Experts believe there is no sense in extinguishing the fire, which has been raging on the Bintang Harapan vessel for four days running, reported the Rescue Coordination centre in the Vladivostok sea port on Friday.
The South Korean Bintang Harapan lumber carrier caught fire four days ago in the Sea of Japan, some forty kilometres away from the port of Olga, the Maritime Territory. Specialists from the Naporisty rescue vessel, which is currently near the lumber carrier, think that the fire may last for another day, two days is the maximum. The lumber stockpiled on the deck has burnt out completely. Now it is spreading in the holds. Moreover, tanks of the vessel, which is drifting northwards, contain 250 tons of fuel.
The captain of the Naporisty rescue ship reports that neither the burning or spilling of the fuel has been registered so far. However, the hull of the ship has become so hot that it is impossible to close with it, and the sea water is boiling under it.
Neither the owner of the ship - the South Korean Inter Shipping company from Seoul, nor the shipper - the Russian Sakhalinexport compnay, are showing interest in the ship on fire.
According to earlier reports, the South Korean Bintang Harapan vessel, registered in Cambodia, caught fire in the late hours of August 12th, Vladivostok time. At that moment, the lumber carrier was in the open sea abreast the port of Olga, the Maritime Territory.
The vessel with at least 8,000 cubic metres of lumber on board, was bound from the port of Alexandrov-Sakhalinsky to South Korea.
The captain of the ship asserts that the fire was caused by the explosion of the boiler.
When the Vladivostok Rescue-Coordination Centre received a distress call, the Russian Rogachevo fishing trawler was the first to arrive at the scene. In the late hours of August 13th, the fishermen from the trawler saved all nineteen crewmen of the lumber carrier on fire. The sailors were in life boats. Fourteen of them are Russian citizens, another five are South Korean.
Of all the crewmen, the vessel's chief engineer, a Korean citizen, sustained the heaviest injuries. With his hands and legs burnt, he was rushed to hospital.