Coast Guard, firefighters still battling blaze onboard Trident Seafoods’ Kodiak Enterprise

Trident Seafoods' Kodiak Enterprise.

Emergency crews in Tacoma, Washington, U.S.A. continue to battle a blaze onboard the Trident Seafoods catcher-processor Kodiak Enterprise.

The fire began around 3 a.m. on the morning of Saturday, 8 Apriland firefighters were still battling small spot fires on the vessel as of Wednesday, 12 April. The Tacoma Fire Department, U.S. Coast Guard, Washington Department of Ecology, Trident Seafoods, and Puyallup Tribe of Indians, are all involved in the response to the emergency.

“Dewatering operations are continuing in order to improve stability. Firefighters continue applying water to the outside of the vessel to cool the hull,” the U.S. Coast Guard said in a press release. “No new sheens were observed today, but the vessel is surrounded by three layers of containment boom. Responders and equipment are also staged and ready to respond if pollution is observed in the waterway.”

The 276-foot vessel is listing and is still loaded with 55,000 gallons of diesel fuel, according to the Coast Guard.

“In the coming days, responders will ensure the ship is safe for investigators to get on board and for crews to proceed with salvage work,” it said. “Despite the list, the vessel remains stable while dewatering efforts continue. Air monitoring instruments remain in place.”

Dive operations conducted on 11 April concluded the hull remains intact and no water intrusion has occurred. The Tacoma Fire Department is now working on a demobilization plan to scale down its response presence, its chief, Todd Magliocca, told KIRO 7 News. The fire department lifted a shelter-in-place order issued over the weekend due to intense smoke and fumes coming from the fire.

“Now that it’s safe, we’re actually putting people in those individual rooms [of the vessel] again. Things have cooled down, and we’re actually able to go compartment by compartment and check those off,” Magliocca said. “It seems like there’s no pressure on the tanks that we’ve been worried about, the freon tank and the fuel tank.”

The Kodiak Enterprise’s freon tanks’ pressure relief valves, activated automatically by the fire, released all the vessel’s 19,000 pounds of freon into the atmosphere, causing an impact on the environment equivalent to the burning of 1.7 million gallons of gasoline, according to KUOW

Trident Vice President of Global Communications Alexis Telfer told SeafoodSource an assessment of the damage to the vessel will commence as soon as it is deemed safe to board. The Coast Guard and National Transportation Safety Board will also conduct an investigation into the cause of the fire.

The vessel will not be available to participate in the upcoming Alaska pollock “B” fishing season, which begins in June, but the 2021 addition of the Starbound at-sea processing vessel to Trident’s fleet will help to cover any gaps created by the loss, Telfer said.

“There is a full team looking at the business continuity plan,” Telfer said.

The Kodiak Enterprise is the second Trident vessel to catch fire in the same location at Trident’s Tacoma facility on Tacoma’s Hylebos Waterway. In February 2021, the Aleutian Falcon floating processing vessel caught fire and was declared a total loss.

In a statement, the Puyallup Tribal Council called for improved safety measures at the site.

“This is the second boat fire in this location in two years,” it said. "Safety measures must be strong enough to prevent these incidents from happening at all.”

Photo courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard


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