Photos: USCG Cutter Waesche Suffers Stack Fire at Sea

stack fire
Firefighters conduct boundary cooling in Waesche's hangar bays while the fire burns abovedecks

Published Sep 23, 2020 12:16 AM by The Maritime Executive

On Tuesday, the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Waesche arrived safely at Yokosuka, Japan after sustaining a shipboard fire.

On the night of September 19, during a deployment in the Western Pacific, Waesche suffered an engineering fire. At 1718 hours on Sunday, the crew reported black smoke, and a fire was discovered in the exhaust stack and adjacent compartments. 

After 90 minutes of firefighting, the blazes were extinguished. Five crewmembers reported that they received minor injuries during firefighting efforts, and they were treated by the onboard medical team.

Fire team cools bulkheads in the hangar (USCG)

Seaman Dominique Diego wipes away sweat after returning from battling the fire (USCG)

PO3 Bruce Duarte tightens an SCBA mask on his face before battling the fire (USCG)

An investigator looks back at the hangar bays (USCG)

Crewmembers survey the damage to a compartment (USCG)

Overhauling a damaged compartment (USCG)

The extent of the damage and the cause of the fire are still under investigation. While at Fleet Forces Yokosuka, the cutter will be inspected further and may receive repairs. 

"The rapid response and courageous efforts from the crewmembers aboard Waesche to quickly contain and extinguish the fire are a testament to [their] bravery and skill," said Capt. Jason Ryan, Waesche's commanding officer.

Waesche is the Coast Guard's second Legend-class national security cutter, and she sails with about 150 crewmembers on board. The Legend-class is the service's next-generation cutter for long range high seas missions.