Fire on board fish factory ship looks to have caused significant damage

A major fire hit fish factory ship Aleutian Falcon (IMO 8016330) during the night of February 17th while the vessel was berthed at Tacoma port, Washington state, USA.

Firefighting continued well into the following morning, with several land-based fire engines, as well as tugs, deployed in firefighting. However it was impossible to board the ship because of the ferocity of the fire.

On Thursday February 18th the ship developed a visible list and cracks in the hull were reported as having been seen. The firefighting tugs switched to hull cooling. The fighting of the fire was complicated further by the presence of a large quantity of ammonia, a common refrigerant gas for processor vessels, that was reported as being either on the ship or nearby.

The fire had started at about 22:30 on Wednesday night, and Tacoma fireboat Destiny was the first response asset. By 02:00 Thursday morning three fireboats were on scene, all of them directing water streams onto the hull for cooling.

The major efforts were aimed at keeping the ship afloat and preventing the dock and other vessels from catching fire.

Shipowner Trident Seafoods and the Tacoma Fire Department said that they are working on a dewatering plan to make sure that the vessel stayed stable.

Containment booms have been deployed as a precautionary measure, and the US Coast Guard imposed a 1,500 yard safety zone around the site.

The Aleutian Falcon is a 230ft dedicated processing ship serving the Alaska herring and salmon seasons. It can support a crew of up to 120 when deployed and operating.

Damage to the vessel was believed to be extensive.

1981-built, USA-flagged, 2,051 gt Aleutian Falcon is owned and managed by Trident Seafoods Corp of Seattle, Washington, USA. It is entered with Steamship Mutual (Americas syndicate) on behalf of Trident Seafoods Corp.