On May 7, 2016, at 19:13 hours CET (01:13 hours local time), Maersk received information that its 4,650 TEU Safmarine Meru ship had collided with the 'Northen Jasper', a German-owned container vessel while en route from Qingdao to Ningbo in China, which resulted in severe damage to the vessel, with the Safmarine Meru catching fire.
At approximately 22:30 hours CET (4:30 hours local time) same day, Maersk Line received confirmation shortly after the collision that all crew were safe, sound, and accounted for on board the Northern Jasper container vessel.
The collision took place around 120 nautical miles East of Ningbo, with the Safmarine Meru’s crew of 22 people abandoning the vessel shortly after.
The transfer of the crew from the “Northern Jasper” to shore is on-going and when on shore the crew will be provided with medical support and crisis counselling in the extent it is required.
Palle Brodsgaard Laursen, Head of Ship Management in Maersk Line, said: “We are very relieved that our crew are safe and have not suffered any serious injuries. The safety of our people, at sea and on shore, is paramount to us.
“It is too early to comment on the circumstances surrounding the collision and fire. Our focus now is to put the fire out and get access to the vessel to assess damage to the vessel and cargo.”
Safmarine Meru is afloat and anchored and firefighting was initiated Sunday morning local time.
While there is no visible fire, there is smoke and firefighting continues. The Chinese authorities are on the scene and Maersk Line is cooperating.
Customers with cargo on board the Safmarine Meru will be contacted directly.
Maersk Line has since released its final update, stating that the ship has been towed safely to the Port of Ningbo.
Fact File: Safmarine Meru is a 4,650 TEU container vessel, built in 2006 and sails under the Hong Kong flag. At the time of the collision, Safmarine Meru had less than 400 full containers on board and was deployed on Maersk Line’s TP18 service.