Posted on April 11, 2019 by Ilias Kiritsis
A fire broke out on the St. Vincent-Grenadines-flagged Ferry, Gem Star in the morning of April the 8th. Due to the extent of the fire, the Ferry has been reduced to a floating hull.
The incident occurred near Kingston Bay at approximately 10:00 am in the morning.
The vessel was undergoing welding works at the time, which according to initial reports, might have led to the fire.
The fire initially started on the lower decks of the vessel, near the passenger compartment.
The first crew members who rushed to the scene of the fire, thought that due to the amount of smoke, the blaze had started in the vessel galley.
The vessel issued a distress call which was picked up by the local maritime authorities.
The tug, Captain Bim arrived on the scene and began spouting water streams to the lower decks of the ferry in an attempt to stop the fire from spreading.
The St. Vincent & Grenadines Coast Guard had also arrived on the scene with two vessels.
The smoke partially subsided by 11:00 am, but the firefighting crews on site were unable to fully put out the fire.
By 18:00 pm, the fire had managed to reignite, which ended up causing significant structural damage to the vessel.
“Unfortunately, the M.V.Gem Star will cease operations to the Southern Grenadines until further notice. This announcement is particularly difficult for us as we love serving you, our customers more so family and friends. The damage to our dear Gem Star was extensive,” said a representative of the company that manages the Ferry.
Unfortunately, the extent of the fire was such that the ship will probably have to be declared a total loss.
Thankfully, there were no injuries reported due to the fire.