Hong Kong-flagged asphalt tanker catches fire off US East Coast for second time in months

Feng Huang Ao in October 2018 US Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Steven Strohmaier Feng Huang Ao in October 2018

A Hong Kong-flagged asphalt/bitumen tanker suffered an onboard fire while in US waters on Wednesday, December 19.

The 146- by 22-metre Feng Huang Ao (pictured) was about to depart the New York Harbor area when the fire ignited in the engine room at around 20:00 local time. The crew was able to extinguish the fire using the installed fire suppression system.

At 20:05, the crew alerted US Coast Guard watchstanders at Sector New York, which then despatched the 26-metre Marine Protector-class patrol boat USCGC Shrike as well as a 14-metre motor life boat. Marine units from the New York City Police Department (NYPD) and the New York City Fire Department (FDNY) also arrived on scene to render assistance.

FDNY personnel boarded the vessel and entered the engine room to ensure the fire was extinguished.

A safety zone is now in place and a plan is currently being developed to salvage the stricken vessel. No injuries or oil spills have been reported.

This is the second time this year that Feng Huang Ao suffered an engine room fire while just off the US East Coast.

The first incident occurred on October 5, 2018, when a fire ignited in the engine room as the vessel was transiting the waters off Nantucket Island in Massachusetts.

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