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Chemical Tanker Adrift Off Oregon Coast

OPB | Aug. 16, 2014 10:41 p.m. | Portland

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A large tanker is drifting off the Oregon Coast. Crews have been unable to move it after a deadly fire nearly destroyed it earlier this week. The U.S. Coast Guard has been trying to restart the ship’s engines.

It’s a chemical tanker from the Bahamas currently about 700 miles off the coast.

Coast Guard officials said Saturday that damage from an engine-room fire is too severe to restore the vessel’s on-board systems.

One crew member was killed Wednesday in the fire.

The Coast Guard says says a tug boat is scheduled to arrive Monday to tow the 485-foot boat to a U.S. port.

“The ownership of the vessel has contracted a commercial tug which is currently underway with the damage control technical specialists,” The Coast Guard’s George Degener told OPB. “They’ll make that determination of putting the vessel in tow and where the best place is to bring them once they have them safely in tow.”

The Coast Guard says the ship has been inspected showing no signs of any damage to its cargo hold.  It’s carrying a chemical that’s used as a petroleum additive.

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