On Tuesday 21st June, 2022 around 0900 hrs the Regional Rescue Coordination Centre (RCC) in Toulon, France received a distress call from the 334 metre containership MSC RACHELE that due to engine room fire , followed by an explosion 3 injured crew members needed a medical evacuation (Medevac).
She was sailing between Naples and the port of Fos Sur Mer near Marseille, France when the fire broke out in the engine room and she was around 20 miles south of Cape Cepet at the time. Under the SAR RCC emergency plan an assessment team was dispatched to the containership to determine the status of the machinery, power, status of the vessel and her cargo, and the consequences of the fire and explosion. The first teams aboard reported that the fire on the 107,466 dwt vessel seemed to be under control but that the vessel was drifting without power.
The RCC coordinated dispatching a survey team and medical assistance to the containership. They were also assisted by the French Navy Amphibious Assault Helicopter Carrier FS TONNERE L 9014 which was operating in the area at the time of the accident.
FS TONNERE L 9014 at Grand Harbour back to October 2011
The three injured crewmembers were airlifted by a French Navy helicopter . Two of them with serious burns have been transferred to the military hospital in Toulon and the third is in the city hospital.
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Published – Sunday 3rd July, 2022.