A 233-foot floating processor owned by Trident Seafoods caught fire shortly before midnight Wednesday. The processor, the Aleutian Falcon, was docked at the Port of Tacoma, Washington.
Trident has said the vessel is a total loss, according to multiple news outlets.
The Aleutian Falcon was one of Trident’s two floating processors that operate in Alaska. According to the company’s website, the processors follow herring from Southeast Alaska to Bristol Bay and then operate in salmon fisheries throughout the summer. The Aleutian Falcon could support 120 crewmembers.
The Tacoma Fire Department responded to the scene. Firefighters on the pier and three other boats used water to fight the blaze. They were joined by a Coast Guard response boat.
Coast Guard Petty Officer Steve Strohmaier said they worked to minimize the damage to the surrounding area.
“When they were fighting it, they had to be very careful about ensuring that the vessel would not capsize to cause a further problem of marine pollution,” he explained. “That being said, there was chlorine, there was ammonia, and then of course oil and diesel fuel on board.”
Strohmaier said that at this time, the amount of each substance on the ship is unknown.
On Friday afternoon, Tacoma Fire said in a Twitter update that it and a salvage company were coordinating to extinguish the fire and turn the vessel over to Trident.
The cause of the fire is under investigation by multiple agencies. So far, no injuries have been reported.
Trident has not responded to phone calls or emails requesting comment as of this story.
Trident has faced a number of challenges since the start of the year. A large COVID-19 outbreak at its huge processing plant on the remote Aleutian Island of Akutan has infected more than a third of its workforce and forced the plant to shut down in January — just as the lucrative winter fishing season kicked off.
Just a week later, on Jan. 28, the virus hit another of the fishing giant’s processing plants — this time aboard one of the corporation’s massive factory trawlers, the Island Enterprise, as it was arriving in Dutch Harbor.
This story has been updated.