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  • Amaltal Columbia on fire.

    A fishing vessel was "a fireball from the bow to the stern" this morning, Talley's Group managing director Peter Talley says.

    Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand received an urgency call from Nelson based trawler - the Amaltal Columbia -at 5.24am alerting them to the fire. This was elevated to a mayday call at around 5.30am.



    Speaking at 9am while the drama was unfolding off the Canterbury coast, Talley said at that point half the 43-strong crew on board the trawler had been transferred to Independent Fisheries Russian trawler, the Ivan Golubets, with the officers about to also abandon ship.

    "It's an absolute disaster," he said, "but everyone's okay, there's no panic there at all". Garden City Helicopter pilot Stuart Farquar spent an hour and a half hovering over the boat, he said the evacuation was completed safely.

    "Not too much drama, a lot of smoke from time to time coming out of the vessel, there appeared to be a lot of smoke coming out of the engine exhaust which stopped, I assume when the engine stopped as well," he told ONE News.

    Initially Farquar said he was called in to take firefighters out to the vessel, but that plan changed when it emerged the fire was too fierce to be put out and the crew should be evacuated instead.

    Mark Allison, general manager Independent Fisheries, said the Ivan Goluebts made an emergency dash from Lyttelton Harbour following the mayday call and arrived at the burning ship at 8am.

    Four crew members, including the captain, remained on board the ship to ascertain damage and also see if catch could be saved, as others were evacuated, the Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand told ONE News earlier.

    Maritime New Zealand confirmed afterwards that everyone had been safely evacuated from the burning ship.

    Talley said the Columbia was four hours off Lyttelton and had lost all power and steering. Hotspots could be seen along the 64-metre ship's hull from the air.

    Crew fought fire

    The crew were trained and drilled in fire safety. Some had got to the seat of the fire and fought it until their breathing gear was exhausted.

    "It appears that the fire started in the fishmeal hold. The crew fought it for three or four hours. They had to cut the fishing gear and leave it behind so they could get under way. So it doesn't look good."

    "It was so bad at one stage the skipper had to abandon the wheelhouse because of the thick black smoke."

    The meal hold had been sealed off to starve the fire of oxygen.

    Fire Service assistant area manager for Tasman-Marlborough, Rob Allan, said ships had a similar evacuation plan to any building on land, so there were particular areas people would be evacuated to.
    Crew members also underwent training in ship fire fighting, so they would be able to initially carry out some parts of the task, he said.

    "Part of their training to get their tickets is fire fighting skills and I can assure you they take it extremely seriously. You can't jump out a window and walk away there."

    The Columbia was being captained by Chris Fitzpatrick, from Nelson, who Talley said was "our top skipper".

    Talley said his senior fishing executives from Nelson had all been sent to Lyttelton, where the crew would be taken.

    Talley's had owned the Columbia for 20 years, taking the ship "brand new out of the shipyard in Norway", he said.

    An RNZAF Orion was in position above the ship monitoring the situation, with two boats responding to the mayday.

    ONE News reporter Simon Bradwell said that thermal imaging from the P3 Orion suggests the fire is spreading to the port side.

    There was a 3 metre swell in the area with winds of 15-25 knots (30-45kmh).

    At 9.15am Maritime New Zealand spokesman Steve Rendle said with the safe transfer of the crew completed, the situation would be monitored and updates given throughout the day.

    The Transport Accident Investigation Commission had opened an inquiry into the fire. Two investigators had been assigned to the inquiry and were monitoring the developing situation from Wellington until the vessel and recovered crew's movements were confirmed.

    The Amaltal Columbia

    The Amaltal Columbia and sister ship Amaltal Atlantis were two of the biggest deep sea trawlers in the Talley's fleet.

    They were factory ships and most of their crews, drawn from the Nelson region and around New Zealand, work in the factories, which produce fillets of various grades frozen and packed, with the remains of the fish rendered down into powdered fish meal in a cooking process.

    A full hold contained 550 tons of processed fish and 160 tonnes of fishmeal. Trips averaged 45 days.

    The two boats had just had a highly successful season in the West Coast hoki fishery.

    Talley's was recognised across the fishing industry for the high standard of maintenance on its vessels.

    This is not the first time the vessel has been in trouble - at 8.15am on September 3, 2005 the Amaltal Columbia grounded about 100 metres northwest of the Town Wharf berth at Bluff. It was refloated later that morning.
    Last edited by Kiwi Sailor; September 12th, 2012, 04:44. Reason: Add Photo.

  • #2
    Re: Amaltal Columbia on fire.

    Good report Kiwi Sailor. Read it first on CVF.

    Sorry to hear though. This was a nice trawler, built at Soviknes, I believe??

    Edith: Correction, she is one of the 20 Sterkoder Trawlers.
    Last edited by ombugge; September 12th, 2012, 05:15. Reason: Add info

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    • #3
      Re: Amaltal Columbia on fire.

      Article on shipwreck log.

      http://www.shipwrecklog.com/log/2012...ltal-columbia/

      Matthias

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      • #4
        Re: Amaltal Columbia on fire.

        Update.
        Vessel is in the port of Lyttleton. All fish and meal is being removed from the vessel. She will then be towed to Nelson for Major repairs. THis repair will take 5-6 months. I will post photo's of the vessel when she arrives here in Nelson. I hope to be able to get onboard and see and photo the damage.

        N.

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        • #5
          Re: Amaltal Columbia on fire.

          Originally posted by Kiwi Sailor View Post
          A fishing vessel was "a fireball from the bow to the stern" this morning, Talley's Group managing director Peter Talley says.

          Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand received an urgency call from Nelson based trawler - the Amaltal Columbia -at 5.24am alerting them to the fire. This was elevated to a mayday call at around 5.30am.

          Sterkoder, isn't this one of the Sterkoder-trawlers of the early 90's?
          With best regards from Jan-Olav Storli

          Administrator and Owner of CaptainsVoyage.
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          • #6
            Re: Amaltal Columbia on fire.

            Originally posted by Kiwi Sailor View Post
            I will post photo's of the vessel when she arrives here in Nelson. I hope to be able to get onboard and see and photo the damage.

            N.
            Desperatly looking for pictures from inside the wheelhouse.

            Columbia is one of the Sisters from my prototype. She is from Sterkoder, Yard Number 119 built 1989 as NEVELSK, IMO 8901418.

            http://picasaweb.google.com/11038556...00848021495090


            Matthias

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            • #7
              Re: Amaltal Columbia on fire.

              The ship was towed back home.

              http://www.stuff.co.nz/nelson-mail/n...hip-comes-home

              Matthias

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Amaltal Columbia on fire.

                The fire looks to be have been contained to all the lower spaces judging by the blackened paint on the hull. but, the fire does appear to have travelled the full length of the ship.

                I have to admit that i am impressed that the fire containment methods built into the ship worked so well in preventing the fire spreading upwards, but i have to wonder why the same containment does not appear to be evident below decks? Insulation not to the same standard?, allowing heat to transfer the fire through bulkheads?, or maybe bulkhead doors being left open in the mayhem?
                Your charts, your radar, your eyes and ears - if all 4 agree, you may proceed with caution.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Amaltal Columbia on fire.

                  Steve, in the Main Deck is the factory. There are only a few rooms in the bow named dry provision, cool provsion, freeze privision, office, meal packaging plant and laundry from frame 100 to 73. Then at the stern till frame 19 the receiving bin, some trawl stores and a workshp. You see, from frame 19 to 73 is only one room.
                  All reports i´ve read through the days sounds to me like a dust explosion. On facebook i found statements from crewmember that fishmeal is highly flamable.
                  The crew had to abandon the boat because they lost all power and so there were no pumps to fight against the flames.

                  Take a look into a german build Sterkoder her --> http://fotki.yandex.ru/users/anatoly2209/album/130029/

                  Matthias
                  Last edited by antias; September 19th, 2012, 21:40.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Amaltal Columbia on fire.

                    Thank you for that link Matthias. I should have known you would know a lot about this type of ship because of your model! Wow, there is a lot more inside her than i thought. I could see a couple of photos of the factory in that link. If it was a dust explosion then i think the crew were lucky not to have received some serious injuries.

                    The factory is a big space, but it is unfortunate that the fire could not be contained to that compartment. Do we know for certain that the fire travelled the full length of the boat? It looked like it had in the video of her being brought into port. If so i would be interested to know how the fire spread like that instead of being contained within the factory.
                    Your charts, your radar, your eyes and ears - if all 4 agree, you may proceed with caution.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Amaltal Columbia on fire.

                      Hey guys.
                      Columbia is home again in Nelson. I have sent and email to the Writer of the article and told him the black around the waterline is weed. The Engineering manager (a friend of mine) told me once they read this in the paper they water blasted the weed off. There are only two parts on the hull where heating occurred and they are about 10cm in diameter. The insulation in the factory deck saved the fire spreading up through the accommodation areas. The factory deck from the Watertight bulkhead forward of the Meal bagging room to rear bulkhead around the receiving bins is completely gutted. The rest of the ship only has smoke damage. The high building standards of Sterkoder saved this vessel along with the actions of the crew. Here are some photo's of her coming into Nelson.
                      http://www.flickr.com/photos/tarmacb...7631653419684/

                      Nick.

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