A fire alert on a cargo ship carrying thousands of tonnes of wood pellets sparked a massive land and sea emergency response at the Port of Tyne.
Dozens of firefighters, six pumping appliances and a fire boat were called out to Tyne Dock west side this morning after part of the vessel’s 11,000 tonne load housed in the ship hold overheated
A total of 43 firefighters turned out at 8.26am and spent hours on site ensuring the area was safe.
The fire boat was used to transport officer onto the cargo ship, called the Wagenborg, after the overheating cargo led to a major alert soon after its arrival in borough waters.
The ship had only docked in at the port earlier this morning, the Port of Tyne confirmed.
The overheating of pellets on board was spotted when the hulls of the ship were opened.
Crews unloaded 100 tonnes of smouldering pellets and left them cooling on the dockside.
Port operations remained unaffected while the fire service attended the incident.
A spokeswoman for Port of Tyne said: “Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service were at the Port of Tyne and are working with the port, dealing with a cargo of wood pellets, which overheated and was smouldering in the hold of the cargo ship that arrived at Riverside Quay, Port of Tyne, South Shields, earlier on Thursday morning.
“Normal port operations were not affected.”
A scaled down fire service response remained at the Port of Tyne until about 5pm.
The fire service were on site at the Port of Tyne for over eight hours.
A Tyne and Wear Fire service spokeswoman added: “Firefighters were on site from about 8.26am this morning.
“A number of firefighters remained at the scene until yesterday afternoon until the incident was dealt with.
“Firefighters remained at the site damping down the pellets.”