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UPDATE – Fire extinguished on ship adrift southwest of Haida Gwaii

Canadian Coast Guard says tugboat will arrive on Sunday morning

  • Feb. 2, 2018 12:00 a.m.

The engine fire causing damage to the drifting container ship MOL Prestige has been extinguished as the vessel awaits a tugboat to assist it to its final destination.

Victoria Joint Rescue Coordination Centre Lieutenant (VJRCC) Tony Wright said crew members remaining aboard the ship are monitoring the status of the engine.

At 10:30 p.m. on Jan. 31, the VJRCC was advised that the MOL Prestige — a 293-metre-long Singapore-flagged vessel owned by Mitsui O.S.K. Lines— was adrift about 207 nautical miles southwest of Haida Gwaii with 23 people on board. An engine fire on board the ship caused it to lose propulsion.

Wright said upon receiving the call, the VJRCC dispatched a CC-115 Buffalo aircraft to provide air assitance.

A CH-149 Cormorant helicopter was also dispached to the ship to evacuate two crew members who were injured on board. The crew members were later medevaced to Haida Gwaii for further treatment.

READ MORE: Port of Prince Rupert welcomes biggest container ship to dock in Canada

The ship’s owner also contracted a tugboat which is enroute to secure the vessel. It is expected to arrive on scene at 2:00 p.m. on Feb. 3.

Timothy Pajak, director of global marketing and communications for MOL Liner Ltd., said the vessel departed from Vancouver on Jan. 29 at 10:05 p.m. local time and was bound for Tokyo. The engine fire broke out at about 9 p.m. on Jan. 31, which caused the ship to lose propulsion. Pajak could not confirm what the cause of the fire was.

“That is under investigation,” he said.

READ MORE: Simushir arrives at Prince Rupert container port

More to follow.

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