Maersk is the owner of the drifting freighter. - Adrian Brown / Sipa USA / SIPA

A container ship of the Danish shipowner Maersk, victim of an engine failure following a fire, is "adrift" in the east of Guadeloupe, with on board "1,300 tonnes of fuel and other polluting products, "announced Tuesday the prefect of Martinique. The container ship "Maersk Vilnius", located 190 nautical miles (350 km) east of Guadeloupe, reported Sunday the start of a fire located in the engine room, said in a statement the prefect, delegate of government for state action at sea.

The fire was "brought under control a few hours later", but "the material damage (...) did not allow the propulsion engines to function. The container ship is thus on the loose ”. The ship "contains nearly 1,300 tonnes of fuel and other pollutants", which "were not affected by the fire" and "remain safe".

It drifts towards the coasts of the Lesser Antilles

It "is currently drifting west at an average speed of 1.4 knots". In order to anticipate the rapprochement of this vessel from the Lesser Antilles, two tugs were put on alert by the Regional Operational Center for Surveillance and Rescue Antilles-Guyana (CROSS AG). An evaluation and intervention team (EEI) designated by the CROSS AG is also ready to be projected.

The company owning the container ship has also set sail from “Trinidad” for the tug Alp Defender, an assistance vessel with high towing capacities, which should arrive in the area on Wednesday morning to take the container ship in tow and “the take them safely to a repair site ”, according to the prefecture.


Faced with water shortage, the prefect of Guadeloupe requisitions operators


Coman, Martial and Lemar, "the children of Guadeloupe", will make a donation to the CHU of Pointe-à-Pitre

  • Sea
  • West Indies
  • Guadeloupe
  • Society
  • Cargo