Atlas aframax unwelcome in Las Palmas after fire onboard

Athens: An aframax tanker owned by Atlas Maritime is waiting for the Canary Islands to grant it a port of refuge after a fire onboard immobilised the vessel in the North Atlantic.

Engines onboard Lady M (115,400 dwt, built 2003; pictured) failed on May 14 after an electrical fire occurred in two diesel-engine control panels in the engine control room, Atlas confirmed to Splash today.

The port of Las Palmas in the Canaries has so far allowed the vessel permission to approach the port so that its state may be better assessed. The vessel has been waiting for a port since around May 27.

“We are awaiting permission from local port authorities to call at Las Palmas port as a place of refuge, for carrying out repairs the soonest,” Atlas said.

The Spanish tug Hellas is towing the stricken vessel towards the port of Las Palmas in the Canary Islands, around 200 nm away. The Las Palmas Port Authority has asked that a second tug be employed to help tow the vessel before the port will consider granting the tanker entry.

The vessel is laden with 90,000 tonnes of gasoline and was en route to Houston when it stalled in the North Atlantic, south of the Azores.

Atlas said the fire was quickly extinguished by the crew, who are all reported to be safe and unharmed.

The ship’s hull is intact and undamaged, the Athens-based carrier said. “There is no pollution and the situation is under control,” the company said today.

Environmentalists and locals in the Canaries have voiced concerns about the stricken tanker. Just weeks ago, a Russian fishing boat caught fire and subsequently sank after being denied entry to port in the Islands, leaving a six-kilometre-long oil slick.


Holly Birkett

Holly is Splash's Online Editor and correspondent for the UK and Mediterranean. She has been a maritime journalist since 2010, and has written for and edited several trade publications. She is currently studying for membership of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers. In 2013, Holly won the Seahorse Club's Social Media Journalist of the Year award. She is currently based in London.
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