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Charred Factory Trawler Takes on Heavy List in Tacoma

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

April 11, 2023

(Photo: U.S. Coast Guard)

(Photo: U.S. Coast Guard)

A commercial fishing vessel that caught fire while moored in Tacoma, Wash. this weekend is now listing heavily to port as responders continue to battle the dayslong blaze.

Fire broke out on board the factory trawler Kodiak Enterprise early Saturday morning, progressing throughout the ship while moored at Trident Seafoods in the Hylebos Waterway, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

Most of the fire has subsided and smoke conditions have improved significantly due to firefighting efforts, though the vessel is now listing to its port side as responders from the Tacoma Fire Department continuously apply water to cool the vessel’s hull. 

Responders are conducting dewatering operations in an attempt to improve vessel stability. Dive operations have commenced to inspect the hull.

The vessel has an estimated 55,000 gallons of diesel on board, but so far no spill or oil sheen has been observed in the water. As a precaution, the trawler is surrounded by three layers of containment boom, and responders and equipment are staged and ready to respond if pollution is observed in the waterway. 

A safety zone has been established around the incident site, and the Hylebos Waterway remains closed to all commercial and recreational vessel traffic, the Coast Guard said, adding, "There is not an anticipated time for when the waterway will be reopened, and the Coast Guard is working to minimize impacts to vessel traffic."

A temporary shelter in place order put in place by the Tacoma Fire Department was lifted on Monday morning, though the order could be reinstated if conditions deteriorate. The vessel is said to be holding 19,000 pounds of freon on board, and the Environmental Protection Agency and contractors from CTEH have been conducting air monitoring to assess air quality in the surrounding areas.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

The 276.8-foot Kodiak Enterprise, originally built as an offshore supply vessel and launched in 1977, was converted to a factory trawler in 1989. The vessel is used by the United States' largest seafood company, Trident Seafoods, primarily to harvest and process wild Alaska pollock.

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