Coast Guard responds to burning fishing boat

MCKINLEYVILLE, Calif. — The Coast Guard dispatched an HH-65C Dolphin helicopter and an 47-foot motor lifeboat to the fishing vessel Triple Star, after the vessel reported a major engine room fire early Saturday morning 21 miles offshore of the Humboldt Bay entrance near Eureka.

At 10:23 a.m. Saturday morning, Coast Guard Group Humboldt Bay received an emergency call from the 54-foot fishing trawler Triple Star, homeported out of Eureka, requesting assistance following a hydraulic steering failure that developed into a major fire aboard the vessel’s engine room. The skipper of the vessel was initially able to douse the fire using the Triple Star’s onboard fire suppression system, but could not determine whether it was fully extinguished, or if the fire posed additional flooding casualties. Group Humboldt Bay immediately diverted the Dolphin helicopter from its morning patrol, dispatched a 47-foot motor lifeboat, and received replies from numerous mariners, including Humboldt State University’s Coral Sea research vessel.

Fifteen minutes later, the fire aboard the Triple Star reignited but was successfully extinguished once again by the crew. The Dolphin helicopter arrived on scene with both dewatering and firefighting equipment to render assistance and remained overhead until the Coast Guard motor lifeboat arrived. After confirming that no further flooding or fires were evident, the Triple Star was towed back to Humboldt Bay.

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