Crewmember Injured in Explosion Aboard Maersk Boxship

Published Jun 7, 2020 3:52 PM by The Maritime Executive

On Friday morning, a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter crew medevaced a crewmember from the boxship Laura Maersk at a position about 275 miles off the coast of Ocean City, Maryland. The vessel suffered an engine room explosion, resulting in one injury and loss of power. 

Aircrews aboard an MH-60 helicopter and an HC-130 out of Air Station Elizabeth City, North Carolina launched to medevac the injured crewmember. Due to the extreme range, USCG Fifth District and Fleet Forces Command arranged for the helicopter land on the destroyer USS Mahan and refuel during the transit. 

Once on scene, the helicopter aircrew hoisted the man on board and transported him to Norfolk Sentara General Hospital in Norfolk, Virginia.

In a statement, Maersk said that the Laura Maersk experienced an explosion and "minor fire" in her engine room on June 4. She was under way from Algeciras to PNYNJ at the time of the blast. The injured crewmember's injuries were not life-threatening, Maersk said. The cause of the blast is under investigation. 

The Laura Maersk's cargo is intact, and a tug is under way to tow her into port, Maersk said. A delivery delay of one week is expected. 

Laura Maersk's previous casualties include a collision with the boxship MSC Shuba B at the port of Callao in 2018 and a loss of power and near-grounding near Akutan in 2017.