Wednesday September 12, 2012
Crew abandon blazing New Zealand trawler
WELLINGTON - Most of the 43 crew on board a 64-metre trawler (210-foot) ablaze off the New Zealand coast abandoned ship early Wednesday and were rescued by a Russian fishing boat, rescue officials said.
The captain and three other crewmen remained on board the Amaltal Columbia, a factory ship which is described on the Amaltal website as the flaghip of its fleet.
The New Zealand-owned trawler sent out an "urgency call" at 5:24am which was later upgraded to a mayday as the fire which started in the stern of the vessel spread.
There have been no injuries reported and the New Zealand Rescue Coordination Centre said the crew who abandoned ship had transferred to the Russian fishing boat Ivan Golubets.
The Amaltal Columbia was approximately 70 kilometres (44 miles) from Christchurch on the eastern coast of the South Island in a four-metre swell with winds of 30 knots. - AFP