Posted on June 18, 2019 by Ilias Kiritsis
The Panama-flagged K-line owned Car Carrier, Diamond Highway, was abandoned and left adrift after a fire broke out on the vessel in the evening of June the 15th.
The incident occurred at approximately 11:30 pm in the evening, while the vessel was transiting near the north-eastern end of the Spratly Islands Archipelago, Reed Bank, South China Sea.
The fire quickly spread, forcing all 25 crew members present in the vessel to abandon ship.
A fellow car carrier operating in the region, the Singapore-flagged, Canopus Leader responded to the vessel’s distress call and rescued the seafarers.
The Canopus Leader is currently underway to Thailand, where it will drop off the distressed seafarers.
Currently, the Diamond Highway is disabled, left drifting in the South China Sea.
The vessel’s AIS has gone off, suggesting that the fire has now spread to the bridge and is starting to affect major ship functions.
The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) has been monitoring the vessel; the PCG patrol ship Cabra is currently sailing alongside the ship, so as to provide regular updates as to its course and status.
In the meantime, K-line has employed the offshore tug, Lewek Hydra to assist with salvaging operations on the vessel.
The Diamond Highway was originally en route from Singapore to Batangas Philippines.
There’s been no report of injuries or major pollution so far.
Image Courtesy of Marine Traffic