Engine room fire on GNV Tenacia ferry prompts evacuation of 350 passengers

   July 9, 2024 ,   Accidents

Spanish rescue authorities are overseeing the evacuation of 350 passengers from the Italian ferry Tenacia after a fire in the engine room disabled the vessel as it neared Palma de Mallorca. Fortunately, no injuries have been reported, and the fire has been contained to the engine room, although the ferry remains adrift in the Mediterranean.

The fire alarms were triggered at ~02:30 a.m. local time on Monday, July 8, when the ferry was 22 miles (35 km) from Ibiza and 53 miles (85 km) from Dragonera in the Balearic Islands. Salvamento Maritimo, the Spanish maritime rescue agency, reported that the ferry was carrying 350 passengers and 61 crew members.

Responding to the emergency, fire crews and rescue personnel were dispatched to the scene. 9 firefighters from shore units were airlifted by helicopter to assist the ship's crew in combating the blaze. Passengers posted videos and pictures online, showing them wearing lifejackets at muster stations.

The 2008-built Tenacia is a Ro-Pax/RoRo ship operated by GNV/Grandi Navi Veloci. The ship left Valencia on Sunday evening, July 7, at 22:30 local time, bound for Palma de Mallorca. The ferry, which has a capacity for up to 900 passengers, was scheduled to dock at 05:15 yesterday morning.

Salvamento Maritimo requested assistance from nearby vessels, and two MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company ships stood by.

Additionally, BALEARIA's ferry Abel Matutes, which was also in the vicinity, was diverted to stand by in case an evacuation was necessary. Abel Matutes was operating the Barcelona-Palma-Valencia route.

By mid-morning, firefighting teams reported that the fire was contained but not yet extinguished, with hotspots remaining in the engine room. The master of the Tenacia decided to evacuate the passengers for their safety and comfort. Salvamento Marítimo's rescue boats were utilized to transfer passengers to another GNV ferry, the GNV Bridge, which had diverted to assist. The passengers will be taken back to Valencia, their port of origin.

Firefighting efforts continue to cool the ferry’s engine room. GNV has retained a private salvage tug to tow the Tenacia to Valencia once it is deemed safe.