A Dubai-owned container ship hit by a serious fire on 6 October has reportedly sunk off Saudi Arabia.

The blaze broke out on the 2,007-teu large feeder vessel TSS Pearl (built 2008), 123 nautical miles (228 km) north-west of the Red Sea port of Jizan.

All 25 seafarers were evacuated from the vessel.

Cargo claims company WK Webster said it has now received reports that the ship has gone down.

Several containers are reported to be floating at the site of the sinking, but it is currently unconfirmed if any of the vessel superstructure remains visible, the outfit added.

“Accordingly, this casualty will now result in cargo losses and associated recovery claims,” WK Webster said.

The company, which represents some of the cargo interests, said a fire expert had been instructed to investigate the cause of the fire.

“These investigations are essential when considering causation and liability in connection with any potential recovery claims,” WK Webster said.

An NYK car carrier and a bulker were involved in the crew rescue.

Another costly loss

The TSS Pearl is operated by Tehama Shipping of Dubai, which took over management in January 2021, according to the Equasis database.

VesselsValue estimates the boxship as worth $23m.

Equasis lists the insurer as American Steamship, which began coverage in February.

Container ship fires appear to have decreased in number this year, but incidents like this and the 8,586-teu Zim Charleston (built 2011) in the Indian Ocean earlier this year indicate the problem is not going away.

The increasing number of ultra-large container vessels has added to the potential scale of the problem.