26 July 2023






2 mins

Around 2230hrs on Tuesday 25th July, the Dutch coastguard received a report that a major fire broke out on the car carrier FREMANTLE HIGHWAY with 23 crew members onboard  at the time and was sailing 27 kilometres north of Ameland. She left Bremerhaven, Germany around 1430hrs UTC bound for Egypt. The fire erupted around 2130hrs UTC. The car carrier was carrying 2,857 cars on board, 25 of which were Electric Vehicles (EV)

The 2013 built car carrier is  owned by Shoei Kisen and chartered by K Line. The crew initially attempted to extinguish the fire themselves but were unsuccessful. The fire continued to spread, prompting an evacuation. The crew members were evacuated by helicopters and lifeboats. Several members of the crew had to jump into the water to save themselves from the fire.

According to the Dutch coastguard, one crew member died, and several were injured. The people on board were taken to Lauwersoog and Eelde airport. Sixteen injured people were then taken by ambulance to nearby hospitals, all with breathing problems.

She is still on fire and several emergency services are still present near the ship and there are fears that the vessel may sink. Reports claim that the fire erupted on the cargo deck and then probably spread to other decks.

The ship is located near the Wadden Islands which are a World Heritage area. If the ship were to sink the environmental effects on the area would be immense. Reports have come out that the fire started in one of the EVs which is a major issue. The EVs on board are a serious fire accelerant since its lithium-ion batteries when on fire can reach temperatures of more than 2,700 degrees Celsius.

One of the assets around is the 2008 built anchor handling tug FAIRPLAY 30.

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All images of the FREMANTLE HIGHWAY on fire are by the Dutch Coastguard.

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