A Falkland Islands trawler “Baffin Bay” has sunk at the Galician port of Vigo where it was undergoing maintenance work. The Falklands' Department of Natural Resources reported that on the morning of Thursday 3 December 2020 it was advised of a fire onboard Fishing Vessel “Baffin Bay” while she was berthed at Bouzas in Vigo.
We are very saddened to hear the news that the vessel probably cannot be saved.
Owned by South Atlantic Squid (UK) Ltd a joint venture company with local FI company Beauchene Fishing Co Ltd and Copemar S.A of Vigo Spain F/V Baffin Bay has fished in Falklands waters since 1995.
The Department of Natural Resources are standing by to provide any support that may be needed by the vessel owners as they prepare for next year’s fishing season. Our thoughts are with the owners, crew members and anyone who has had the pleasure of working with F/V Baffin Bay.
According to Galicia media reports the red ensign flagged vessel, M1033, and 68 meters long arrived in Vigo from Montevideo in November with certain repairs and maintenance work expected to take place.
The fire, which started in the fish storage area is believed to have been caused by welding work and although fire fighters working from the pier and tugs attempted to control the fire, a combination of an explosion in the engine room and an excess of water resulted in the vessel sinking at 19:30 PM. Happily, there were no reported injuries but an investigation will now be undertaken as to the cause of the fire itself.
The vessel's stability was compromised because of the accumulation of water attempting to extinguish the fire, which is often the cause with burning fishing vessels. As she started to list, two tugs Dr. Pintado and Gonzalo S tried to avoid her capsizing, and finally the Baffin Bay went down but remained mostly sunk on the sea floor at the port.