​Major fire on boxship San Felipe, Port Klang. Media mistook San Felipe for Al Riffa

Oct. 29, 2014 at 08:15 by Mikhail Voytenko in Accidents

Container ships Al Riffa and San Felipe allided at around 1930 LT Oct 28 in Westport, Port Klang, Malaysia, causing a major fire.

According to media, citing authorities, San Felipe was moored at the time of allision at Warf 20, while Al Riffa was under way, presumably leaving the port after completing cargo operation. Fire erupted on board of both vessels, on cargo decks in containers. San Felipe remained docked, fire reported to be quickly extinguished. Fire on board of Al Riffa developed into a major one, vessel was taken out of port.

According to AIS and pics if look closely, it was the other way around – San Felipe was entering port and allided with berthed Al Riffa. Al Riffa remained docked with fire being quickly extinguished, while San Felipe had to be towed out of Westport, and not at a distance of 1 kilometer, as media said, but at a distance of 5 nautical miles, and anchored. At 0300 UTC Oct 29 vessels remained in the same position – Al Riffa docked in Westport, and San Felipe anchored on road, with at least two tugs nearby, meaning the fire is still on. No casualties or injures reported. No data on dangerous goods on board of San Felipe, though surely there are some.

The whole story was twisted (including industry media, such as Maritime Executive and Hellenic Shipping) because first reports were made by journalists who looked at a picture where San Felipe with fire on board seems to be moored. Look closely – San Felipe is off pier, while on the left a piece of a bow may be seen – that should be Al Riffa.

​Major fire on boxship San Felipe, Port Klang. Media mistook San Felipe for Al Riffa

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