Around midnight on July 26, the Dutch coastguard received a report that a major fire broke out on the
Fremantle Highway car carrier.
The vessel had 23 crew members onboard and, at the time, was sailing 27 kilometres north of Ameland.
The crew initially attempted to extinguish the fire themselves but were unsuccessful. The fire continued to spread, prompting an evacuation. The crew members were evacuated by helicopters and lifeboats. Several members of the crew had to jump into the water to save themselves from the fire.
According to the Dutch coastguard, one crew member died, and several were injured. The people on board were taken to Lauwersoog and Eelde airport. There they were taken care of by paramedics.
The Fremantle Highway is still on fire and several emergency services are still present near the ship and there are fears that the vessel may sink. Reports claim that the fire erupted on the cargo deck and then probably spread to other decks.
The ship left Bremerhaven at around 14:30 UTC on July 25, bound for Egypt. The fire erupted at around 21:30 UTC. The car carrier was carrying 2,857 cars on board, 25 of which were EVs.
The 25 EVs on board are also a serious problem. An EV, if it is caught by fire, acts as a serious accelerant since its lithium-ion batteries when on fire can reach temperatures of more than 2,700 degrees Celsius.