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Fire-damaged container ship being towed to Port of Oakland

Engine room blaze broke out while NYK Delphinus sailed from Vancouver

The NYK Delphinus is being towed to the Port of Oakland after it was debilitated by an engine room fire. (Photo: U.S. Coast Guard)

A container ship damaged by fire off the coast of California is being towed to the Port of Oakland.

The NYK Delphinus was about 50 miles west of the coast of Monterey, California, en route from the Port of Vancouver to Oakland, when the crew reported an engine fire to U.S. Coast Guard Sector San Francisco watchstanders at 4:54 a.m. Friday.

According to a unified command made up of representatives of the Coast Guard, state of California and emergency management firm Witt O’Briens, four tugboats are moving the Delphinus to an offshore location west of Point Reyes, California. 

“Upon arrival, additional fire and salvage teams are planning to embark on the Delphinus to conduct structural integrity inspections and examine damage to the engine room. Once the inspection is completed, the Delphinus is scheduled to transfer to Oakland Terminal Berth 22,” the Coast Guard said in a statement. 

There have been no reported injuries, pollution or cargo losses. According to the Coast Guard, 24 people are aboard the Delphinus, which has a carrying capacity of 4,888 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs).

The Delphinus departed the Port of Vancouver on May 6. It previously sailed from the ports of Seattle on May 5 and Los Angeles on April 29. The Delphinus called Cartagena, Colombia, in mid-April. 

Ocean Network Express (ONE) said in its latest advisory, issued Saturday, that the fire had been brought under control. NYK Line is an owner of ONE, which deploys the Delphinus on its Atlantic 5 (AL5) service. 

The AL5 service connects Europe, South America and North America and includes Panama Canal transits in the rotation. It originates in Southampton, U.K., and calls on European ports in Le Havre, France; Rotterdam, Netherlands; Hamburg, Germany; and Antwerp, Belgium. The Delphinus then crosses the Atlantic to Halifax, Nova Scotia, followed by a U.S. East Coast call at Port Everglades, Florida. 

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Click here for more American Shipper/FreightWaves stories by Senior Editor Kim Link-Wills.

Kim Link Wills

Senior Editor Kim Link-Wills has written about everything from agriculture as a reporter for Illinois Agri-News to zoology as editor of the Georgia Tech Alumni Magazine. Her work has garnered awards from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, the Georgia Institute of Technology and the Magazine Association of the Southeast. Prior to serving as managing editor of American Shipper, Kim spent more than four years with XPO Logistics.