Tour boat towed after possible engine fire off Monterey

(SAN FRANCISCO) — The U.S. Coast Guard and Monterey Fire Department responded to a report Sunday of a possible fire on the 50-foot whale-watching vessel Pacifica with 43 people aboard off Point Pinos.

A Station Monterey 47-foot motor lifeboat crew put the disabled Pacifica in tow and brought it back to Monterey. There are no reports of injury.

The cause of the incident is under investigation.

U.S. Coast Guard photo

At approximately 10 a.m., Coast Guard Sector San Francisco watch standers received a report from the master of Pacifica stating a fire alarm was going off in the vessel’s engine room and there were reports of smoke. The master stated Pacifica was returning to port and requested Coast Guard assistance.

Sector San Francisco watch standers deployed the motor lifeboat crew in response to provide an escort for Pacifica and coordinated with the Monterey Fire Department, which also launched a fireboat to assist.

Coast Guard Air Station San Francisco and Naval Air Station Lemoore also launched helicopter crews to support.

While en route to Monterey, Pacifica lost propulsion. The motor lifeboat crew put Pacifica in tow and brought the vessel to Monterey Harbor.

The weather on scene was winds of 10 mph and seas up to 5 feet.

– U.S. Coast Guard

By Rich Miller