Over 100 rescued from burning tour boat in Norfolk, Virginia

Photo: US Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Edward Wargo
Photo: US Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Edward Wargo

The US Coast Guard and various local partners have successfully rescued 106 passengers and crew of a vessel that had caught fire near the US Navy station in Norfolk, Virginia, on Tuesday, June 7.

The excursion boat Spirit of Norfolk was underway near the naval station on the afternoon (local time) of Tuesday when some of the passengers noticed smoke and flames coming out of the engine room.

The crew then relocated the passengers to the weather deck as the vessel became engulfed in smoke.

All the passengers and some of the crew were then transferred to a Good Samaritan vessel that had diverted to the scene to render assistance. Two crewmembers remained aboard the burning vessel to supervise firefighting efforts as it was towed to Norfolk Naval Station.

The coast guard said the firefighting and dewatering effort was still ongoing as of 21:00 on Wednesday, June 8.

Salvage contractors are developing a plan to safely enter the vessel, as it is still considered too unstable to be boarded.

The coast guard added that there is no pollution at this time, though the area is being continuously monitored.

The cause of the fire is currently under investigation by the coast guard and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

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