In yet another tragic accident involving livestock carriers, the Panama-flagged Nabolsi 1 (1,405 dwt; built 1972) caught fire yesterday while on transit from Beirut to Alexandria. The fire took place off Lerapetra, on Crete’s southern coast. No reason for the fire has yet been given and the scale of the damage is not yet known. The Greek Coast Guard and nearby NATO vessels were deployed to put out the fire. The very old ship is owned by Greece’s RJA Group.
This is the third livestock carrier incident in recent months. On May 15, a livestock carrier caught fire in Indonesian waters. The Indonesian-flagged ship, Asia Raya (built 1985), was carrying 634 cows. A fire broke out after the ship had left Kupang port in West Timor and was five miles from the port, heading for East Kalimantan.
On July 12, another livestock carrier sunk off the coast of the Gulf of Aden with all animals perishing and two of the 29 crew still missing. The more than 30-year-old ship was en route from Somalia to the United Arab Emirates when it sank in rough seas. It was believed to be carrying more than 3,000 animals.
All three ships involved were all over 30 years old. Calls to ban ships carrying livestock have escalated dramatically in recent months following these incidents.