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.
The 130 meter long, 8166 dwt container ship Sophia allided the lock wall in the Kiel Canal in Kiel-Holtenau, Germany. The boxship had veered off course upon entering the lock and struck the lock wall. The stern of the Sophia scraped along several meters of the wall causing a fender to be torn off along of minor damage. No reports of injuries or pollution released.
The water police detained the Sophia while it conducted an investigation into the incident. Reports state the vessel was allowed to continue on its voyage later the same night and arrived in Hamburg the following day.
The 151 meter long, 10585 dwt container ship Conmar Avenue allided with a canal gate in the Kiel Canal at Holtenau, Germany. The Conmar Avenue was headed to Hamburg from Rauma when it entered the lock at Kiel-Holtenau. The boxship approached the lock at low speed, but limited visibility resulted in the Conmar Avenue striking the tail gate.
Authorities detained the vessel while they conducted an investigation into the incident. A few hours later the Conmar Avenue was allowed to continue on its voyage to Hamburg. No reports of injuries or pollution released.