Hong Kong-Flagged Asphalt Tanker Suffers Engine Room Fire off Nantucket

Disabled Hong Kong-flagged tanker Feng Huang AOImage Courtesy: USCG/Petty Officer 3rd Class Steven Strohmaier

A Hong Kong-flagged asphalt tanker became disabled off Nantucket Island, Massachusetts, after a fire broke out in its engine room in the early morning hours of October 5.

The 479-foot tanker Feng Huang AO, with 21 crew aboard, suffered the engine room fire while transiting 57 miles southeast of Nantucket Island bound for New York Harbor.

The United States Coast Guard informed that the fire was extinguished using the ship’s installed carbon dioxide fire suppression system. There were no reported injuries to any crew members, and no reports of pollution. The ship’s electrical generators and main engine were disabled by the fire.

Coast Guard Cutter Legare was diverted to the area to assist the stricken vessel, while the authorities dispatched salvage tugs to rendezvous with Feng Huang AO and take it under tow.

Towing operations towards New York began early Sunday morning with Coast Guard Sector New York personnel closely monitoring the vessel’s transit through offshore shipping lanes.

US authorities conducted a joint safety examination of the disabled tanker, which is loaded with asphalt, in the afternoon of October 8. Inspection crews boarded the vessel to assess damage and ensure the ship’s safety prior to allowing entry into New York Harbor.

“This was a significant engine room fire that damaged a number of vessel systems, and we are fortunate there were no injuries,” Capt. Jason Tama, commander of Coast Guard Sector New York, said.

The USCG said that Feng Huang AO will remain in port until repairs are completed. The cause of the vessel’s fire is under investigation.

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