Operated by the German shipping enterprise MSB Niederelbe for the Conti Reederei conglomerate, MSC Flaminia is a container vessel of the Post-Panamax sub-type.
Constructed at the South Korean shipbuilding yard of Daewoo, the MSC Flaminia container ship was put into operation in the year 2001 and in the almost 12-years of its operation, has been an extremely reliable and highly viable container vessel.
The vessel is contemporarily is engaged by the MSC Shipping conglomerate, giving the vessel the precedent of ‘MSC’ before its christened name.
MSC Flaminia Accident
Earlier in the year of 2012, in the month of July, an unexpected detonation occurred in the MSC container ship while the vessel was on-route from the United States (South Carolina) to Belgium (Antwerp) in the Northern part of the Atlantic. The distress call sent by the vessel was received and responded by the British coast guard, located in the province of Falmouth.
Based on the coast guard’s intimation about the detonation, DS Crown, the ship in the nearest vicinity to the MSC container ship arrived on scene and successfully evacuated most of the crew of the Flaminia. However the whole rescuing and evacuation operation was delayed by a considerable span of time, on account of the DS Crown having to re-route its course after receiving the distress call from the coast guard.
One person of the 23-men crew was reported missing and though several further efforts were made to search about his whereabouts, the passage of time on his continued absence resulted the vain conclusion of the seeking operations with the person being declared dead. One more crew person, rescued from the MSC Flaminia fire succumbed to his injuries in the treatment facility where his condition was being monitored.
MSC Flaminia Fire: Causes and Salvaging Operations
Maritime authorities have declared the primary cause of the MSC Flaminia accident to be on account of discrepancy in the attestation of documentation proof and the actual cargo contained in the ship. It is required of vessels to ensure that any cargo highly likely to combust and cause grave harm to the vessel, its crew and to the maritime ecosystem be highlighted in the documentation proof and safely stowed in those cargo areas of the vessel, where the threats of any accidental detonation is the least.
The two detonations aboard the MSC Flaminia container ship that led to a huge fire that wasn’t able to curbed for weeks together has been regarded to be a dangerous lapse in the presentation and attestation of the documentation proof. Though the salvaging company – SMIT – engaged by the vessel’s operator and proprietor has unequivocally stated that there are no possible repercussions to the maritime environment, many European countries refused permission for the MSC container ship to be tugged into their waters fearing high dispensation of noxious plumage and pollution.
However, after thorough considerations and based on the salvaging reports provided by the reputed salvaging company, the Flaminia was allowed to be tugged back to its native German waters where it now awaits further reparation and technical consideration.
The MSC Flaminia fire has become a huge causation for uproar in the international maritime sector especially with respect to environmental safety. Measures to bring about clarity in the attestation of documentation proofs have started to be broached about. If such measures are brought to active operation, it would help in bringing in a greater deal of transparency and maritime safety.