Sunday, 3 March 2013

One dead, 25 rescued after fire on-board Korean fishing ship

A fire swept through a Korean fishing ship at the Port of Cape Town, killing one fishermen - 25 other seamen evacuated to safety.

At approximately 20:38 on Saturday, 02 March 2013 a distress call was reported to the City of Cape Town by the Port of Cape Town regarding a fishing vessel on fire.

The Korean flagship long liner fishing vessel, Hwa–Tsan, was berthed at the Landing Warf, Duncan Road, Port of Cape Town.

The City’s Fire & Rescue Services dispatched fire engines and emergency services personnel without delay to the incident from the following 12 fire stations: Cape Town Central Fire (Roeland Street), Sea Point, Brooklyn, Milnerton, Lakeside, Belhar, Salt River, Constantia, Goodwood, Wynberg, Bellville and Strand.

Upon arrival of the emergency services and disaster response teams smoke was billowing from the vessel.

At 21:23 the strong south-easterly wind that persisted last night made the firefighting efforts challenging. Due to the intensity of the blaze on-board the vessel the firefighters were withdrawn from the vessel.

A tug boat from the Port of Cape Town was on standby in close proximity of the vessel that was dozing down the blaze.

At approximately 23:18 fire crews gained access to the hull bring the fire under control.

The body of the reported missing person, Ho Xuan Tung (29 years), a Vietnamese citizen, was found burnt beyond recognition.

At 01:05 this morning firefighters extinguished the blaze and handed the incident over to National Ports Authority of South Africa.

The body of the deceased person was removed by the Western Cape Government: Department of Health [Forensic Pathology Services] to the Salt River State Mortuary. A post-mortem will be performed on the deceased person.

The 25 crew members were evacuated from the vessel and emergency shelter is provided at the Seaman’s Club.

There were 2 Taiwanese, 2 Chinese, 10 Vietnamese (1 person died) and 12 Koreans seaman on-board.

The captain in command of the vessel was Wong Ting-Shan (49 years) that is a Taiwanese citizen.

The City’s Disaster Risk Management Centre informed the embassies of Taiwan (Cape Town Tapei Liaison Office), People’s Republic of China, Socialist Republic of Vietnam and the Republic of Korea regarding the tragic incident.

The emergency services personnel averted any significant environmental (air and marine) pollution.

Upon interviewing the crew members by the relevant authorities it appears that in the course of conflict the vessel was purposefully torched.

The South African Maritime Authority [SAMSA] will also interview the crew members and investigate the incident subject to international maritime conventions.

The shipping agent, Regal Cape Marine, is responsible for handling shipments and cargo at ports and harbours on behalf of the shipping company. The shipping agent is also taking care of the sheltering arrangements; including care and comfort whilst the crew members are in Cape Town.

The Directorate of Ports of Entry: Maritime & Aviation Ports from the Department of Home Affairs dispatched immigration control officers to administer the admission of the foreigners into the territorial borders of South Africa and assisted with the issuing permits.

A case docket has been opened by the South African Police Services (SAPS) for suspected arson – the matter is under investigation.


Issued by: Disaster Risk Management Centre, City of Cape Town

Source: Wilfred Solomons-Johannes, Head: Systems Integration, Special Projects & Disaster Operations, Disaster Risk Management Centre, City of Cape Town

1 comment:

  1. The body of the deceased person was removed by the Western Cape Government: Department of Health [Forensic Pathology Services] to the Salt River State Mortuary.

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