Video: Crew Rescued from Burning Cargo Ship off Taiwan

cargo ship fire
Crew awaiting evacuation from the cargo ship (Taiwan Coast Guard)

Published Jun 12, 2024 1:14 PM by The Maritime Executive


Taiwan’s Coast Guard and National Airborne Services Corp. coordinated to execute the rescue of 12 crewmembers from a small, coastal cargo ship. Three of the crewmembers were badly burned with two being airlifted from the vessel to a hospital on shore.

The first reports of the fire aboard the Hui Feng, a 170-foot (52-meter) coastal cargo ship, were received by the command around 0800 local time, this morning, June 12. A helicopter was dispatched to the location approximately 17 miles southwest of Kaohsiung and found the vessel with heavy smoke. It initially conducted high and low-altitude reconnaissance.

The captain of the ship told the authorities that the crew had been fighting the fire for approximately an hour. Reports said the fire erupted after an explosion and was involving the engine room.

Two crewmembers, one from Taiwan and another from Indonesia, were severely burned, and the decision was made to airlift them off the vessel. 




The firefight was continuing, and initially the crew thought they had extinguished it, but it reignited. The helicopter was going to return to the scene, but three vessels coordinated by the Coast Guard reached the scene by approximately 1000. At that time, the captain of the Hui Feng ordered the remaining crewmembers to abandon ship, and they were transferred to one of the Coast Guard vessels. 

Another of the crewmembers, a 75-year-old from Taiwan also reportedly suffered burns to his hands and face. He was transferred by the Coast Guard to a hospital.

Reports differ on whether the fire has now been extinguished aboard the cargo ship. The Coast Guard and Navy are monitoring the drifting ship. They are saying there have been no signs of pollution but are warning there are 45 tons of diesel fuel aboard.