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22 June 2024

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With summer officially starting on Friday 21st June, 2024, the former Swedish Coastguard Vessel KBV 171, Belgian Navy Support Ship A 963 STERN and since 2016 as an anti piracy control vessel with local interests caught fire and in few seconds she became as an inferno while on her Hull Hard (NOT as reported by local Media) at the Malta Mediterranean Hub (MMH) Facilities located at Marsa at the former Malta Shipbuilding Co Ltd (MSCL).

She was laid down in 1978 and launched in November 1979 at the Swedish Yard Karlskronavarvet at Karlskrona, Sweden as KBV 171 for the Swedish Coastguard of which she was commissioned on 3rd September 1980.

In 1998 she was transferred to the Belgian Navy and commissioned as A 963 STERN on 16th July, 1999.

She was decommissioned on 12th September 2014 and was laid up at Zeebrugge, Belgium of which after 3 months she was sold to Dutch Interests.

During October of 2015, she arrived at Malta.

And 2 years later she was slipped at Slip 7, Manoel Island Yacht Yard (MIYY) for major overhaul.

Of which later she emerged with Blue hull and used to be seen moored at the mouth of Manoel Island Marina.

And on Friday 21st June, around 1813 hrs , fire broke out sending thick plumes of toxic black smoke into the air while she was on her hull hard since she had GRP Hull. No injuries were reported and Civil Protection Department used Foam to cool the blaze of which even the 2022 built Hydrolift P42 fireboat MANUCCA was used.

It remains unclear what sparked the fire.

 

 

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