Six Crew Escape Burning Tugboat Near Lake Charles, Louisiana

Mike Schuler
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September 17, 2014

MV Garyville photo (c) Neale III

The U.S. Coast Guard along with Black Bayou Fire Department responded Tuesday to a tugboat fire near Lake Charles, Louisiana.

At approximately 1:15 p.m., watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston Command Center received a report from the captain of the tug MV Garyville stating that there was a fire in the engine room.

All six people aboard the Garyville were able to escape and no injuries were reported.

Watchstanders launched a boatcrew from Station Lake Charles to respond. The Black Bayou Fire Department arrived shortly after and extinguished the fire.

The tug Garville was pushing two barges loaded with gasoline at the time of the fire, but was able to release the barges to the nearby tug vessel Woody Richardson.

There have been no reports of pollution and the cause of the fire is unknown, the Coast Guard said.

“The quick notification we received from the captain of the tug vessel was essential in this case and allowed for us to get a crew out to the scene right away,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Jeff Linberg, an operations specialist at Sector Houston-Galveston. “It’s very important to have a way to contact the Coast Guard in any distress situation and making sure you have proper communication while out on the water is key.”

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