USCG leads response to fatal explosion on bulker in mid-Atlantic

USCG leads response to fatal explosion on bulker in mid-Atlantic

A bulk carrier en route from Baltimore, Maryland to Gibraltar on Monday suffered a storeroom explosion that left one person dead and three with massive burns.

US Coast Guard (USCG) was co-ordinating with rescue services from Canada and Portugal in the emergency medical response to the vessel Tamar which was more than 1,000 miles offshore Cape Cod, at the time of the incident.

New York Air National Guard’s 106th Rescue Wing launched an HC-130 extended range search and rescue aircraft with six pararescuers aboard, while the Canadian Coast Guard diverted two warships with physician assistants aboard towards the ship.

The 2010-built Marshall Islands-flagged Tamar is owned by Slovenian shipping firm Splosna Plovba.

Crew members managed to douse the fire. The cause of the blast is not yet known.

With the vessel’s engines apparently unaffected by the incident, it was continuing its journey to the Azores, a mid-Atlantic archipelago which is an autonomous region of Portugal.

Portuguese Coast Guard was due to assume responsibility for coordinating the response once the Tamar passes 1,300 miles from the US coast.

Donal Scully

With 28 years experience writing and editing for newspapers in the UK and Hong Kong, Donal is now based in California from where he covers the Americas for Splash as well as ensuring the site is loaded through the Western Hemisphere timezone.

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