MV Hyundai Fortune

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In vuur en vlam tcm46-102834.jpg
MV Hyundai Fortune on fire, with HNLMS De Zeven Provinciën in the background, 2006.
  • MSC Fortunate 2009–
  • Fortune 2006–2009
  • Hyundai Fortune 1996-2006
  • Kosmo SVCS Inc.
  • EMF International S.A. 1996-2006
Port of registry:  Panama
Completed: August 1996
Status: Operational
Notes: [1][2]
General characteristics
  • 64,054 GT
  • 35,490 NT
  • 68,363 DWT
Length: 274.2 m (900 ft)
Beam: 40 m (130 ft)
Draught: 24.2 ft (7.4 m)
Speed: 25.6 kts
Capacity: 5,551 TEU
Notes: [1][2]

MV MSC Fortunate (formerly MV Fortune and MV Hyundai Fortune), is a container ship owned by Kosmo SVCS Inc., and previously registered to Hyundai Merchant Marine.[1] She was completed in August 1996 and sails under the flag of Panama. She has a gross tonnage of 64,054 and is capable of speeds of up to 25 knots. Her cargo capacity is 5,551 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU).[1]

As Hyundai Fortune, she was severely damaged in a fire at sea on March 21, 2006.[3]


MV Hyundai Fortune on fire, with HNLMS De Zeven Provinciën in the foreground, 2006.

On March 21, 2006, the vessel was en route from ports in China and Singapore through the Gulf of Aden about 60 miles (97 km) south of the coast of Yemen. She was sailing west towards the Suez Canal on the way to ports in Europe. Around 1235 UTC, an explosion of unknown origin occurred below deck, aft of the accommodation, causing 60 to 90 containers to fall into the ocean. The explosion caused a fire that spread through the stern of the ship, including the accommodation and the container stacks in front of the accommodation. Secondary explosions followed as seven containers full of fireworks also ignited above deck on the stern.

Photos of the blazing ship showed a large section of the hull had been blown out below deck but above the waterline on the port side.

After efforts to contain the fire failed, all 27 crew members abandoned ship and were rescued by the Dutch frigate HNLMS De Zeven Provinciën, which was performing maritime security operations in the area as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. One sailor was evacuated to the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle with injuries that were not life-threatening.

On March 23, firefighting tugs began to arrive on the scene. With her engine room burned and completely flooded, the listing Hyundai Fortune continued to burn for several days.

General average was declared and at least one third of the containers were damaged by the blaze. Every container aft of the superstructure was either incinerated or lost overboard. Most of the containers forward of the superstructure were left intact, although after the ship lost power, any cargo in the refrigerated containers would have spoiled. An estimated ten per cent of the cargo was uninsured.[4]

The combined cost of the ship and lost cargo is estimated at over $800 million US. The ship was eventually towed to Salalah, Oman and 2,249 salvageable containers were offloaded for transhipment to Europe.[4]

According to a statement to the US House of Representatives Homeland Security Appropriations Committee, "The cause of the fire is believed to have been a container loaded with petroleum-based cleaning fluids stowed near the engine room. The shipper failed to indicate the hazardous nature of this shipment to Hyundai Fortune, undoubtedly to avoid the special handling fees associated with transporting hazardous materials."[3]


The vessel was renamed Fortune and temporarily repaired for being towed to China for final repairs and refurbishing, including 5,000 tonnes of new steel and a new accommodation block.[citation needed]

The ship was repaired at COSCO Zhoushan Shipyard in Liuhen Dao Island in China in 2007-2008.[citation needed] In the course of the repairs the stern tube was confirmed to be nearly 100 mm lower than the main engine thrust sightline. With the technical assistance of Tecnitas of Bureau Veritas and BF Consultant of France, the ship repair yard straightened the hull and brought the stern tube back in line, for it to be final machined at a later stage of the rebuilding of the vessel.[citation needed]

The vessel was eventually delivered to its owner and resumed its activity as a container carrier.


  1. ^ a b c d "Hyundai Fortune" (PDF). Merchantships-International. 30 September 2006. Retrieved 11 August 2010. [dead link]
  2. ^ a b "Vessel Details: MV Hyundai Fortune". CGMIX PSIX. USCG. 10 August 2010. Retrieved 11 August 2010. 
  3. ^ a b Flynn, Stephen E. (April 2, 2008). "Overcoming the Flaws in the U.S. Government Efforts to Improve Container,Cargo, and Supply Chain Security" (pdf). U.S. Government (Council on Foreign Relations). p. 3. Retrieved July 17, 2012.  (269Kb)
  4. ^ a b Frank, Jerry (2009-07-09). "Enormous challenges from a huge misfortune". Lloyd's List Daily Commercial News. Informa Australia. p. 8. 

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