US Coast Guard, partner agencies respond to vehicle carrier fire at Blount Island, Florida

Photo: US Coast Guard/Petty Officer 2nd Class Jessica Maldonado Gonzalez

The US Coast Guard and partner agencies have been deployed in response to a fire that ignited on board a cargo ship at Blount Island near Jacksonville, Florida, on Thursday, June 4.

The coast guard reports that all 21 crewmembers on the Norwegian-flagged vehicle carrier Höegh Xiamen are safely accounted for and that the fire was still raging on the vessel as of 18:00 local time on Thursday.

Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville watchstanders were notified at 15:53 of a fire on board Höegh Xiamen. The watchstanders immediately notified the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department and the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, issued an urgent marine information broadcast, and directed the launch of a response boat—medium crew from Coast Guard Station Mayport.

A 450-metre safety zone has been established around the distressed vessel.

The cause of the incident is under investigation.

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