Tugboat Fire on Lake Ontario – Helicopter Medivacs Crewmember
EPIRB signal alerts US & Canadian coastguards to tugboat fire, crew rescued, fire out
Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Buffalo received an alert from an emergency position indicating radio beacon registered to the vessel, which provided them with an exact location about seven miles south of Prince Edward Point, Ontario.
A U.S. Coast Guard search and rescue crew responded aboard an MH-65 Dolphin rescue helicopter from Air Station Detroit, and Canadian rescue crews launched aboard a C-130 aircraft, Griffin helicopter and the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Cape Hearne, a 47-foot Cape Class motor lifeboat from Kingston, Ontario.
One injured crewmember was medically evacuated by Canadian helicopter crew and taken to a hospital in Belleville, Ontario, and was later transferred to Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto. The other five crewmembers were taken aboard the CCGS Cape Hearne and taken to Kingston, Ontario. Their current conditions are unknown.
A commercial salvage company has been contracted to tow the vessel to the freight dock in Clayton, N.Y., where U.S. Coast Guard marine inspectors will meet it. There are no reports of pollution.
The cause of the fire is currently under investigation.
U.S. and Canadian search and rescue crews regularly respond to emergencies in tandem, allowing for the most effective and expeditious response possible. Such combined, binational efforts help our partner nations accomplish our daily and contingency mission requirements.