The 58 meter long fishing vessel Geum Jeong No. 101 caught fire while berthed in Cape Town, South Africa. The fire started broke out in the hold where packaging and styrofoam was being stored. The fire quickly engulfed the superstructure while fire fighters attempted to contain the blaze.
After three days, the fire was finally extinguished, but the fishing vessel sustained significant damage. No reports of injuries. Authorities placed a boom around the Geum Jeong No. 101 to contain any potential pollution released. South African authorities have launched an investigation into the incident.
On February 13, the 295 meter long, 72807 dwt container ship APL Austria caught fire off Cape St. Francis, Eastern Cape, South Africa. The fire started in the No. 4 hold when something inside a container ignited. The fire spread to adjacent containers spewing out plumes of dense smoke. The crew attempted to put of the blaze as a dozen containers were on fire.
Unable to extinguish the fire, the crew sent out a distress call for assistance to South African authorities. The vessel was instructed to proceed to an anchorage in Algoa Bay. A NSRI lifeboat from Port Elizabeth was launched while several tugs with a firefighting team were dispatched to the scene. While tugs attempted to contain the blaze by dousing the containers with water, all four non-essential crew members were evacuated off the container ship. One crewman of the APL Austria had sustained a leg injury and taken to hospital for treatment.
The APL Austria was escorted by the tugs to the Port of Ngqura. There local fire tugs finally extinguished the blaze. Reports state the APL Austria had hazardous materials on board, but those containers did not catch on fire. The exact cause of the fire has not yet been reported. Authorities have launched an investigation into the incident.
On February 8, the fishing vessel Sea Puppy caught fire off St. Catherines Island, Georgia. The Coast Guard was alerted by the crew the vessel was on fire and sinking. The Coast Guard dispatched a helicopter from Savannah along with an 29 foot response boat from Tybee Island. The helicopter arrived on scene and hoisted all three crew off the Sea Puppy safely. No reports of injuries.
The fire gutted the vessel which a short time later sank. The Coast Guard remained on site to monitor the area for pollution. The incident is under investigation.