Coast Guard escorts ferry to Seattle after fire

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

(SEATTLE) — Coast Guard crews escorted the Victoria Clipper passenger ferry to Seattle following a reported electrical fire aboard the vessel near Port Townsend on Thursday.

The crew of the Coast Guard cutter Terrapin, an 87-foot patrol boat home-ported in Bellingham, and an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Port Angeles escorted Victoria Clipper to its Seattle pier after the ferry’s crewmembers reportedly extinguished the fire aboard the vessel.

Victoria Clipper was reportedly carrying 223 passengers from Victoria, British Columbia, to Seattle at the time of the incident. There were no reported injuries.

Watch standers at Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound in Seattle received a report from Victoria Clipper personnel of an electrical fire on an anchor windlass in a forward space on board the vessel around 7:16 p.m.

The Dolphin air crew and Terrapin crew were diverted from a scheduled training exercise to assist. The Washington State Ferry Operation Center was also notified and was ready to divert a vessel to assist if passengers needed to be transferred from Victoria Clipper.

“The response of the Victoria Clipper crew was exceptional,” said Lt. Raffael Shamilov, command duty officer at the Coast Guard 13th District Command Center in Seattle.

Seattle Fire Department personnel are standing by at the pier in Seattle to assist the Victoria Clipper’s crew, if necessary. The vessel was expected to arrive around 9 p.m. The Coast Guard will investigate the cause of the fire.

Weather on scene was reported to be calm seas, 3 mph winds and an air temperature of 57 degrees.

By Professional Mariner Staff