SWAKOPMUND: Fifty-six crew members of the Motor Vessel (MV) Chamarel had to be evacuated to a nearby fishing vessel when their ship caught fire on Wednesday night.
The crew members were evacuated to the fishing vessel ‘Moni’ after one of the cabins in their vessel caught fire.
Six of the crew members sustained slight injuries.
The Namibian Police Force (NamPol)’s acting Crime Investigations Coordinator for the Erongo Region, Inspector George Xoagub told Nampa on Thursday that a fire was detected at around 18h45 on Wednesday night on board the MV Chamarel, which was situated three kilometres (km) offshore at Mile 68 and about 10 km outside the town of Henties Bay.
The fire, which originated from the left (port) side of the ship, worsened at around 19h56.
Crew members of the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources research vessel, the Nathaniel Maxuilili, helped to extinguish the fire, which was finally put out at around 03h40 on Thursday morning.
“We are not certain what caused the fire and cannot specify what damage was caused at this stage,” Xoagub noted.
Smoke could still be seen pouring from the ship when Nampa visited the site on Thursday morning.
The MV Chamarel was built in 1974 and originates from Port Louis in Mauritius. The 135-metre long and 18-metre wide vessel is in Namibia to lay fibre optic cables.
The crew members’ agents, Express Services, declined to comment on the incident.