Friday, August 24, 2012

Hybrid Tug Catches Fire at Port of Long Beach

The Campbell Foss, one of two Foss Maritime hybrid energy tugboats operating at the Port of Long Beach, suffered a machinery fire shortly after completing a ship assist in the harbor earlier this week.

The fire, which is believed to have started in or near the engine room, occurred around 3:30 pm Aug. 20. According to Foss, the blaze was extinguished by the activation of the vessel’s onboard fire suppression system. The Long Beach Fire Dept. also responded to the incident.

Although there were no major injuries, one crewmember was treated for smoke inhalation, according to Foss.

Foss says cause of the fire is not yet known but that an investigation, which is being conducted in conjunction with personnel from Long Beach Fire and the US Coast Guard, is underway. The company says the Campbell Foss is expected to remain out of service until the investigation is complete, the vessel has been repaired and corrective actions have been taken to prevent a reoccurrence.

The Campbell Foss, which was originally built as a conventionally powered 78-foot by 34-foot Dolphin-class tug is powered by diesel engines and electric motors. The 280-ton tug was retrofitted in 2011 with 10 lithium batteries to help power the boat while it’s idling and traveling from job to job without tows. It was the first Foss tug to have undergone the conversion process.

Another of the company’s tugs, the Dolphin-class Carolyn Dorothy, which also operates at the Port of Long Beach, became Foss’ first purpose-built hybrid in 2009. The Carolyn Dorothy is currently out of service due to scheduled maintenance, but is expected to be back in service by November.