The asphalt tanker Feng Huang AO, with a crew of 21, suffered an engine room fire early on the morning of Oct 5 some 57 miles from Nantucket Island while heading for New York.
The distress call from the Hong Kong-flagged loaded tanker was received by the Southeastern New England Sector of the US Coast Guard, based at Woods Hole, Massachusetts.
The USCG reported that the fire was extinguished using the ship’s own carbon dioxide fire suppression system. There were no reported injuries to any of the crew and no reports of pollution. The ship’s main engine and the electrical generators were disabled by the fire.
A major rescue operation was launched. The USCG diverted the medium endurance cutter Legare, based at Portsmouth, Virginia, to the tanker to assist her. Salvage tugs were sent to rendezvous with the 479ft long tanker and on the morning of Oct 7, the tow of the tanker towards New York began, their progress through the offshore shipping lanes being monitored by the USCG New York Sector.
The following day, inspection crews from the USCG and firefighters from the City of New York’s Special Operations Command and rescue paramedics carried out a joint safety examination of the tanker to assess the damage to ensure the ship was safe to enter New York Harbor.