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What kind of cars are aboard freighter Fremantle Highway?

July 31, 2023


The Fremantle Highway was en route from Bremerhaven in Germany to the Suez Canal entrance, Port Said in Egypt. According to shipping company K Line’s sailing schedule, the freighter’s final destination was Singapore, Taiwan and Japan. On the night of Tuesday, July 25, to Wednesday, July 26, things went wrong. A fire broke out aboard the freighter just off the coast north of Ameland, part of the Dutch Wadden Islands.

Large-scale rescue operation

How could that fire have started? Presumably, a battery-electric car caught fire, after which other cars caught fire as well. A large-scale rescue operation was launched to evacuate all 23 crew members – 21 of whom were from India. One of them sadly perished. The other crew members also needed assistance due to the intense smoke and fire. They were transferred to several hospitals in the Netherlands.

3,783 cars on board

The Fremantle Highway carries a total of 3,783 cars, reports Japanese shipping company K-Line. Press Office Bloomberg reports that at least BMW and Mercedes-Benz models are affected. A total of about 500 electric cars would be on board, but it is not clear if this number includes hybrid models. Which models are on board remains secret. That’s because K Line has trade secrets and is not allowed to say anything about the brands aboard the car freighter.

Towing to safe location

The Department of Public Works and the Coast Guard continuously keep an eye on the freighter. The goal is to tow the Fremantle Highway to a safer location off the coast of Ameland. Towing of the Fremantle Highway began on Sunday, July 30. The smoke from the freighter diminished significantly, and the salvage crew Multraship and Smit Salvage immediately took advantage of that.

Follow-up steps

The Fremantle Highway will be towed to a temporary location about 16 kilometers north of Schiermonnikoog and Ameland. This is extremely slow, at just 5.5 kilometers per pure. At the new location, the vessel is better sheltered if the weather deteriorates and other boating traffic is not affected. The next steps are not yet known. In any case, the goal is to prevent sinking.

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