The MV Cheshire that was underway off the Canary Islands on a passage from Norway en route to Thailand when the load of ammonium nitrate fertilizer onboard began to overheat, causing an unprecedented amount of smoke to be emitted, with further suspicion of fires aboard. The vessel was denied entry to the Las Palmas port by authorities because of the smoldering cargo.
We were contacted to assist with the stricken vessel, after it was seen to be spewing the large amounts of smoke. Strong currents were causing it to drift and the ship was evacuated.
An AS332L, with hoist equipment and a complete crew of pilots and an aircraft maintenance team was mobilised. The entire team of air and ground crew were ready to begin in 72 hours after the distress call.
Our team worked tirelessly to connect tow ropes to the vessel, for the tugs to keep hold of ship that was drifting in the current. Once secured, the MV Cheshire was brought closer to the shore.