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NOAA Ship Rainier underway. Photo courtesy NOAA

NOAA Ship Rainier underway. Photo courtesy NOAA

NOAA Survey Ship Suffers Fire in South Pacific

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 4918
September 7, 2023

A survey ship with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration suffered a fire on board during operations off American Samoa on Tuesday.

The fire has been extinguished and all 41 people on board are reported safe.

The fire started Tuesday in the exhaust stacks of the survey vessel Rainer, impacting the ship’s propulsion and other systems. Immediately after the fire, NOAA notified the U.S. Coast Guard and the Department of Defense who worked to identify available resources in the area in case they are needed.

An update from NOAA Wednesday afternoon said most of the ship’s systems have since been restored and the vessel is back underway enroute to Pago Pago, American Samoa, with an ETA of Thursday evening.

“We are in regular contact with the ship’s command and our primary goals are to ensure everyone remains safe and return the ship to port as soon as possible,” NOAA said.

The 231-ft Rainier, a hydrographic survey ship, was commissioned in 1968 and is homeported in Newport, Oregon.

NOAA’s fleet of 15 research and survey ships are managed and operated by NOAA’s Office of Marine and Aviation Operations (OMAO) and comprise the largest fleet of federal research ships in the nation.

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