Coast Guard continues response to container ship fire northeast of Bermuda

AMVER FlagPORTSMOUTH, Va. — The Coast Guard continues coordinating response efforts to ensure the safety of the crew of a container ship approximately 1,015 miles northeast of Bermuda, Monday.

Saturday evening, 11 non-essential crew members were evacuated from the Yantian Express to the tugboat Smit Nicobar and Sunday morning all remaining crew were evacuated to the Smit Nicobar.

The Coast Guard is currently monitoring the situation. The Smit Nicobar remains on scene providing fire fighting assistance.

The commercial tugboat Maersk Mobiliser is also en route and approximately 80 miles northwest of the Yantian Express. Upon arrival, the tug’s crew plans to tow the Yantian Express to Halifax, Nova Scotia.

“We’ve been monitoring the situation to provide as much assistance as possible and keeping in open communication” said Chief Petty Officer Ryan Langley, operations unit watchstander at the Fifth District command center. “It is through open and regular communication that the safety of the crew has been seen to and the response remains organized.”

Coast Guard watchstanders with the First District command center in Boston received a report that there was a fire aboard the container ship Yantian Express, Thursday morning. They requested assistance through the Automated Mutual-Assistance Vessel Rescue System (AMVER) for vessels that may be in the area and notified their counterparts in the Fifth District command center in Portsmouth who assumed responsibility for the case.

The AMVER vessel Happy Ranger’s crew were 20 miles from the position and diverted their course to provide assistance. On Friday, the Smit Nicobar crew arrived on scene and began to provide assistance, relieving the Happy Ranger’s crew.

For information on the AMVER program, visit http://www.amver.com.

No injuries or pollution have been reported.

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