Unified Command continues response to container ship fire west of Big Sur

Coast Guard Air Station Sacramento C-27J aircraft file photo by Lt. Scott Handlin

Coast Guard Air Station Sacramento C-27J Spartan file photo by Lt. Scott Handlin

SAN FRANCISCO — The Unified Command continues to respond to the fire aboard a container ship approximately 80 miles southwest of Big Sur, Saturday.

The crew of the container ship NYK Delphinus reported the engine room has seen a steady decline in temperature through Saturday morning. Smoke is no longer visible and the crew reports the fire is contained.

Resolve Marine contracted five tugboats to assist. The tugs Jamie Ann, Sarah Avrick, Delta Deanna and Delta Lindsay arrived on scene and sprayed water on the Delphinus hull to provide additional cooling measures. The fifth tugboat, Scorpio, is en route with a salvage master and additional firefighting capabilities.

Current plans include determining the ship’s structural integrity before towing it to Oakland.

Weather and sea conditions are impacting the speed of operations.

There are no reported injuries and all crew are reported safe and accounted for.

There are no reported signs of pollution.

The NYK Delphinus contacted Coast Guard Sector San Francisco watchstanders at 4:54 a.m., Friday, reporting an engine fire aboard the ship with 24 people on board approximately 50 miles west off the coast of Monterey.

A Unified Command consisting of the Coast Guard, the State of California and Resolve Marine was established to respond to the fire aboard the NYK Delphinus.

Watchstanders directed the launch of the Coast Guard Cutter Sockeye crew to assess the situation and two Coast Guard Air Station San Francisco MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crews who arrived on scene at 9:26 a.m., Friday and transferred a dewatering pump to the Delphinus crew. A Coast Guard Air Station Sacramento C-27 Spartan crew provided surveillance of the vessel. Resolve Marine contracted five tugboats to assist.

The Unified Command’s priorities are the safety and well-being of the crew, controlling the fire, mitigating pollution, and safe transit of the ship to the Port of Oakland.

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