Bunkering Tanker Catches Fire in Panama

Friday July 12, 2013

A tanker used for bunkering operations in the Panama Canal area was abandoned after catching fire as it approached Colon, Panama Wednesday morning, Maritime News reports.

After a failed attempt to extinguish the fire, which began in the engine room and spread to the main deck and superstructure, the crew evacuated into a life raft.

Panama Canal authorities rescued the seamen, who were said to be in good health, and a harbour tug towed the tanker, Otilia, away from approaches to Colon.

The 8,828 dead weight tonne (dwt) ship, which was built in 1989, is owned by Mercury Maritime Tankers and managed by Star Tankers, according to industry information site Q88.