Coast Guard responding to cruise ship engine room fire

SEATTLE – The Coast Guard is responding in coordination with state and local agencies to a 220-foot cruise ship that reported an engine room fire on the Columbia River, Ore. Coast Guard Sector Portland received a call from the US Army Corps of Engineers operator at John Day Dam at 12:31 a.m. reporting that the Majestic Cruise Line, Queen of The West, had experienced an engine room fire at Columbia River mile 210, east of The Dalles.

The engine room fire has been contained and a re-flash fire watch has been set. The vessel is without power, but is maneuvering with the assistance of the tug Challenger. There are 124 passengers and 53 crew on board with no reported injuries.

A Coast Guard HH-60J helicopter from Air Station Astoria is currently on scene to assess the situation. A Coast Guard small boat and a shore team are en route from Portland at this time. Coast Guard priorities are to ensure the safety of the passengers, crew, and public, to assess the condition of the vessel and to investigate the circumstances surrounding the incident.

The current plan is to beach the vessel in a controlled manner in the vicinity of Maryhill State Park, and to disembark the passengers to buses. Klickitat County emergency services personnel are on scene to manage the disembarkation and processing of passengers. The Washington Department of Ecology is organizing precautionary shoreline protection operations along the river to address the risk of any oil pollution from the disabled vessel.

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