Dealing with an oil tanker fire in New York Harbor

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The ship had just finished unloading reformate, a mixture used to produce motor gasoline, at one of the many terminals on the Arthur Kill, which separates New York and New Jersey.

As detailed on a website Organized by supporters of the local fire brigade, the Endo Breeze, Maltese flag, 47,000 dwt, built in 2003, caught fire on its way to Raritan Bay. The vessel was then moored to buoys in New York waters, and a marine unit from the New York Fire Department (FDNY) responded to the fire.

A report posted the next day on the site offered a transcript of firefighter radio activity as firefighters responded to the blaze.

“Marine 9, Marine 6, and the Marine Battalion responding to a report of a boat on fire at sea. The Coast Guard report indicates that the boat has a fire in the engine room. the tanker is not carrying any products The tanker is located across from Keansburg NJ but in New York waters across from Staten Island.Marine 6 said they believe the ship activated its internal fire control systems to confine the fire to the room. machines Possibly a CO 2 system.

Another firefighting enthusiast, posted to the website a few days later, described a combined firefighting operation coordinated by the nearby United States Coast Guard (USCG) team, adding that: ” Friday night [April 29] at 7:42 p.m. we responded to a ship fire in southern Staten Island. It was a 600-foot chemical tanker that had a fire in the engine room. Our marine units responded, boarded the vessel and assisted the crew in securing the engine room and ensuring the onboard suppression system was working. We then worked to cool the areas around the engine room, using FDNY Marine Company 6,” said #FDNY Marine Operations Battalion Chief Joseph Abbamonte.

“It was an extended operation: we continued to monitor conditions in the engine room for about 36 hours. We used FDNY assets from our Marine Operations, Hazmat Operations, and Special Operations Command units. Interagency coordination between the USCG and FDNY during this event was paramount to the success of the operation.

The vessel was then towed to an anchorage area just outside Verrazanno Bridge and then to a berth in Port Newark, New Jersey.

Speaking a week later at a lunchtime seminar on ship inspections conducted by the USCG within its “New York branch,” John Hillin, chief of the safety and security division USCG-New York Security, was questioned about the situation aboard Endo Breeze. During his discussion of fire safety, which is the leading cause of ship downtime resulting from USCG Port State Control inspections, he said: “There was a crack on a fuel in the engine room which sprayed on the turbocharger and started a fire. .”

The good news is that the measures preventing further spread of the fire were working; Hillin said: “Dampers closed, remote fuel shut off – everything worked, escape routes worked… the CO2 [used for fire surpression] worked…” adding that: “If the ventilation dampers hadn’t closed, we might still be dealing with a fire right now.

Fortunately, there were no injuries and the situation was brought under control. It could have been much worse.

The US Coast Guard just released its report on port state control inspections of non-US vessels. It can be found at: https://www.dco.uscg.mil/Portals/9/DCO%20Documents/5p/CG-5PC/CG-CVC/CVC2/psc/AnnualReports/annualrpt21.pdf

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