The Hong Kong-registered chemical tanker Maritime Maisie suffered a catastrophic fire after a collision in waters off Busan, South Korea. On 29 December 2013, at around 0215 South Korean time, approximately 9.2 nautical miles from Busan, the 2003-built Maritime Maisie collided with the car carrier Gravity Highway, which was on sea trials from Hyundai’s Mipo Shipyard.
According to South Korea’s Yonhap news agency, the collision caused an immediate fire on board the tanker. The South Korean authorities deployed 16 coastguard boats and a number of navy vessels and helicopters to the scene for rescue. A total of 91 personnel – 27 crew members from the tanker and 64 from the car carrier– were rescued by the coastguard, with some sustaining light burns, but nobody was seriously injured.
Firefighters brought the blaze under control at about 1000 local time. The 44,404dwy Maritime Maisie, which was en route from Busan to Ningbo, was fully laden with 29,337 tonnes of flammable chemicals when the collision occurred; officials report that 4,000 tonnes of Paraxylene and Acrylonitrile were lost in the blaze, but no spill has been detected. AM