An AP Moller-Maersk boxship interrupted its voyage in Greece after a fire broke out within one of the containers it was carrying, Greek coastguards said.
The incident occurred late on Monday on board the 4,258-teu Luna Maersk (built 2002), which had been sailing in the Aegean Sea from Piraeus to Thessaloniki.
The vessel was 12.5 nautical miles (23.2km) north of the Aegean island of Kea when the blaze erupted.
Crew managed to contain the fire by freezing the container’s exterior walls. “The situation is considered to be under control,” Greek coastguards said.
The fire within the container seems to have died down and the fire has not spread to adjacent boxes, they told TradeWinds.
The ship nevertheless turned around and is heading back to Piraeus again and a firefighting boat has been requested to provide assistance.
The Luna Maersk flies the flag of Hong Kong. It is classed by Lloyd’s Register and has insurance from Britannia P&I.
The exact nature of its cargo is not immediately clear.
The International Union of Marine Insurance (IUMI) is currently working on an initiative at the International Maritime Organization to help prevent fires on container ships and to improve their fire-fighting capabilities.
Separately, insurer Munich Re has launched a programme to tackle shipping’s growing problem with cargo fires, in cooperation with the National Cargo Bureau (NCB) and the US Coast Guard.
The initiative involves using data compiled through the NCB and Coast Guard’s hazardous cargo inspections and combining it with Munich Re’s predictive analytics capabilities.