The car freighter "Fremantle Highway", which was badly damaged in a fire, is expected to reach the entrance to the port of Rotterdam early on Saturday morning and then be towed to a repair dock. The transport of the damaged giant freighter with the help of three tugs from the temporary berth in Eemshaven has so far gone according to plan, a spokesman for the maritime service company Koole Constructors told the German Press Agency.
The ship will arrive in the dark. Only in daylight - around 7.45 a.m. - will a pilot take over navigation through the harbor channels to a dock owned by the shipbuilder Damen Shiprepair. If possible, the freighter will be made ready to sail again, as Koole Constructors announced. This could take several months. What could happen to the ship afterwards is still unclear.
The complex towing operation began on Thursday afternoon in Eemshaven exactly as planned at 3 p.m. “Everything went smoothly, the cooperation between the port and us and other parties involved was good,” said the spokesman. In Rotterdam, the “Fremantle Highway” will first be subjected to a thorough inspection. Experts also hope that this will provide clues to the as yet unexplained cause of the fire that broke out on the freighter in July. According to initial information from the coast guard, it was suspected that an electric car could have started the fire.
The freighter belonging to a Japanese shipping company with around 3,800 cars on board was towed to Eemshaven near the border with Lower Saxony at the beginning of August. The fire had previously raged for days and caused severe damage to the cargo and the ship. One person died during the evacuation of the ship and the other 22 crew members were injured.