A crew comprising 15 individuals has reportedly fled a Dutch-flagged vessel in the middle of the sea when its engine room caught on fire.
It had sailed between Latvia and Lithuania early this morning when the crew abandoned the cargo vessel off the Latvian capital, in the Gulf of Riga.
Crew members tried extinguishing the fire, but owing to unsuccessful attempts, the master of the ship decided to evacuate and then abandon the vessel.
Cargo on the 168m-long container vessel — The Escape — weighed about 17,000 tons, Cor Radings, a spokesperson associated with JR Shipping, said that the ship was made up of all sorts of goods.
However, it must be evident if the container vessel was loaded with hazardous material.
A salvage firm has been contracted to respond to the ongoing incident and safeguard the vessel.
The crew members escaped without injury and got on a nearby vessel named Kairit, safely transporting them to Riga Bay.
Lithuanian fire services were dispatched from the Klaipeda and empowered with two firefighting tugboats. The cause of the fire is not known yet.
References: Sky News, News-Times