According to a statement made by the Bristol Port Company, a loading crane with a hydraulic power pack caught fire whilst loading the ship, later identified as Greek bulk carrier, Thalassini, which was carrying barley for export. The ignition is believed to be accidental, and no casualties were reported in connection with the fire.
The Svitzer Avon crew were in constant contact with the mobile dockmaster, who was commanding the scene, as well as with the shore side firefighters. The Svitzer Hawk, as well as the Multratug 27, arrived on scene shortly after the Svitzer Avon commenced the firefighting, and provided additional assistance in extinguishing the flames. After twenty minutes of combined efforts, all three tugs were ordered to stop water and standby. Their efforts were successful, the fire had been extinguished, and the Svitzer Avon proceeded to their berth to moor up.
Shaun Arthur, Master on-board the Svitzer Avon, noted that the crew’s firefighting efforts were merely “all in a day’s work”, a modest statement but hopefully their days will be filled with more jobs than fires.
The port is now assessing the damages, which hopefully are limited thanks to the timely and coordinated response by all involved. The fire brigade have since closed the incident.
Well done to the crews of Avon and Hawk for helping out in the Bristol port.