Migrant Rescue Vessel Responds to Marine Casualty

The Siem Pilot, attended by security forces (file image courtesy UNHCR)

By MarEx 2016-10-31 21:24:59

Italian media reported over the weekend that the PSV Siem Pilot – which is engaged in the European Union's migrant rescue mission off Libya – was engaged to respond to a fire aboard the bulker United Ocean

On Sunday morning, about 100 nm northeast of Misrata, the Ocean suffered a blaze in her engine room which rendered her unable to maneuver. The Italian naval vessel Mimbelli, which was on patrol as part of Operation Mare Sicuro (Sea Safe), responded to the Ocean's mayday call. A helicopter from the Mimbelli evacuated the Ocean's twelve crewmembers safely. 

The fire was brought under control and the container vessel is not reportedly listing or otherwise at risk, but she remains unable to maneuver.

The Siem Pilot is a diesel electric PSV, designed for extended periods of ROV work and on-station time in the North Sea oil and gas service. She was chartered by the Norwegian National Criminal Investigation Service (Kripos) to take part in the Frontex Triton migrant rescue mission, and she racked up an impressive record of about 20,000 rescues over her first year in operation. She is rated to carry 64 crew and personnel, but under the extraordinary and chaotic circumstances of the migrant crisis, she has been carrying as many as 1,000 people at a time on her capacious afterdeck.