JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Nationwide Transportation Security Board has launched its investigative report on the June 4, 2020 hearth aboard a cargo ship at Blount Island.

NTSB mentioned the hearth on the Hoegh Xiamen began on the eighth deck of the ship, sparked by an improperly disconnected battery on one of many 2,400 autos onboard.

The NTSB decided that the ship’s hearth detection system was offline for the loading course of when the hearth began and wasn’t reactivated till after the smoke was first seen.

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In line with the report, the Jacksonville Fireplace and Rescue Division’s response was delayed as a result of the ship’s crusing grasp “didn’t have instantly accessible contact data for search and rescue authorities and didn’t know the way to report a fireplace to native authorities—who to name, what quantity to dial, or which frequency to make use of.”


The NTSB mentioned the primary name to emergency crews was from somebody onshore. It lists the next timetable:

  • 3:30 p.m.: Smoke first seen on the ship

  • 3:45 p.m. Ship’s hearth detection system re-activated

  • 3:49 p.m.: Ship’s crusing grasp begins making radio calls

  • 3:54 p.m.: The misery name is relayed to the U.S. Coast Guard by one other vessel

  • 3:59 p.m.: An onshore witness calls 911

  • 4:03 p.m.: The primary JFRD unit reaches the ship

In line with the report, 9 members of JFRD have been injured whereas combating the hearth, 5 significantly. The hearth burned for a complete of eight days. Not one of the vessel’s 21 crewmembers was injured.

The ship was a complete loss and greater than 2,400 autos on board have been as nicely. There was a complete of greater than $40 million in harm.

The vessel was towed to Turkey to be recycled in August 2020 after salvage operations have been accomplished. In line with the Coast Guard, due to the tireless efforts to spray water on the ship’s exterior, the vessel’s hull remained intact — conserving it from breaking apart and sinking, which was a very good factor for security and potential environmental impacts.


The NTSB concluded lots of the autos loaded onto the vessel had batteries that weren’t disconnected and secured in accordance with procedures, which elevated the chance {of electrical} arcing and element faults. Throughout loading operations, each the loading personnel and crew missed alternatives to handle these hazards, officers mentioned.

The NTSB really helpful that the delivery corporations enhance oversight of auto loading and coaching of personnel concerned in battery securement. The company really helpful federal companies enhance laws for ships that transport used autos. The NTSB additionally really helpful that the vessel’s operator revise their procedures for the reactivation of fireplace detection methods and guaranteeing emergency contact data is straight away accessible for bridge groups.

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