Live export ship carrying 3,600 head of cattle forced to return to Darwin by engine room blaze

Live export ship carrying 3,600 head of cattle forced to return to Darwin by engine room blaze

A live export vessel has run into trouble off the coast of Darwin after a fire broke out in one of its engine rooms. 

Key points:

  • The Brahman Express was loaded with about 3,600 cattle, bound for Indonesia
  • Authorities say the fire started « shortly after departure »
  • No injuries to crew or animal welfare issues have been reported

The Brahman Express left Darwin Port just after midday on Wednesday with around 3,600 head of cattle on board, bound for Indonesia.

The federal Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) confirmed the vessel experienced an engine room fire « shortly after departure ».

« The department is working closely with the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) and the exporter about the incident, » DAFF said in a statement.

« DAFF has been advised that there is sufficient feed on board and there are no animal welfare implications or concerns.

« The vessel’s livestock decks and systems are not affected. »

In a statement to ABC Rural, the AMSA said it understood « the fire was extinguished promptly, and there were no injuries to crew or livestock ».

« Yesterday evening, AMSA issued a notice under the Navigation Act directing the ship to proceed to the nearest available wharf in Darwin to discharge the livestock. »

two cattle walking off a truck and onto a live export ship.

The Brahman Express was loaded with about 3,600 head of cattle.(ABC Rural: Daniel Fitzgerald)

The NT Livestock Exporters Association has been contacted for comment.

In May, another live export ship experienced major engine failure just after leaving Darwin with 1,600 cattle, forcing it to return to port.

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