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Passengers Evacuating Ferry After Engine Room Fire Off Palma

disabled ferry after fire
Tenacia is disabled and drifting in the Mediterranean after an engine room fire (Salvamento Marítimo)

Published Jul 8, 2024 12:52 PM by The Maritime Executive


Spanish rescue authorities are supervising the evacuation of 350 passengers from the Italian ferry Tenacia after an engine room fire disabled the ferry as it was approaching Palma de Mallorca overnight. Reports are that no one was injured and that the fire has been contained to the engine room but left the vessel disabled and drifting in the Mediterranean.

Fire alarms sounded on the vessel at approximately 0230 this morning local time while it was 22 miles from Ibiza and some 53 miles from Dragonera in the Balearic Islands. Salvamento Marítimo reports there are 350 passengers and 61 crewmembers aboard the ferry. 

Fire crews and rescue personnel responded to the vessel’s calls and nine fire personnel from shore units were airlifted with a helicopter to join the ship’s crew in fighting the fire. Passengers posted online videos and pictures sitting in their lifejackets at muster stations. 

The ferry, which was built in 2008 and is operated by Italy’s GNV, departed Valencia, Spain on Sunday evening, July 7 at 2230 local time for the overnight trip to the popular tourist destination. They had been due to dock at 0515 this morning. The ferry which is 26,000 gross tons is a RoRo with a capacity for up to 900 passengers.

Salvamento Marítimo asked vessels in the area to respond and two MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company vessels were standing by. The only other passenger vessel in the region was Balearia’s Abel Matutes which was also underway with passengers and diverted to standby in case an evacuation was required of the Tenacia.

 

Fire teams and equipment being airlifted to the disabled ferry

 

The ferry, which was built in 2008 and is operated by Italy’s GNV, departed Valencia, Spain on Sunday evening, July 7 at 2230 local time for the overnight trip to the popular tourist destination. They had been due to dock at 0515 this morning. The ferry which is 26,000 gross tons is a RoRo with a capacity for up to 900 passengers.

Salvamento Marítimo asked vessels in the area to respond and two MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company vessels were standing by. The only other passenger vessel in the region was Balearia’s Abel Matutes which was also underway with passengers and diverted to standby in case an evacuation was required of the Tenacia.

By mid-morning the fire teams were reporting the fire was contained however they were not declaring it extinguished. There remain hot spots in the engine room of the vessel. The master of the Tenacia then decided to evacuate the passengers for their safety and comfort.

 

 

Salvamento Marítimo rescue boats were being used to transfer the passengers while the vessel continued to drift at sea. They are being moved to another of the company’s ferries the GNV Bridge (32,581 gross tons) which diverted to aid its fleet mate. GNV reports passengers will be taken back to the port of origin.

The firefighting efforts are continuing attempting to cool the ferry’s engine room. GNV reports a private salvage tug has also been retained to tow the ferry to Valencia when it is deemed safe.