Does anyone, specifically those in Hawaii, have any information on the progress of the Phyllis Dunlap? I heard they have suffered an ER fire 90 miles from Maui, and are in the process of either being rescued or towed in?
If you are in Hawaii, you may be able to hear info on their progress on VHF 21, or 22A on the CG side.
Damn, great friend crews that boat, so glad he is home. Fingers crossed for all aboard!
Answered the question I just posted to your FB , disregard. Mine are crossed as well!
I believe the tug snohomish Is in route or preparing to sail to tow her back to PNW.
I know its a bit after the fact but what would you like to know? I was the Chief Mate onboard when she caught fire.
If you will not get into trouble with your company, I am sure a lot of us would like to know what happened and if it’s going to be fixable.
Well, when we were finally allowed to go down into the ER it was a mess. The fire was concentrated up fwd in the ER against the bulkhead below the main distribution panel. Also in that area was the 24v system, chargers, alarm panels, etc., all were destroyed by the fire. The Honolulu Fire Dept. and USCG came down to the boat and did an unofficial investigation and determined that the fire was caused by 2 battery cables rubbing over time. The cable were about 3/0 size or bigger. Now that is the unofficial cause but the HFD investigator seemed to think that was the cause. The damage in the ER consisted of smoke damage through out but I have to say that our Eng. was top notch and kept all the bulkhead doors shut (like you’re supposed to) so smoke and fire was contained. The ME eng control panels were above the fire and were totally destroyed most of the wiring in the area as well. The rest of the damage would be typical of a fire like melted stuff all over the place. The ME were off when we pulled the CO2 so they will be fine. The She will need a whole lot of wiring work as well as a cleaning. The boat is a SOLAS class vessel and in good shape just passing its ABS audit so the wires rubbing to me was just about the only thing that could have started a fire. I mean the Phyllis was a tight ship and everything was in place. I was off watch and hanging out with the second mate in the WH when the alarm sounded indicating a fire in the ER and smoke stack I sounded the alarm and went to wake the Captain then to my room for my suit and jacket. By the time I got back to the WH we lost our engines and steering. Apparently the fire started just below the ME control panels and they melted and shut down the mains before we knew WTF happened. About 10 min later while securing the covers to the ER the barge caught up with us and ran into us causing damage to the STB side. It crushed the bulwarks, brow and opened up the FW tanks along the stbd side. Other than that it didnt do too much more hurt to the boat. The seas were about 2-4’ and wind was 15-20 so we were lucky. Had it been 2 days earlier we were in 60+mph winds and 25’ seas. Id like to add that my crew members did exactly what they were trained to do. As the chief mate I didnt have to chase a bunch of chickens around telling them what to do. They were all seasoned mariners and some had actually been in similar emergencies so if it had to happen Im personally glad it was with them. Other than a small problem with the vent covers it went as smooth as can be. As i mentioned earlier the Eng. kept the bulkhead doors shut but if you’re a tug boater you know that sometimes doors are tied open or doors dont even close at all. That could have been a big problem for us and made the difference between us staying aboard the tug while we waited for assistance or waiting on the barge. It also looks like you are a professional mariner when the hatches are in there proper position and ready for use in an investigation. So in saying that go check your hatches cause when the *%$@ hits the fan you wont have time to go dog a hatch, cut a rope or cover up your laziness. It happened so fast for us you just cant be prepared enough. It went really well with all of the safety features we have and the drills we need to do, not all tugs are as well equipped. Well I could rant about the boat and the fire all day but the tug is repairable and from what I heard it will cost about a million or more. She is on her way back to the NW now and I cant wait to sail on her again. Do your F#@%$N drills they are required for a reason. You will feel like an ass just before you burn up or have to jump in the water cause you were lazy. I hope I dont get in trouble for posting this cause I think every mariner needs a reminder of the importance of preparedness for emergencies. Happy New Year!