PortandTerminal.com, August 31, 2020
JACKSONVILLE, FL – Almost three months after a raging fire tore through a Hoegh car carrier at the Port of Jacksonville, the vessel has been dead-towed out to sea by the coast guard.
Fire broke out on seventh deck of the Hoegh Xiamen on June 4th while it was docked at the Port of Jacksonville. The ship was carrying a consignment of used cars intended for export to the West African market. All 21 crew members were uninjured in the fire.
Eight members of the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department were among dozens trying to fight the fire inside the Norwegian ship when an explosion occurred. The eight firefighters escaped the ship with their lives, but with burns to their heads and hands.
Following the explosion the decision was taken to concentrate on keeping the ship’s hull cooled to prevent the vessel from sinking, but to make no further attempts to enter the carrier.
The fire raged for 8 days inside the 600-foot vessel with temperatures inside it reaching 1,000 degrees, causing the cars inside it to start melting.
Thanks to the firefighters’ efforts to keep the exterior of the ship cooled its temperature never rose above 350 degrees, ensuring the integrity of the hull and preventing it from sinking.
Following the fire, the ship was eventually declared a total loss.
On Sunday (August 30) U.S. Coast Guard Station Mayport escorted the vessel as it made its way out to sea.
It was not immediately clear where the ship’s eventual destination will be.
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