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Fire on board tanker off Porto ‘active, under control’ – port official

So far, no slick reported

A fire that broke out yesterday on Malta-flagged fuel tanker Greta K is still active but under control, more than 16 hours after the alert was first raised, the ports authority at Leixões, near Porto, said early this morning.

“Everything remains the same as last night,” ports commander Humberto da Silva Rocha told Lusa. “The ship remains about 11 (nautical) miles from the coastline and has two port tugs providing assistance, maintaining position and cooling the structures with water jets.”

Early this morning the captain and two crew members were said to be on board/ in the tugboats assisting with the cooling operation.

Said Silva Rocha: “We are awaiting the arrival of the naval frigate Corte-Real so that technical teams can make a more rigorous assessment of what is happening”.

According to the Navy, the alert was raised at around 3.30 pm yesterday through the Navy’s Maritime Search and Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC). At the time, the Greta K had 19 crewmembers on board, all Philippines nationals.

This far, according to SIC television news, there is no sign of any of the refined fuel having started leaking into the sea (“the boat maintains its physical integrity”).

There have also been no serious injuries: one crew member has been treated in hospital for burns to one hand, but otherwise everyone escaped unharmed.

The fire began, says SIC, when the boat was only 4 kms from the coast, off Praia dos Ingleses.

Greta K had been making for Leixões port. According to Bloomberg, it is carrying diesel and jet fuel.

Other maritime news sources have stressed the fears of pollution – hence why the boat was towed further away from the coast.

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