Foss Hybrid Tug Suffers Machinery Fire

Foss’s Hybrid Tug, Campbell Foss. Image: Foss Maritime

One of Foss Maritime’s hybrid tugs suffered a fire in her machinery space on Monday after having just completed a ship assist job in the Port of Long Beach.

In a statement, Foss says that the fire broke out at approximately 3:40 pm on board the diesel-electric hybrid tractor tug, Campbell Foss. The fire was extinguished after the crew engaged the vessel’s fixed firefighting suppression system, along with some help from the Long Beach Fire Department and crews from Foss Maritime’s Tug Alta June. One crew member was reportedly treated for smoke inhalation, but is expected to make a full recovery.

Foss says that at this time the fire is believed to have started in the battery storage compartment and spread to the engine room before being extinguished. .

Campbell Foss, front, with sister vessel, Carolyn Dorothy. Image: Foss

The Campbell Foss is one of two 5,000 bollard pull tugs using Foss Maritime’s patented Green Assist(TM) hybrid technology. Both the Campbell Foss and sister vessel, Carolyn Dorothy, have been designed to retain the power and maneuverability of their non-hybrid Dolphin class sister tugs, while dramatically reducing emissions, noise and fuel consumption.  The Campbell was retrofitted with motor generators, batteries, and control systems at Foss’ shipyard in Rainier, Oregon and brought to Southern California earlier this year with help from a $1 million grant from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) under the AB 118 Air Quality Improvement Program (AQIP). The Carolyn Dorothy, meanwhile, has been operating out of San Pedro Bay since 2010.

Foss Maritime says that the Campbell Foss will remain out of service until the investigation is complete, the cause of the fire known, the vessel repaired and corrective actions taken to prevent a reoccurrence. The company says it is working with investigators from the Fire Department and United States Coast Guard.

Foss added that the Campbell Foss incident is unrelated to the Carolyn Dorothy which is in the yard for a scheduled maintenance period and a planned upgrade to her Hybrid Operating System.  Carolyn Dorothy is due back in service by November.