Coast Guard dispatches helicopter, patrol boats after oil tanker catches fire off Taiwan’s east coast

A Liberian-registered crude oil tanker caught fire 16.5 nautical miles east of Taiwan’s Orchid Island, and rescue crews were dispatched to rescue the 24 crew members on board, today, December 8.

The National Airborne Service Corps (NASC) said the captain of the MARQUESSA sent out distress calls at 10:30 am this morning, reporting a fire in the vessel’s engine room.

Three Coast Guard patrol boats and an NASC blackhawk helicopter were dispatched to rescue the crew after the vessel lost power and the captain decided to abandon ship.

The NASC began airlifting crew members to Taitung Airport where Health Bureau personnel wearing protective clothing prepared to assess the crew members for possible injuries.

Quarantine facilities were arranged for temporary accommodation.

At 3:30 pm, the National Search and Rescue Command Center stated that the fire had been brought under control. Eight crew members have been airlifted to Taitung Airport. The remaining 16 will stay on board and wait for a tug boat to assist the crippled ship.

A crew member from the MARQUESSA is transported to Taiwan on an NASC blackhawk rescue helicopter. Picture: NASC.

According to vessel tracking services, the MARQUESSA (IMO: 9308819, MMSI 636017580) was en route to Singapore, where it was expected to arrive on December 15.

Health Bureau personnel wear epidemic prevention equipment and assess crew members before sending them into quarantine.
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