UPDATE: We are saddened to report that the injured crewmember, the boat’s chief engineer, died in a Toronto hospital Wednesday morning. The man, along with the five other crewmembers, have not yet been identified.
Original: A mariner is in critical condition after suffering severe burns after the 105-foot, US-flagged tugboat, Patrice McAllister, caught fire in the Canadian waters of Lake Ontario Tuesday night. 6 crew were on board and unconfirmed reports indicate the tug was pushing a barge at the time the fire broke out. The injured person was MEDEVAC’d by a Canadian helicopter crew and taken to a hospital in Belleville, Ontario, and was later transferred to Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto.
Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Buffalo received an alert from an emergency position indicating radio beacon registered to the vessel, which provided them with an exact location about seven miles south of Prince Edward Point, Ontario.
A U.S. Coast Guard search and rescue crew responded aboard an MH-65 Dolphin rescue helicopter from Air Station Detroit, and Canadian rescue crews launched aboard a C-130 aircraft, Griffin helicopter and the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Cape Hearne, a 47-foot Cape Class motor lifeboat from Kingston, Ontario.
A commercial salvage company has been contracted to tow the vessel to the freight dock in Clayton, N.Y., where U.S. Coast Guard marine inspectors will meet it. There are no reports of pollution.
The cause of the fire is currently under investigation.