USCGC Waesche fire

U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Suffers Engineering Fire in Indo-Pacific

Mike Schuler
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September 23, 2020

Fire teams on board the Coast Guard Cutter Waesche combat a fire onboard the cutter in the Western Pacific Ocean, September 19 2020. U.S. Coast Guard Photo

A U.S. Coast Guard National Security Cutter suffered what appears to be a rather serious fire earlier this week while deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet’s area of operations.

The Coast Guard reports that the crew of the USCGC Waesche (WMSL 751) combated a shipboard engineering fire on September 20, resulting in some minor injuries to crew.

Black smoke was reported at 5:18 p.m. (local time) on Sunday before discovering fires in the exhaust stack and nearby spaces. After 90 minutes of firefighting, the fires were confirmed extinguished, the Coast Guard said.

Five crew members reported minor injuries sustained during firefighting efforts and were treated by the onboard medical team.

The extent of the damages and cause of the fire are currently under investigation.

The Waesche arrived at the United States’ Fleet Forces base in Yokosuka, Japan today for further inspection and potentially repairs.

“The rapid response and courageous efforts from the crewmembers aboard Waesche to quickly contain and extinguish the fire are a testament to the bravery and skill of this crew,” said Capt. Jason Ryan, Waesche’s commanding officer.

The cutter is under the tactical control of U.S. 7th Fleet as part of routine presence operations in support of the United States’ commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific.

Waesche is the Coast Guard’s second 418-foot Legend-class national security cutter and one of four homeported in Alameda. National security cutters have a crew of more than 150 and are among the largest and most technologically sophisticated vessels in the Coast Guard’s fleet.

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