Multiple fires on a tug operating in United States waters just off the coast of Mississippi have led to the crew having to abandon ship this month. Another fire in May that took place on a tug named Uncle Robert occurred just off the coast of New Orleans, Louisiana. The fire on Uncle Robert began in the engine room as the tug was moving barges full of scrap metal. This tug fire was a serious one.
When the crew found the fire in the engine room, they attempted to get the tug to dock. This effort was unsuccessful as the tug ran into another vessel. This caused injury to three crew members. A fireboat was sent from New Orleans to assist the tug in putting out the fire.
The tug was moving six barges during the incident. One of the barges came loose from the tug during the fire. It then ran into the Poland Avenue Wharf. The loose barge caused a lot of damage to the wharf. Another barge being moved by the tug hit a barge that was tied to a different vessel during the incident.
After the fire was extinguished, investigators began looking into the damage of the tug, the barges, the other vessel and the wharf to determine structural damages and other issues that could now be present. Miraculously, no one was killed in the fire or subsequent accidents that followed. No firefighters were injured during the extinguishing of the fire either.
Maritime accidents can become tragic quickly. Fires on boats that are not docked can be very difficult to contain and can lead to horrific injuries and even death in Louisiana.
Source: Tug Technology, “Fire rips through tug and container ship,” May 11, 2018