Ship on fire at Synchrolift

Floris Steenkamp

A fishing vessel caught fire at the Walvis Bay Syncrolift on Wednesday after welding and cutting work set the accommodation quarters of the vessel alight. Thanks to the initial steps taken by people who were aboard the vessel at the time the fire star-ted, and subsequent quick response by the Walvis Bay fire brigade, the fire was promptly under control and extinguished.

“People were conducting hot works on the vessel”, explained the fire chief of the Walvis Bay municipal traffic department, Dennis Basson yesterday. Hot works refer to welding and cut-ting work which are generating heat.
According to Basson the hot works heated up the vessel’s hull and conducted the heat to combustible inner-layers of the vessel, which in this case was wood panelling lining the accommodation quarters.
“The wooden panelling started to burn. The people on board took the right steps to fight the fire when they realised there was a fire emergency. We also responded without delay when the emergency call came in. Four of our firefighters entered the section of the vessel that was burning self-containing breathing apparatuses”, explained Basson.
He expressed his relief that no one was injured in the fire, and that the fire was extinguished before it spread to the rest of the vessel. On the picture herewith: a fire truck with the vessel that burnt in the background.

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