More than 100 emergency services personnel, including 53 firefighters, tackled a huge blaze on the Ocean Drover – an empty livestock ship – while she was docked in Fremantle Port in Western Australia.
The fire on the nine-deck vessel, which is capable of transporting 75,000 sheep or 18,000 cattle, was contained to the ship’s bridge and accommodation quarters on the two upper decks, and is believed to have started in the crew quarters of the vessel. Confined spaces made it difficult to tackle the blaze and, at one stage, firefighters were being cycled through on ten-minute shifts to reduce fatigue in the very hot environment. Other firefighters hosed down the outside of the ship in an attempt to cool the area.
Four people were taken to hospital after the fire broke out, one in a critical condition. 46 less-injured crew members were assessed on the scene. The cause of the fire is not yet known and the Australian Transport Safety Bureau is investigating the incident.