Explosion on tug and oil barge seriously burns 2 crewmembers

The following is the text of a press release issued by the U.S. Coast Guard:


(TAMPA, Fla.) — A Coast Guard helicopter rescue crew from Air Station Clearwater, Fla., air lifted two crewmembers from the 603-foot ocean-going tug and oil-barge Valiant, after they sustained serious burns from an explosion, 180-miles west of Naples, Fla., at approximately 6 a.m. Saturday.

Injured are Ronald Freitas, 55 and Adam Sparr, 25.

Watchstanders from the Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg, Fla., operations center received a distress call from the Valiant at about 4 a.m., reporting that an explosion occurred onboard. The Valiant stated that two crewmembers suffered serious burns following the explosion and required emergency medical attention.

An HH-60 Jayhawk rescue helicopter crew arrived on-scene and safely hoisted Freitas and Sparr.

Freitas and Sparr were transported toTampa General Hospital. Their condition at this time is unknown.

By Professional Mariner Staff