Fire Breaks Out Aboard Ship at Harland & Wolff

Courtesy Harland & Wolff

Published Apr 12, 2024 7:44 PM by The Maritime Executive


On Thursday, a fire broke out aboard a vessel under repair at the Harland and Wolff Shipyard in Belfast, prompting an evacuation. 

According to the shipbuilder, the fire broke out in a tank space and shoreside firefighters were called in. All personnel were safely evacuated, and no injuries were reported. The cause of the fire has already been determined as "accidental," but an investigation is still ongoing, Harland and Wolff said in a statement. 

"Harland and Wolff takes safety of all personnel as the most important priority," the shipbuilder added. 

Harland & Wolff was once the builder of some of the world's most iconic vessels, including the ill-fated Titanic. Like so many Western shipbuilders, it came under heavy competitive pressure from Asia in the 1990s and 2000s, and its business declined, but it has been on a turnaround trajectory since it was acquired out of bankruptcy in 2019. It has picked up new government business, like a $66 million project to revive the former Royal Navy mine-hunting vessel HMS Quorn for export to Romania. It recently partnered with Spanish shipbuilder Navantia on a successful bid to supply three dry stores auxiliaries to the Royal Navy, a contract worth a staggering $2 billion. 

It also has an expanding portfolio of small commercial projects, like a contract to build a fleet of garbage barges for waste-management firm Cory Group - its first newbuilds in two decades. The ship-repair side of its business is also thriving with contracts for ferry, cruise, defense and offshore operators.