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Fishing Vessel Catches Fire in Tacoma, Wash.

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

April 10, 2023

(Photo: U.S. Coast Guard)

(Photo: U.S. Coast Guard)

A shelter in place order has been lifted as a large fishing vessel fire begins to die down in Tacoma, Wash.

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.

The City of Tacoma Fire Department is issuing a temporary shelter in place order for Northeast Tacoma, Browns Point and Dash Point neighborhoods as flames inched closer toward the vessel’s freon tanks, which could see pressure build from the fire's heat. The vessel is said to be holding 19,000 pounds of freon on board as well as an estimated 55,000 gallons of diesel.

The freon tanks are designed with built-in heat-activated pressure relief valves which are designed to release the freon tanks’ pressure in an emergency situation, the Coast Guard said. While freon can be toxic if inhaled in large quantities or in a confined space, the release of freon into the atmosphere is not expected to pose any health and safety risks to the public, the agency added.

The shelter in place order was lifted Monday morning as flames subsided and smoke coming from the vessel decreased. Tacoma Fire Department said most of the flammable material on board has burned. 

Responders continue to fight the fire by providing cooling spray to the exterior of the vessel.

The Environmental Protection Agency and contractors from CTEH have been conducting air monitoring to assess air quality in the surrounding areas, and the shelter inplace will be reinstated should air quality conditions deteriorate.

There are no reported signs of maritime pollution. As a preventive measure, responders have deployed three layers of containment boom around the vessel to protect the marine environment. As a precautionary measure the unified command has deployed three skimmers and three boom boats.

The Coast Guard has closed the Hylebos Waterway for all commercial and recreational vessel traffic, and the Coast Guard Cutter Osprey and Station Seattle have been deployed to enforce the closure.

The cause of the incident is 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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