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MSC Boxship Suffers Engine Room Fire in Gulf of Finland

farid mernissi
MSC Shannon (file image courtesy Farid Mernissi / CC BY SA 4.0)

Published Nov 7, 2021 3:08 PM by The Maritime Executive

On Sunday morning, the boxship MSC Shannon sustained an engine room fire at a position in the Gulf of Finland, disabling her and prompting a large-scale emergency response. 

At about 0200 hours Sunday, the Finnish Coast Guard received a distress call from the MSC Shannon reporting a fire in the engine room. The vessel was located about 11 nm to the south of Jussarö, a small island near the mouth of the Gulf of Finland. She had 24 crewmembers aboard and about 1,200 tonnes of containerized cargo - including dangerous goods like flammable liquids and oxidizers - and was under way on a voyage from Russia to Le Havre. 

Finnish authorities mounted an emergency response, mobilizing the patrol ships Turva and Uisko, along with two rescue helicopters. However, the MSC Shannon's crew managed to bring the fire under control on their own, and did not require firefighting assistance. 

At about 0800, a maritime patrol aircraft conducted an overflight and found no signs of pollution. No injuries were reported aboard the ship. 

Tracking provided by Pole Star indicates that MSC Shannon successfully anchored off Sommaro, Finland, where she remained on Sunday evening. Janne Ryönänkoski, a rescue official for the Helisinki region, told local media that the shipowner is in talks to arrange an emergency tow. However, the MSC Shannon's crew will first attempt to make repairs and resume the voyage under the vessel's own power.

As a precautionary measure, the Finnish Coast Guard is keeping two patrol ships nearby until the vessel can get under way. 

MSC Shannon is a sub-Panamax boxship built in 1991. She has a history of PSC deficiencies, including a three-day detention in Le Havre last year for missing firefighting equipment, shortcomings in crew familiarity with her propulsion, unsatisfactory water/weathertight conditions and issues with her fixed firefighting installation.