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UK-Flagged Bulk Carrier Adrift in Atlantic Ocean After Fire

The crew of a UK-flagged bulk carrier has been evacuated after a fire broke out in a cargo hold off Las Palmas in the Canary Islands.

Spain’s Salvamento Marítimo confirmed that two SAR helicopters evacuated all 24 crew members on Monday from the MV Chesire, which is carrying a cargo of ammonium nitrate fertilizer.

The fire is believed to have started due to a chemical reaction in the fertilizer that caused it to overheat.

The vessel is currently adrift in the Atlantic Ocean a few hundred miles south of Grand Canary Island. 

Salvamento Marítimo said the ship owner has hired Resolve Salvage to retrieve the vessel. The SAR tug Puntas Salinas is reportedly on scene with the Chesire. 

The Cheshire is a 56,597.8DWT (Summer) geared Supramax bulk carrier cargo vessel. The vessel has five cargo holds of a combined capacity of 71,634 cubic metres and is equipped with four cranes and cargo grabs to facilitate discharge operations in less well established ports

The Cheshire has been under Bibby Line ownership since March 2012 when she was delivered to the company direct from the Jiangsu Jinling Shipyard, PRC.

The fire was first reported on Sunday and later was denied entry to the port of Las Palmas.

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