Salvage work starts on Fremantle Highway, some cars are okay

The damage is clearly visible. Photo: Jilmer Postma ANP

Salvage company Boskalis has said some 2,900 burnt out cars on board the freighter Fremantle Highway cannot be safely removed from the ship.

It is too dangerous to work on the decks, which have been seriously damaged by the blaze and could collapse still further, the company is quoted as saying by local paper Dagblad van het Noorden.

Nor is there enough time to get the necessary cranes moved to Eemshaven to carry out the work, the company said. The Fremantle Highway must leave the Groningen port by October 14 at the latest because another ship has booked the berth. 

The Fremantle Highway was towed to Eemshaven from its location off the coast of the Wadden Sea islands last week. The ship had caught fire on the night of July 25 and the blaze burned for over a week. 

An inspection of the ship has shown that the upper six decks have suffered most damage and that on the lower four decks, the cars it was carrying are in relatively good condition. The ship’s engine room is also intact. 

Boskalis is now working on a plan to salvage as many of the 900 cars which have survived as possible, if the bow doors can still be opened. 

The cause of the fire is still being investigated. 

Thank you for donating to

We could not provide the Dutch News service, and keep it free of charge, without the generous support of our readers. Your donations allow us to report on issues you tell us matter, and provide you with a summary of the most important Dutch news each day.

Make a donation