The clean-up operations are continuing at the Ship Repair Jetty 2 in the Port of Durban, where a fire broke out on Thursday, 14 February 2019, aboard a fishing trawler, Tropical I.  The vessel was docked at Repair Jetty 2 for its bi-annual maintenance repairs when the blaze erupted in the accommodation area of the vessel at approximately 14h00 on Thursday, 14 February 2019. The repair work was being carried out by a private Mozambican Ship Repair Contractor, at the repair quay owned by Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA).

Emergency services on scene included the SAPS team (Forensic, Diving & Rescue Unit), eThekwini Fire and Emergency Services, Immigration Services and Spilltech. eThekwini Fire Department managed to extinguish the fire completely and successfully boarded the trawler on Thursday, 14 February 2019. As of Friday, 15 February 2019, the pumping of fuel and water from the vessel has been completed and the vessel is now completely upright.

The safety of our working environment remains our first concern and we are extremely distressed that this incident has occurred. Our thoughts and prayers are with the loved ones of the six foreign crew members who lost their lives during this tragic incident on our shores. An investigation is underway and we are cooperating fully with the relevant authorities.

Tropical 1 on fire at Durban Dry Dock
Tropical 1 on fire at Durban Dry Dock

Further details may be obtained from the Private Ship Repair Company as they deem appropriate.