Helicopters and a boat evacuated 23 crew members from a car carrier ship off the Netherlands early Wednesday, after a fire killed at least one sailor, the Dutch coastguard said.
Rescue personnel received a call shortly after midnight (2200 GMT Tuesday) saying a fire had started on the Fremantle Highway, a Panamanian-registered ship with some 3,000 vehicles on board, about 14.5 nautical miles (27 kilometres) off the northern Dutch island of Ameland.
“All 23 crew members have now been evacuated off the ship,” the Dutch coastguard said on its website.
“The crew tried to put out the fire themselves, but failed. Unfortunately one person died and several others were injured,” it added.
The Fremantle Highway is an 18,500-tonne car carrier ship and was sailing between Bremerhaven in Germany and Port Said in Egypt, according to the marinetraffic.com website, when the blaze broke out.
“The blaze is still raging on board,” the coastguard said, adding that the ship was listing.
Salvage vessels were on the scene trying to put out the blaze and prevent the ship from sinking, the NOS national broadcaster said.
“We are taking into account all scenarios,” a coastguard official told the NOS.
The possible cause of the fire was an electric vehicle, one of some 25 on board, the official said.