The ship when crossing the Atlantic on her way from Charleston to Antwerp suffered an explosion in a container on July 14. The resulting fire spread to other containers and the ship had to be abandoned by her crew, two of whom died. The ship was then 1,000 miles from land.
The ship, managed by NSB Niederelbe Schiff GmbH, of Hamburg, is on charter to the Mediterranean Shipping Co. The salvage contract was placed with Smit International, of the Netherlands.
By July 29, the MSC Flaminia had been towed to a waiting position some 240 miles from the British coast while a decision was made about taking her into a sheltered coastal area where the salvage operation could continue. The ship had a 10 deg list and the fire remained under control.
On Aug 10, Helmut Ponarth, the chief executive of Reedier NSB, said: “I consider it shocking that in this situation a ship under German flag does not receive permission from European countries to call at a port. Without such permission, which can only be granted by European coastal states, the salvage of the ship is not possible and the success of the operation is compromised.”