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April 25th, 2012

Deadly Maritime Accident in Antarctica Kills Three Crewmembers

At least three crewmembers on a fishing vessel in the Antarctic are believed dead after a fire raged on board the vessel . At least 37 crewmembers have been rescued from the fire.

The South Korean fishing vessel, the Jung Woo 2 ran into trouble in the Ross Sea, which is about 370 miles north of the US McMurdo Station Antarctic Base. The fire originated in the living quarters of the vessel. It quickly spread to the engine room and fish processing plant. By this time, the flames were completely out of control and the ship’s limited firefighting equipment was insufficient to put out the flames.

Crew members sent out a distress call, and rescue personnel from New Zealand reached the scene. Some of the men were able to make their way to a life raft. The vessel had two rafts, but the other raft was burned, and the remaining men had to wait on the burning ship until help arrived. According to the Rescue Coordination Center of New Zealand, when rescue personnel reached the scene, the ship was completely in flames, and appeared to be sinking.

Three crewmembers have been confirmed dead. These men could not get out of their quarters to escape the fire. Out of the 37 crewmembers who were rescued, two persons have suffered serious burns, and at least five crew members suffered moderate burn injuries. All injured seamen have been taken to a US research vessel, where they will receive treatment for their injuries.

The maritime law lawyers at Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P., Accident & Injury Lawyers represent maritime workers injured in accidents in the Houston region and across Texas.

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