Coast Guard responds to passenger vessel engine fire near The Dalles, Oregon

PORTLAND, Ore. — Members from Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Portland responded to a report of an engine fire aboard the passenger vessel American Empress after it experienced a significant machinery malfunction while preparing to moor near The Dalles, Oregon, Thursday evening.

The American Empress will remain moored in The Dalles for the initial Coast Guard investigation and until plans for repairs have been made.

The Coast Guard duty marine inspector for MSU Portland was notified Thursday evening of the incident after an engine fire left two of the four propulsion generators inoperable while mooring for the evening along the Columbia River.

The crew of the American Empress quickly responded to and extinguished the fire using shipboard firefighting appliances. The American Empress did not lose power or propulsion, the vessel was able to moor safely and passengers remained aboard overnight.

“The Coast Guard will conduct a thorough investigation of the incident as well as be involved in the oversight of the repairs,” said Capt. Tom Griffitts, commander, Marine Safety Unit, Portland. “Safety of the passengers and waterway are our main concern and we will ensure the vessel is safe before continuing operations.”

There were no injuries to the crew or passengers.

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