Update: Norman Atlantic Fire, 478 Rescued, At Least 7 Dead

As of Monday evening, local time, 478 passengers and crew have been rescued from the burning ro/ro ferry Norman Atlantic, which caught fire Sunday morning around 6 AM in the Adriatic Sea.  At least 7 people have died.  Many of the passengers and crew were evacuated by helicopter.  The rescue was hampered by torrential rain and strong winds reaching 100 kilometers per hour.  As reported by CNN: It’s not known how the fire started, but it’s believed to have originated in the parking bay. A truck driver told the Greek news media that trucks filled with oil were “packed like sardines,” their cargo scraping the ceiling, which could have set off sparks in rough seas to start a fire, he surmised. Greek authorities said the vessel’s fire doors appeared to have failed, which allowed the flames to spread quickly.

Huge plumes of black smoke billow from burning Norman Atlantic ferry

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2 Responses to Update: Norman Atlantic Fire, 478 Rescued, At Least 7 Dead

  1. John Barltrop says:

    Although I was not there, reading reports of the disaster and hearing what survivors have said and having spent several years at sea and still having an involvement in the maritime industry as a lecturer in marine engineering, safety and fire fighting at sea (STCW Certificate of Safety Courses), I make the following comments and ask several questions that will need to be answered in the inquiry of this ferry fire.
    Why is it that the same old tragic story still goes on………NO COMMUNICATION, no directions to passengers as to where to assemble, obtaining and use of life jackets (since Costa Concordia I thought that before a passenger vessel puts to sea muster stations etc., should be carried out – it is obvious that this did not occur), fire doors not operational….these were supposedly checked. What type of system was the fixed fire system, did it operate, from all accounts as to the speed with which the fire spread, it would appear at first glance that it did not operate……if not WHY NOT? What about directions re the loading of vehicles on the car deck, was this carried out according to the vessel’s standing orders, or was it overloaded or loaded incorrectly.
    One would think that with all the ferry disasters that have plagued the maritime industry world wide over the last twenty or thirty years that something would be gained from them……..but, apparently not much.
    Well done to all those who had a part in rescue operations under extreme conditions……..again well done, any many people owe their lives to your courageous and heroic efforts in the face of adversity.

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