Coast Guard, AMVER ships assist tanker after fatal fire (VIDEO)

The following is the text of a news release from the U.S. Coast Guard:

(SEATTLE) (Aug. 15) — Coast Guard air and cutter forces assisted the 22-person crew of a 485-foot Bahamian-flagged chemical tanker after a fire in the main engine room disabled the vessel, leaving it without propulsion, about 700 miles west of Cape Blanco, Ore., on Wednesday.

The fire was extinguished using installed firefighting systems, however, the ship sustained damage to its generators, leaving the crew with minimal battery power.

A Coast Guard air crew, aboard an HC-130 Hercules airplane from Air Station Sacramento, Calif., delivered two Iridium telephones and a VHF-FM radio to the ship Thursday. The crew of the Coast Guard cutter Stratton, a 418-foot national security cutter homeported in Alameda, Calif., was on scene to provide assistance, including engineering and damage control equipment.

One crewmember aboard the tanker was reported as deceased as a result of the marine casualty.

Coast Guard watchstanders at the 13th District Rescue Coordination Center, in Seattle, used the Automated Mutual-Assistance Vessel Rescue System to contact nearby vessels. AMVER vessels have been providing ongoing visual assessments of the vessel’s condition.

“The AMVER vessels involved were instrumental in providing check-ins with the disabled vessel and providing updates to rescue personnel about the condition of the crew and vessel’s position,” said Lt. Ryan Beck, command duty officer at the 13th District Rescue Coordination Center. “AMVER vessels are an invaluable high-seas resource for rescue coordinators.”

The vessel’s ownership has contracted the commercial tugboat Millennium Falcon, based in Anacortes. The tugboat was expected to arrive at the tanker’s location in about three days with a damage control technical specialist.

Click here to see the video.

By Professional Mariner Staff