Fire crews extinguish blaze on Caribbean Fantasy


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

(San Juan, Puerto Rico) — The Puerto Rico Fire Department extinguished the fire on the passenger vessel ferry Caribbean Fantasy Saturday using 3,000 gallons of seawater from the San Juan Harbor around 6 p.m. Saturday.

The Unified Command is establishing mechanical ventilation to circulate air through the vessel. A marine chemist will certify that the vessel is safe for access by salvage crews to facilitate overhaul of the vessel, removal of cargo and continuing salvage operations.

The Coast Guard maintains a 100-yard safety zone around the vessel. There have been reports of minor sheening near the vessel that was contained in the primary containment boom. The vessel is being closely monitored and 2,500 feet of boom has been deployed around the vessel as a precautionary measure against discharge from the vessel.

The Unified Command is developing an assessment and disposal plan for potential hazardous and non-hazardous waste.

The Unified Command has implemented an air monitoring plan in the vicinity of the vessel and Pier 15 to ensure the safety of responders and the local community.

A joint marine casualty investigation with the Coast Guard, the National Transportation Safety Board, RINA Services and the flag state, Panama, is underway.

The Caribbean Fantasy Response Unified Command consists of the Coast Guard, the Puerto Rico Environmental Quality Board, the Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources and Baja Ferries (owner of the Caribbean Fantasy).

Also assisting the response efforts are the American Cruise Ferries, Ardent, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Department of Planning and Natural Resources, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Response Corporation, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, O'Brien's Response Management, the Puerto Rico Emergency Management Agency and the Puerto Rico Fire Department.

By Professional Mariner Staff