Monday, June 16, 2008

Blaze Engulfs Oilrig Support Ship Berthed At Leith Docks

Thick plumes of black smoke were blown across Leith Docks in Edinburgh yesterday after a disused boat caught fire. Around 35 firefighters were called to tackle a blaze aboard the Viking Vulcan after a security guard raised the alarm at 4:30am. Fire crews with five fire engines and five specialist vehicles continued to battle the fire last night, using hose-reel jets and water from the boat's engine room. The Viking Vulcan began to list because of the weight of the water being used to put the blaze out. The vessel was then pumped out to allow it to right itself. Fire crews were due to try to move the ship, using tugs berthed at the dock last night. The fire investigation branch was expected to be able to enter the boat today, to establish the cause of the fire, according to Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue.The Viking Vulcan, once used as a support vessel for oilrigs, has been berthed at the Edinburgh docks, Bath Road, at the Forth Ports terminal, since 1999. It is registered to the National Shipping Company of Egypt and is believed to have been destined for scrap. There were no crew on board when the boat caught fire and no-one was injured. A spokesman for the Forth Ports Authority confirmed services would continue as normal at the docks and there would be no disruption to traffic. Leith Docks recovered from a period of decline after the Second World War and is now a busy port, with visits from cruise liners and is home to the former Royal Yacht Britannia. Two massive spare propellers for the Royal Yacht Britannia worth £14,000 were stolen from Leith Docks earlier this month in a raid.

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