Six escape burning tugboat in Louisiana

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

(HOUSTON) — The Coast Guard along with the Black Bayou Fire Department responded to a tugboat fire near Lake Charles, La., on Tuesday.

The six people aboard the tug vessel Garyville were able to escape and no injuries were reported.

At approximately 1:15 p.m., watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston Command Center received a report from the captain of the Garyville, stating that there was a fire in the engine room. Watchstanders launched a boat crew from Station Lake Charles to respond.

The Black Bayou Fire Department arrived shortly after and the boat crew transported the fire crew from shore to the tugboat. The fire crew utilized a portable pump to extinguish the fire.

The Grayville was pushing two barges loaded with gasoline at the time of the fire, but was able to release the barges to the nearby tug vessel Woody Richardson.

There have been no reports of pollution. The cause of the fire is unknown.

“The quick notification we received from the captain of the tug vessel was essential in this case and allowed for us to get a crew out to the scene right away,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Jeff Linberg, an operations specialist at Sector Houston-Galveston. “It’s very important to have a way to contact the Coast Guard in any distress situation and making sure you have proper communication while out on the water is key.”

By Professional Mariner Staff