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Delaware Bay Barge Fire Extinguished

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

May 25, 2022

Thumbnail photo credit: Memorial Fire Company Sta 89/Facebook

Thumbnail photo credit: Memorial Fire Company Sta 89/Facebook

The fire on board the barge in the Delaware Bay that started burning on Monday, has been extinguished Tuesday, and Northstar Environmental and Marine Services has been contracted to assess the integrity of the vessel and manage salvage operations, U.S. Coast Guard said Wednesday.

A Unified Command consisting of representatives from Eastern Metal Recycling, New Jersey Office of Emergency Management, Cumberland County Office of Emergency Management, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, and the U.S. Coast Guard has been established to oversee salvage operations.

According to the U.S. Coast Guard, a Coast Guard 87-ft Patrol Boat is monitoring the situation and enforcing a safety zone, which is prohibited from entering unless authorized by the Captain of the Port of Delaware Bay. 

The 500-yard safety zone is being enforced around the barge and Northstar Independence, the contractor’s 185-ft salvage vessel. Should the fire reignite, Northstar Independence has firefighting capabilities onboard.

No sheening or discoloration has been observed on the waterway, U.S. Coast Guard said.

“I want to thank all the responders, especially Fire Chief Aaron Warren, the local fire companies, and Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control who initially responded to this complex and dynamic situation," said Capt. Jonathan Theel, Sector Delaware Bay Captain of the Port. "The fire is out due to their dedication and adaptability.”

The news was confirmed by Delaware Emergency Management Agency, too.

"After burning for 26 hours, Bowers Fire Company Inc. Chief Aaron Warren reported the barge fire in the Delaware Bay has been extinguished.  The report came one hour after Governor John Carney issued a limited State of Emergency for Kent County, which took effect at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday and remains in effect until further notice," the Agency said.

According to the Agency, thirty organizations and fire companies were involved in the effort to put out the fire. 

Chief Warren stated it was the largest Delaware firefighting operation to his knowledge. Command will transfer to New Jersey as the barge leaves Delaware waters.


Thumbnail photo credit: Memorial Fire Company Sta 89/Facebook

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