The U.S. Coast Guard came to the aid of a commercial tug Wednesday that was dead in the water 69 miles northwest of Maui following an engine room fire.
The Honolulu Command Center received a mayday call from the Phyllis Dunlap with six people aboard at about 2 p.m. Wednesday. During transit from Seattle to Honolulu, there was a fire in the engine room that resulted in a complete loss of propulsion.
The captain activated the engine room's fixed fire suppression system, which is believed to have extinguished the fire at 2:30 p.m.
Coast Guard aircrews aboard an HC-130 Hercules airplane and an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter were launched from Air Station Barbers Point; the Coast Guard Cutter Galveston Island was diverted and a nearby vessel, the Mahi Mahi, was requested to assist.
The Galveston Island arrived at 9 p.m, the Coast Guard news release said. After assessing the damage, the Phyllis Dunlap crew was advised to stay aboard the vessel. A Sause Brothers assist tug, Kokua, arrived and established a tow at 10:15 p.m.
All six crew members were reported safe and accounted-for, with no medical concerns, the news release said.
The Phyllis Dunlap crew is scheduled to arrive in Honolulu between 2 and 4 a.m. today.
At the time of the fire, the Phyllis Dunlap crew was towing a barge, called the Westward Trader, which collided with the tug when its engines were disabled. The damage to both tug and barge was superficial.