Fire breaks out on fish factory vessel in Port of Tacoma

Fire breaks out on fish factory vessel in Port of Tacoma

Photo: Tacoma Fire Department via US Coast Guard

The US Coast Guard and State of Washington partner agencies are responding to an active fire that ignited on board a commercial fishing vessel moored in Tacoma on Thursday, February 18.

The fire broke out shortly before 00:00 local time aboard the 71-metre fish factory vessel Aleutian Falcon at pier 25 in the Port of Tacoma.

The Tacoma Fire Department reported the fire and said the vessel began to list after water was used to battle the flames. Crews fought the fire both along the pier and from three fire boats.

Coast Guard watchstanders at Sector Puget Sound launched a response boat crew from Station Seattle at midnight to enforce an isolation zone for marine traffic around the stricken vessel. At 01:00, coast guard pollution responders arrived on scene.

The crew of the coast guard patrol boat Wahoo arrived at 02:30 to relieve the Seattle response boat crew. A commercial tug moved a neighbouring vessel to avoid damage from the fire.

A spill response company was contracted and arrived on scene with four vessels at around 05:00.

The blaze was still raging as of 14:00 on Thursday.

The Hylebos and Blair Waterways were closed for several hours but reopened at 13:30. Absorbent booms have been placed near the vessel to mitigate pollution.

A 1,300-metre “no-wake” zone is now in place for all marine traffic transiting the area.

A unified command has been established consisting of the Tacoma Fire Department, the coast guard, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Washington Department of Ecology.

Seattle-based Trident Seafoods, owner of Aleutian Falcon, said that the vessel was a total loss.

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