All vehicles removed from con-ro after Port Newark fire

(NEWARK, N.J.) — Salvage and post-fire recovery operations continue on Grande Costa D’Avorio as crews work to safely transfer vehicles and cargo from the vessel to the port facility.

To date, all vehicles have been removed from the cargo decks of the container/roll-off, roll-on ship (con-ro), as well as all 134 freestanding containers that were located beyond the area affected by the fire on July 5.

In addition to the ongoing cargo removal operations, teams have conducted risk assessments for environmental protection and maintaining ship stability.

U.S. Coast Guard photo

At this stage, the vessel remains in a stable condition and no fuel oil or hazardous material has released into the marine environment.

“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 Coast Guard will provide regular updates regarding the progress of salvage operations, investigation findings, and any necessary actions to ensure the ongoing safety and security of maritime operations at Port Newark.

– U.S. Coast Guard

By Rich Miller