FACT CHECK: Did Dutch Coastguard Deliberately Sink Car Carrier?

Joseph Casieri | Fact Check Reporter

A post shared on social media purports officials deliberately sank a car carrier that had caught on fire off the coast of the Netherlands.

Verdict: False

While the vessel did catch on fire, the ship was not sunk deliberately and is reportedly stationed at a nearby port.

Fact Check:

Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte has resigned after being the Netherlands’ longest-serving government leader, The Guardian reported. This news comes after Rutte’s four party coalition collapsed over the issue immigration and asylum seekers.

The Twitter post purports that the cargo ship caught on fire and was sunk in order to put out the flames. The post shares a video of the carrier with captions explaining the incident.

The caption reads, “NETHERLANDS – 5 days of carbon emissions! The Cargo ship carrying 2800 premium cars including 509 electric cars is erm …. Proving impossible to put out! So they are going to sink it, destroying the sea bed instead! Very good message.”

The claim is false. There is no credible news report that suggests this vessel sank much less that officials deliberately sank it. Netherlands’ Public Works and Water Management reported the ship was towed to a nearby port in the Netherlands where it remains. (RELATED: Did Illinois Pass A Bill Allowing Illegal Immigrants To Apply For The Police Force?)

The fire broke out on board a car carrier called Fremantle Highway. The blaze went on for several days but was extinguished on Aug. 1, according to The Load Star, an outlet that covers supply chain news. One crew member was killed in the fire and 22 others were injured, The Guardian reported. The publication also reported 3000 cars were on board during the fire and the Dutch coastguard did fear that using too much water to fight the fire could cause the boat to sink.

This is not the first time misinformation has been shared online. Check Your Fact found footage claiming to show NATO helicopters being shot down in Ukraine was actually footage of video game ARMA 3.

Joseph Casieri

Fact Check Reporter