Monday, December 17th 2012 - 05:57 UTC

Korean trawler catches fire in Montevideo; crew saved and no ammoniac on board

A Korean flagged trawler that caught fire in early morning Sunday has been tugged to the middle of the bay of Montevideo where a combined effort of Uruguayan Coast Guard, port authorities and fire fighters have controlled the flames after rescuing forty crewmembers, mostly Chinese, Vietnamese, Indonesian and Korean officers.

A quick combined response team will continue fighting the fire on Monday (Photo: El Pais)

The 490 tons trawler “Agnes 7” was docked in a local yard when for causes yet to be determined it caught fire at 2:00 AM Sunday triggering an immediate operation to save lives and contain the flames from spreading to other combustible areas at the yard.

“The forty crew members on board were rescued by members of the team, and some had to be picked from the water where they had jumped. They were all transferred to ‘Agnes 5’, another Korean flagged trawler”, said the Uruguayan navy spokesperson Sergio Bique.

He added that the combined task force will continue working early Monday, and the investigation begins Monday with all the evidence collected plus the testimonies from the crew of ‘Agnes 7’.

Bique said that fortunately there is no danger of any explosion on board since the ammoniac tank was empty. Most Korean vessels still use ammoniac for the cold storage facilities, despite it is a highly dangerous (explosive) element which most other fishing vessels have ceased to use.

“Agnes 7” was docked since October in Montevideo and was scheduled to leave in approximately ten days to continue fishing in the south Atlantic. ‘Agnes 5’ is a much larger trawler and is also in Montevideo preparing for another fishing season.

10 comments Feed

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1 redpoll (#) Dec 17th, 2012 - 02:33 pm Report abuse
These fires seem to be happening with increasing frequency
2 GeoffWard2 (#) Dec 17th, 2012 - 08:05 pm Report abuse
“forty crewmembers, mostly Chinese, Vietnamese, Indonesian and Korean officers.”

Too many chiefs and not enough indians?

A majority of officers means that the agenda was not entirely fishing.
3 redpoll (#) Dec 17th, 2012 - 09:43 pm Report abuse
Yes Geoff there is something fishy about this. There have been too many fires on these boats tied up in Montevideo. These boats fish in South Atlantic waters claimed by you know who. You may recall a Spanish fishing boat was harassed by the Argentine coast guard in Uruguayan terretetorial waters some months ago. So these fires? Caused by negligence, possibly an insurance scam or sabotage by persons unknown to put it in police speak?
4 ynsere (#) Dec 18th, 2012 - 03:37 am Report abuse
Presumably the insurers will report any suspicious findings to the authorities. You may be right about sabotage.
5 ProRG_American (#) Dec 18th, 2012 - 05:26 pm Report abuse
Another MI 6 operation to blame it on the Argentines.
6 redpoll (#) Dec 18th, 2012 - 07:00 pm Report abuse
@ 5 or the yankees?
7 ChrisR (#) Dec 18th, 2012 - 07:12 pm Report abuse
Or Father Christmas. ;o)

Pleased no-one was hurt.
8 ynsere (#) Dec 18th, 2012 - 09:33 pm Report abuse
I have it on good authority from President Mujica that it was actually Prince William in his yellow helicopter.
9 ChrisR (#) Dec 19th, 2012 - 10:48 am Report abuse

Ho, Ho, Ho! :o)
10 British_Kirchnerist (#) Dec 24th, 2012 - 02:33 pm Report abuse
Well done Uruguay for saving the crew. I imagine theres a good emergency service ethic in the country, as Pepe himself got stuck in rescuing his neighbours during the storms...

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