Tanker Fire Kills One off Oregon

By Eric Haun
Monday, August 18, 2014
USCG image

An engine room fire last week aboard a 485-foot, Bahamian-flagged chemical tanker has left the vessel disabled without propulsions about 700 miles west of Cape Blanco, Oregon, killing one crew member, the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) reported.

 According to the USCG, the fire was extinguished using installed firefighting systems, however, the ship sustained damage to its generators, leaving the crew with minimal battery power.

USCG air and cutter forces were called in to assist the tanker’s 22-person crew.

A Coast Guard aircrew, aboard an HC-130 Hercules airplane from Air Station Sacramento, California, delivered two iridium telephones and a VHF-FM radio to the ship, Thursday. The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Stratton, a 418-foot National Security Cutter homeported in Alameda, California, was on scene to provide assistance, including engineering and damage control equipment.

USCG watchstanders at the 13th District Rescue Coordination Center, in Seattle, used the Automated Mutual-Assistance Vessel Rescue System to contact nearby vessels. AMVER vessels have been providing ongoing visual assessments of the vessel’s condition.

“The AMVER vessels involved were instrumental in providing check-ins with the disabled vessel and providing updates to rescue personnel about the condition of the crew and vessel’s position,” said Lt. Ryan Beck, command duty officer at the 13th District Rescue Coordination Center. “AMVER vessels are an invaluable high-seas resource for rescue coordinators.”

The Associated Press reported that the tanker left Los Angeles for South Korea on Aug. 9 toting a cargo of petroleum additive propylene tetramer. The ship's cargo areas are reportedly undamaged, and there are no reports of pollution.

The vessel’s ownership has contracted the commercial tugboat Millennium Falcon, based in Anacortes, to arrive on scene with a damage control technical specialist.

Source: USCG, AP

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