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[Watch] Anchor Malfunction Causes Havoc

Watch what happens when the crew of a container ship lose control of the vessel's anchor, causing havoc on board and fire as the situation quickly deteriorates in a matter of seconds.

Smoke, Sparks, Fire

Published: 4 December 2015

Bad things can happen at sea in the blink of an eye. Such was the lesson for this crew during an otherwise routine drop of the vessel's anchor.

Footage shows a deckhand in a yellow overcoat carefully operating the freighter's windlass which controls the raising and lowering of the anchor. Its heavy chain can be seen gradually unspooling into the ocean during deloyment before something goes terribly wrong. Approximately one minute into the video the anchor appears to hit a snag causing the windlass to spin uncontrollably as if in fast forward. The resulting friction of the chain bellows smoke before catching fire in a matter of seconds.

Despite the crew's best efforts, they are unable to slow the anchor down, eventually losing it to the sea. Meanwhile the cameraman captures every moment of the unfolding drama in spite of the obvious dangers.

Details of the vessel featured in the video remain unconfirmed, though online commentary suggests it is a Greece freighter.

The anchors on large container ships are estimated to weigh in excess of 4,500 kg's (10,000 lbs). Solid steel can melt at 1,370 °C (2500 °F).

Uploaded to YouTube late last month, the video has since gone viral gaining over 100,000 views overnight. It now boasts close to 1 million views and has since been picked up by major news outlets across the globe.

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[WATCH] Anchor Malfunction
Smoke, Sparks, Fire
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