Coast Guard cutter crew fights fire on board

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An investigator aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Waesche, looks back towards the cutter’s superstructure in the western Pacific Ocean, September 19. (Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Aidan Cooney)

The US Coast Guard Waesche (WMSL 751) arrived in Yokosuka, Japan today after battling an onboard engineering fire Sept. 20, while on a scheduled deployment to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of ​​operations.

Black smoke was reported at 5:18 p.m. (local time) Sunday, and investigations revealed fires in the exhaust stack and nearby spaces.

After 90 minutes of firefighting, the fires were confirmed extinguished.

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

The extent of the damage and the cause of the fire are currently under investigation. While at Fleet Forces Yokosuka, the cutter will undergo further inspection and possibly repairs.

“The quick response and courageous efforts of the crew members on board Waesche to quickly contain and extinguish the fire is testament to the bravery and skill of this crew,” said Captain Jason Ryan, Waeschecommander.

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

Fire crews aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Waesche battle a fire aboard the Cutter in the western Pacific Ocean, Sept. 19, 2020. (Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Aidan Cooney)