Caribbean Fantasy response continues

Written by Nick Blenkey
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AUGUST 19, 2016 — As response efforts continued, the Coast Guard said yesterday that the fire remained active aboard the 561-foot passenger ferry vessel Caribbean Fantasy approximately half a mile off of Punta Salinas, Puerto Rico.

While all 511 people aboard the vessel, including crew, have been rescued, along with five pets, the Coast Guard said that two pets might still be aboard and that an attempt to locate and rescue them would be made when safe for rescue teams to enter the vessel.

The fire reportedly began in the engine room of the ship and spread to other compartments on board. 

The Unified Command set up to respond to the incident consists of the Coast Guard, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Puerto Rico Environmental Quality Board, the Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources and Baja Ferries (owner of the Caribbean Fantasy).

Also assisting the response efforts are American Cruise Ferries, Ardent Global, the Department of Fish and Wildlife Service, the Department of Planning and Natural Resources, the National Response Corporation, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Witt O’Brien’s, the Puerto Rico Emergency Management Agency and the Puerto Rico Fire Department.

Ardent Global is developing a vessel salvage plan for review by the Coast Guard.

The Coast Guard has established a 1,000-yard safety zone around the vessel. There are no reports of sheening or pollution.

The vessel is being closely monitored and booming has been deployed at the intakes for the Palo Seco Power Plant as a precautionary measure against potential discharge from the vessel. Another 14,000-feet of booming has been pre-staged near Punta Salinas.

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