Fire-Hit Ro-Ro Towed Back to New York

MV Grey Shark file photo (c) MarineTraffic/
MV Grey Shark file photo (c) MarineTraffic/Jack Clifford

The U.S. Coast Guard and local agencies in New York were working Wednesday to extinguish a fire aboard a Panamanian-flagged roll-on/roll-off vessel at Homeport Pier in Staten Island.

According to the Coast Guard, the 360-foot MV Grey Shark departed New York on March 11 bound for the Caribbean Sea with 13 crewmembers. On Saturday, March 14th, one of the vessel’s two engines failed, causing the Master of the ship to make the decision to return to New York for repairs.

At approximately 4 p.m. Sunday, the vessel experienced difficulty with its second engine that caused a fire to break out in the cargo spaces of the vessel. Power was eventually restored to one of the vessel’s engines and the fire was contained by the shipboard firefighting system, but the fire continued to smolder.

After receiving assistance from the USCGC Seneca crew and a McAllister Towing tug approximately 180 miles southeast of Cape May, New Jersey on Monday, a tow was rigged for the Grey Shark so the damaged vessel could be returned to New York for inspection.

As of Wednesday morning, the Grey Shark was at Homeport Pier in Staten Island with the fire still smoldering, where it was boarded FDNY crews.

FDNY officials have since declared the fire to be completely extinguished.

The cause of the fire and the loss of engine power is under investigation.