Asphalt tanker has second engine room fire near New York

A newly repaired 479’ asphalt carrier that was disabled by an engine room fire in October had another blaze ignite in the same space Wednesday night, leaving the vessel stalled once more off New York, Coast Guard officials said.

The Hong Kong-flagged Amber Bay – formerly known as the Feng Huang AO – was departing the New York Harbor area with 22 crew aboard when the fire broke out shortly before 8 p.m. The fire was quickly extinguished using the engine room fire suppression system, and the crew notified watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector New York at 8:05 p.m.

The tanker was disabled about three miles south of Breezy Point, N.Y. The Coast Guard 87’ patrol boat Shrike was dispatched along with a 47’ motor life boat from the station at Sandy Hook, N.J., as were marine units from the New York City police and fire departments.

Fire Department City of New York personnel boarded the vessel and entered the engine room to ensure the fire was out. There were no injuries or pollution reported, and a safety zone was put in place around the vessel while a salvage plan was developed, according to the Coast Guard.

The same ship, owned by Ocean Generous Shipping Ltd., Hong Kong, and operated by Bernhard Schulte Ship Management, Singapore, suffered what Coast Guard officials called a serious engine room fire Oct. 5 about 57 miles southeast of Nantucket Island. In that incident, the fire suppression system likewise put out the fire, but the vessel’s main engine and generators were disabled.

The Legare, a 270’ Coast Guard medium endurance cutter homeported in Portsmouth, Va., responded to the scene, followed by salvage tugs that got the tanker under tow Oct. 7. The vessel was anchored off New York the next day and inspected by the Coast Guard and city fire officials before being allowed to enter the harbor.

About the author

Kirk Moore

Associate Editor Kirk Moore was a reporter for the Asbury Park Press for over 30 years before joining WorkBoat in 2015. He wrote several award-winning stories on marine, environmental, coastal and military issues that helped drive federal and state government policy changes. He has also been a field editor for WorkBoat’s sister publication, National Fisherman, for almost 25 years. Moore was awarded the Online News Association 2011 Knight Award for Public Service for the “Barnegat Bay Under Stress,” 2010 series that led to the New Jersey state government’s restoration plan. He lives in West Creek, N.J.

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