Car Carrier Catches Fire Near Spratly Islands

Reed Bank, left, and Malampaya gas field, upper right (chart image via social media)

Published Jun 17, 2019 8:49 PM by The Maritime Executive

[Brief] The K Line car carrier Diamond Highway caught fire Saturday night near the northeastern end of the Spratly Islands archipelago, and she is now adrift, according to the Philippine Coast Guard.

The Highway reported a fire on board late on Saturday, said PCG spokesman Captain Armand Balilo, at a position in the vicinity of Reed Bank. Her 25 crewmembers abandoned ship and were rescued by another ro/ro, the Canopus Leader, which was passing nearby en route to Thailand.

As of Monday afternoon local time, the Highway had drifted away from Reed Bank towards the vicinity of Malampaya, a gas field off Palawan, Balilo told Philippine media. The PCG vessel BRP Cabra is on scene and attempting to extinguish the blaze.

The 2004-built Diamond Highway is a 19,000 dwt PCTC. She was under way from Singapore to Batangas at the time of the casualty.