Fire-Damaged NYK Boxship is Headed for Oakland Under Tow

Smoke from the NYK Delphinus' engine room vents, May 14 (USCG)

Published May 16, 2021 11:05 PM by The Maritime Executive

The engine room fire aboard the boxship NYK Delphinus is under control and a commercial tug has taken the vessel in tow, bound for Oakland. 

Early on Friday morning, the crew of the Delphinus reported an engine fire aboard the vessel at a position about 80 miles off the coast of Big Sur, California. The U.S. Coast Guard dispatched the cutter Sockeye and a helicopter aircrew out of Air Station San Francisco to assess the vessel and provide assistance. Resolve Marine was designated as the commercial salvage responder, and it contracted five tugs to assist - the Jamie Ann, Sarah Avrick, Delta Deanna, Delta Lindsay and Scorpio. On arrival, the tugs provided external hull cooling and stood by to assist.

Through Saturday morning, the crew of the Delphinus reported declining temperatures on the engine room bulkheads. Smoke from her engine room vents was no longer visible, and the crew assessed that the fire was contained. With the fire substantially under control, the tugboat Delta Deanna took the Delphinus in tow and began heading north at about 1100 hours Saturday. 

The Delphinus - and her tug escorts - are currently headed north to a location west of Point Reyes, where the container ship will take aboard additional fire and salvage personnel. This team will conduct a thorough structural inspection and examine the damage to the engine room. Once this task is completed, the Delphinus will be towed to a pier at the port of Oakland for further assessment. 

All 24 crewmembers are safe and accounted for, and there are no reported injuries or pollution. 

The 2007-built NYK Delphinus is a Panamax boxship with a capacity of 4,900 TEU. At the time of the casualty, she was under way from British Columbia to Oakland. Her last PSC inspection was conducted at the Fraser-Surrey Docks in B.C. on May 6, and the inspector recorded no deficiencies.