Freighter adrift off Cape Cod after fire breaks out on the bridgeFeb 28, 2011 12:00 AM
An Air Station Cape Cod, Mass. MH-60 jayhawk helicopter launched and arrived on scene at 2:52 a.m. and established contact with the crew of the freighter, who are using a hand-held radio to communicate.
A Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules aircraft launched from Elizabeth City, N.C. has relieved the helicopter, and is serving as a communications platform to relay messages from the disabled ship to rescue coordinators on shore. An Air Station Cape Cod HU-25 falcon jet will relieve the Hercules later today.
The Tug Rown Mcallister from New Bedford, Mass. is enroute to the ship and plans to tow it to Providence, R.I.
Coast Guard Cutter Seneca, a Boston-based 270-foot medium endurance cutter diverted while on patrol and is expected to arrive on scene at about 2:30 p.m. today.
Watch standers in the First District Command Center in Boston first became aware of the problem when a signal from the freighterâs emergency position indicating radio beacon was detected at 1:13 a.m. Radio calls to the ship were unanswered and it wasnât until the helicopter arrived on scene that contact was established.
The cause of the fire is unknown and the Coast Guard is investigating.
âWe werenât sure of the nature of distress until the helicopter arrived on scene,â said Lt. Adam Schmid from the First District Command Center in Boston. âThe ship is seaworthy and the good news is none of the crew have been hurt. We are working now with the ship to arrange a tow and get the ship to port safely.â