Over the weekend, the Liberian-registered bulker Antaios suffered an engine room fire about 800 nm west of the Cape of Good Hope, requiring the evacuation of her crew.
The South African Maritime Safety Authority, or SAMSA, said in a statement that damage from the fire led to water entering the engine room. The captain made a distress call, which was picked up by the ore carrier Inspire and forwarded to shoreside authorities via satphone.
“The fire caused some damage which led to flooding in the engine room. When the flooding became uncontrollable, the captain decided to make a distress call and order the crew to abandon ship,” the agency said.
SAMSA said that all 19 crewmembers aboard the Antaios were safely transferred to the Inspire and were carried to Cape Town, where they will be cared for by a local ships' agency and repatriated.
The NSU Inspire recovered “the ANTAIOS crew from the two lifeboats they had escaped to. All 19 crew members were plucked to safety on board the giant 330 meter ore carrier and are currently on the way to be dropped off in Cape Town from where they will be repatriated,” the agency said.
The oceangoing salvage tug Smit Amandla was dispatched from Cape Town to take the Antaios in tow, authorities said in an update Monday.
At the time of the fire, the Antaios was under way from San Lorenzo, Argentina, bound for the port of Duba, Saudi Arabia (also known as Dhiba, and distinct from Dubai, UAE).
The Antaios has no record of detentions, and few records of port state control inspection deficiencies.
The 250,000 dwt NSU Inspire was under way from Brazil to Singapore. As of Tuesday afternoon, AIS data showed her under way for her final destination once more.