Unified Command for Port Newark vessel fire stands down

Capt. Zeita Merchant, Captain of the Port of New York and Jersey, discusses response operations to a fire on the motor vessel Grande Costa D’Avorio with members from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Newark Fire Department, Gallagher Marine Systems and multiple state and area agencies in Port Newark, New Jersey, July 6, 2023. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Dan Henry)

Capt. Zeita Merchant, Captain of the Port of New York and Jersey, discusses response operations to a fire on the motor vessel Grande Costa D’Avorio with members from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Newark Fire Department, Gallagher Marine Systems and multiple state and area agencies in Port Newark, New Jersey, July 6, 2023. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Dan Henry)

PORT NEWARK, New Jersey – The Unified Command consisting of the U.S. Coast Guard, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Newark Fire Department, and Gallagher Marine Systems, which was formed to respond to the July 5 fire on the motor vessel Grande Costa D’Avorio at Port Newark, was stood down Wednesday.

Through the coordinated efforts of dedicated personnel and the utilization of specialized equipment, the fire was contained and extinguished, minimizing potential risks and damage. Throughout the response, air and water monitoring was conducted around the vessel and the surrounding areas and have resulted in no detections above hazardous levels.

As the fire response phase concludes, the focus has now shifted toward investigation and salvage operations. Salvage operations will encompass the safe removal and recovery of the affected vessel, with the primary objective of minimizing any potential impact on the environment.

A comprehensive formal investigation will be launched to determine the root causes and contributing factors leading to the shipboard fire. The investigation will be led by the Coast Guard in tandem with federal, state, and local entities including the National Transportation Safety Board, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, New Jersey State Fire Marshal, New Jersey State Police, Newark Fire Arson Division, Essex County Prosecutor and a host of safety agencies to ensure we gain a critical and necessary understanding of the incident. Due to the investigation, access to the area is now restricted, including to media.

The Coast Guard will provide regular updates regarding the progress of salvage operations, investigation findings, and any necessary actions to ensure the ongoing safety and security of maritime operations at Port Newark.


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