Recovery Efforts Continue on Grande Costa D’Avorio Car Carrier After Deadly Fire
Salvage and post-fire recovery operations continue on the Grande Costa D’Avorio car carrier at Port Newark as crews work to transfer vehicles and cargo from the vessel to the port facility.
As previously reported by MarineLink.com, Grimaldi's cargo vessel Grande Costa D’Avorio caught fire on July 5 at the Port of Newark. Two firefighters died in the incident. The fire was extinguished by the morning of July 11.
To date, all vehicles have been removed from the cargo decks of the ship, as well as all 134 freestanding containers that were located beyond the area affected by the fire.
The vessel was completing cargo operations of loading automobiles on board when the fire began. The vessel was reportedly carrying 1,200 vehicles and 157 containers that were scheduled to be exported.
In a statement on Monday, the U.S. Coast Guard said that "to date, all vehicles have been removed from the cargo decks of the ship, as well as all 134 freestanding containers that were located beyond the area affected by the fire."
In addition to the ongoing cargo removal operations, teams have conducted risk assessments for environmental protection and maintaining ship stability.
"At this stage, the vessel remains in a stable condition and no fuel oil or hazardous material has released into the marine environment," the U.S. Coast Guard said.
"Our partnerships played a crucial role in the swift response to the initial fire, and we continue to work jointly during this phase of recovery operations to accomplish significant milestones toward the completion of salvage operations," said Capt. Zeita Merchant, the Federal On-Scene Coordinator and Captain of the Port of New York and New Jersey, “all stakeholders involved are laser-focused to ensuring the safety of the public and response personnel, mitigating environmental impacts and minimizing any impacts to the marine transportation system.”
A comprehensive formal investigation is underway determine the root causes and contributing factors leading to the shipboard fire. The investigation will be led by the Coast Guard in tandem with federal, state, and local entities including the National Transportation Safety Board, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, New Jersey State Fire Marshal, New Jersey State Police, Newark Fire Arson Division, Essex County Prosecutor and a host of safety agencies to ensure we gain a critical and necessary understanding of the incident.
Due to the investigation, access to the area is now restricted, including to media.
The 2011-built Grande Costa D’Avorio Ro/ro vessel is deployed on the North America-West Africa regular ro/ro service operated by Grimaldi Deep Sea.