Athena goes up in flames

In World News on November 5, 2010 at 6:57 pm

By: Courtney Harrington

When making its way to its next fishing location, the ship known as Athena caught fire. Photo courtesy of Google images

            In the mid-month of October, a fishing vessel known as “Athena” caught fire in the Atlantic Ocean. The ship was making its way to its next fishing location when fire broke out in the processing area on deck. “The fire appears to have started in packing material stored on the port side of the ship,” the company stated that owns the vessel. The boat was built in 1992 with a maximum capacity of 125 people. It was even rebuilt in China this year after enduring a previous fire. According to the company, the cause of the outbreak is still unknown.

            While the ship was traveling place to place, the crew consisted of 111 men and women. The members on board included Russians, Chinese, Peruvians and Scandinavians. When the vessel caught fire, 98 of the crew members were evacuated from the ship. The large group of people was crammed onto 11 life rafts. Unfortunately, while the majority of the people onboard were able to escape the flames, 13 members stayed behind in attempt to control the fire and “pilot the ship to port.” Luckily, the crew was able to contain the fire in one compartment area of the ship.

            Coast guards were alerted around six o’clock that morning with the news of the fire that had broken out on the ship. Five other ships close to Athena also responded to the incident. The ship was 230 miles off the coast of the British Isles of Scilly, making it difficult for those on land to reach the vessel. Athena was just far enough out to where planes could only stay over the rescue scene for about 20 minutes before having to turn back for shore. Luckily, one of the ships came to the aid of the flaming vessel.

            Vega was one of the five boats to respond to the accident of Athena. Vega just so happened to be near the ship when the fire broke out. The 98 people that were stranded on the 11 life boats were taken aboard Vega. The coast guards claimed that the men and women transferred from the life boats onto Vega were lucky to have had no injuries.

            Fortunately, the flames did not sink the ship. The 13 men aboard the vessel have been guiding it back towards shore. It is moving at the speed of about 10 miles per hour and is expected to port on Thursday, November 4. All 111 men and women, at this point, have been reported safe.

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