On 6 March 2018, a major fire broke out in one of the forward cargo holds of Maersk Honam, a 2017-built Ultra Large Container Vessel with a capacity of 15,262 TEU.
At the time that the fire broke out, the vessel was in the Arabian Sea at approximately 900 nautical miles southeast of Salalah, Oman and on its way from Singapore to Suez with a cargo of 8,000 containers.
SMIT and its partners responded immediately and mobilized tugs and specialized fire fighters from their respective response centers in Rotterdam and Singapore. The team from Singapore was mobilized from Mumbai, India, whereas the team from the Netherlands boarded a tug in the Middle East. Once the fire was under control, a towage connection was established at the stern of the vessel (as the forward part of the vessel was damaged by the fire and still smoldering). Given the size of the vessel and her increased draft, options for a suitable port were limited. In collaboration with the ship owners, the vessel was towed to the port of Jebel Ali in the United Arab Emirates. It appeared that 65% of the containers on board had not been damaged by the fire. Once offloaded, these containers were discharged and transported to their final destinations.