Engine Room Fire Halts Traffic in Dardanelles

Turkish Coast Guard Responds to Emergency Aboard Bulker Vessel AK Discovery


The Directorate General of Coastal Safety in Turkey has reported a temporary suspension of traffic along the crucial Dardanelles Strait, necessitated by the response to an engine room fire aboard a bulker vessel. The incident involved the AK Discovery, a vessel with a deadweight tonnage of 7,500, which was en route to the Black Sea and the Bulgarian port of Varna when the fire was reported.

Constructed in 2001, the AK Discovery is registered in Barbados and was traveling from Egypt, under the ownership and management of entities based in Greece. Initial assessments indicate that the fire originated in the engine room, with visible smoke emanating from the 107.5-meter vessel, prompting a halt in its passage through the critical waterway.

In response to the emergency, Turkish authorities dispatched two rescue boats, a fast response vessel, and a pilot boat to aid the disabled bulker. Visual documentation depicts the rescue boats engaging in fire suppression activities, focusing on the funnel and stern regions of the vessel. Subsequent reports confirmed the successful extinguishment of the fire, while ongoing efforts involved the continued cooling of the ship’s affected areas.

Following a comprehensive safety assessment, Rescue-13 was tasked with towing the bulker to a secure anchorage point, allowing for the resumption of traffic flow within the Dardanelles.

An investigation led by the Turkish Coast Guard has been initiated to ascertain the root cause of the fire and to reinforce the safety protocols governing the waterway. Notably, the AK Discovery had undergone a Port State Inspection in Egypt earlier in April, where issues concerning its auxiliary engine were identified as falling short of regulatory requirements. Despite these findings, the vessel was not subject to detention during the inspection process.

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