Varios accidentes 6 marzo




Emergency support tug tows stricken passenger ferry to France

06 Mar 2023by Martyn Wingrove


A damaged ferry was towed by a French Coastguard tug across the Channel to France with 200 people on board


A fire in the engineroom was tackled, contained and extinguished by crew on Isle of Innisfree 3 March, as it sailed from Dover, UK to Calais, France. The blaze halted propulsion on the 1992-built, 28,833-gt ropax ship and a salvage tug from France had to tow it to Calais with 94 passengers and 89 crew on board.

As reports of the situation reached authorities, three Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) lifeboats were launched from Dungeness, Dover and Ramsgate, Kent, UK as a precaution.

Passengers and crew were mustered to emergency stations on the 163-m ferry and remained safe and accounted for as the ship was towed at night to Calais by 2010-built Abeille Normandie. They arrived in Calais 4 March and passengers were disembarked.

UK Coastguard said the vessel confirmed the fire was extinguished, but it had experienced technical issues. Investigations are underway into the reasons behind the fire. Irish Ferries said its crews trained regularly to deal with incidents at sea, and this training was put into action and the fire was extinguished.

It is not known how long Isle of Innisfree will be out of action and vehicles and passengers booked on imminent sailings have been transferred to alternative sailings.

Isle of Innisfree was built by Boelwerf shipyard in Belgium with maximum capacity for 83 freight vehicles and 1,140 passengers.


Engineroom fires and breakdowns caused several maritime accidents at the start of March.

Tugs and a dredger were deployed 4 March to assist an Evergreen container ship that grounded while en route from Montevideo, Uruguay to Argentina, following a power blackout. At least two tugs were able to free and refloat Ever Lively and tow the 2014-built, 8,000 TEU ship to Buenos Aires.

Another container ship, MSC Istanbul, suffered an engine breakdown and grounded while transiting the Suez Canal in a northern direction 5 March. The 2015-built, Liberia-flagged ship was stuck in Lake Timsah, Ismailia, blocking the way for northbound ships. Suez Canal Authority emergency response vessels refloated the 399-m ship and MSC Istanbul resumed its route to the Mediterranean and on to its destination in Portugal.

Crew were evacuated from general cargo ship Ho Chuang 996 as it sailed northwest of Taiwan when fire broke out in the engineroom. Taiwan Coast Guard picked up 12 crew from a liferaft in rough sea conditions and took them to a safe port. An emergency response tug extinguished the fire, but the 89-m ship remained adrift.

A salvage tug was also required to assist a product tanker in the Gibraltar Strait 3 March after it encountered engine issues. Crew were able to fix the engine fault on Blue Sun after it was disabled outside of Algeciras, Spain. Search and rescue tug Luz de Mar responded to the situation, but engines on Blue Sun were restarted and it resumed its voyage.