Seaman dies, 2 injured in towing vessel fire

Incident happened 750 metres off Fujairah Port early on Friday

19:26 February 26, 2018

Fujairah: A Filipino seaman was killed and two others were injured when their towing vessel caught fire following a reported “explosion” off the coast of Fujairah on Friday.

The incident happened early in the morning, 750 metres off Fujairah Port, an official said. The boat was enroute to India from Ajman with eight crew members — six Filipinos and two Indians.

The victim’s remains are at Fujairah Hospital’s mortuary. The deceased’s identity was not released to the media as authorities have yet to inform his next of kin.

Two other crew members were injured during the incident. A Filipino suffered minor burns while an Indian is said to be in critical condition.

“We learned about the incident and immediately sent one of our staff based in Fujairah to visit them at the hospital. One Filipino died and two were injured, including a Filipino and an Indian crew. We already submitted a brief report to Manila,” Philippine Labour Attache Felicitas Bay told Gulf News. “Our welfare officer Danilo Flores is currently in Fujairah for this. I spoke to the Filipino who sustained minor burns and he said they heard an explosion before the boat went up in flames. The details are not yet clear and the incident is under police investigation,” she added.

Bay confirmed that the four other Filipino crew are safe.

Bay said the towboat was not a UAE vessel, but authorities have yet to confirm this.

Bay said the repatriation will be handled by the deceased’s recruitment agency in the Philippines as per the contract.

The victim was an active member of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA). His family is entitled to receive death benefits amounting to 200,000 pesos (Dh14,800) and 20,000 pesos as funeral benefits.