Abandoned Car Carrier Stable but Still On Fire off Dutch Island After 34 Hours - Video – Heavy Lift News
27 Jul 2023

Abandoned Car Carrier Stable but Still On Fire off Dutch Island After 34 Hours – Video

Around midnight, Tuesday – Wednesday, the Dutch Lifeboat Institution, KNRM, received a report of a fire on board the vessel Fremantle Highway north of Ameland, one of the Dutch West Frisian Islands off the North coast of the Netherlands.

The Skipper of the Lifeboat stationed on Ameland, Willard Molenaar, and his crew were the first to arrive at the ship in distress. It soon became clear that the situation was serious.

Lifeboat Anna Margaretha from KNRM Ameland


The fire had spread faster than expected, forcing several people on board to jump from the ship from a height of 20m into the water. The crew of lifeboats Anna Margaretha from KNRM Ameland and King Willem 1 from the neighbouring KNRM Schiermonnikoog station took them out of the water and to Lauwersoog, where ambulances were ready to take the wounded to the hospital. Several of the crew members were injured and there was one fatality.


Lifeboat Koning Willem 1 from KNRM Schiermonnikoog


The other crew members were removed from the vessel by the Dutch Coast Guard helicopter. A local shipping company Rederij Noordgat from the island of Terschelling also provided assistance on site.

The Fremantle Highway has nearly 3,000 cars on board, ( This was later changed to 4,000 vehicles by the shipping company ) including electric ones. This makes extinguishing the fire more complex. A salvage company has brought specialists to the Coast Guard’s tug Guardian to investigate the  possibilities of establishing a tow connection.

Today, Thursday, the Dutch Coast Guard reported:

“The Fremantle Highway is currently located 16 km north of Terschelling. The vessel is drifting in a westerly direction due to the wind and current. The Hunter still maintains an emergency towing connection to the burning vessel. The vessel is currently kept outside the traffic lanes, so that shipping traffic can pass at a safe distance.

The fire is still raging on board and smoke billows from the ship. This ensures that it is not yet safe for people to board. The ship is no longer cooled, because unnecessary amounts of water must be prevented from getting on board. This endangers the stability of the ship. This was done earlier, because the fire was more intense then.

A recovery team on board the emergency tug Guardian monitors the situation. They’re gathering information for a salvage plan.”



Video courtesy of Kustwacht Nederland (Dutch Coast Guard)


Source KNRM (the Royal Netherlands Lifeboat Institution) and Kustwacht Nederland (Dutch Coast Guard)

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