep them updated about the future movements of the vessel and its cargo.”