New photos provided to CBC News from an American who was on a boat passing a burning Halifax-bound container ship in the middle of the Atlantic show smoke wafting from the deck of the 320-metre Yantian Express .
Cameron Brunick was a sailor on a U.S. vessel near where the Yantian Express was floating when he took the photos on Tuesday.
He said he saw blackened containers and smoke from the fire aboard the ship.
A statement from the Embassy of the Philippines in Ottawa says 17 Filipino crew members were taken off the ship, which has been burning off Canada’s East Coast since Jan. 3.
The statement says the seafarers from the Yantian Express arrived in Halifax on Monday. Philippine honorary vice-consul Elizabeth Eustaquio-Domondon says the crew left Tuesday afternoon and are now safely back in the Phillipines.
The embassy says members of the local Filipino community met the seafarers and provided them with food and other necessities.
The entire 22-member crew of the Yantian Express boarded a rescue tug after the ship caught fire about 1,900 kilometres southwest of Halifax.
A spokesman for the U.S. Coast Guard says two more firefighting tugs, the Atlantic Enterprise out of New York and the Union Sovereign out of Rotterdam, N.Y., have been dispatched to help put out the fire.
On Monday, Chief Petty Officer 3rd Class Joshua Canup said the ship remained about 1,700 kilometres southeast of Halifax.
Two tugs have been on the scene for days, and the German shipping company Hapag-Lloyd says the fire involving multiple containers is “widely contained and under control.”