Coast Guard and Local Authorities Join Forces in Response to Port Newark Vessel Fire

July 7, 2023

The Coast Guard, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Newark Fire Department, and multiple state and area agencies respond to a fire in Port Newark on the vehicle carrier ship, Grande Costa D’Avorio. Fire fighting crews are working to extinguish the fire both from the pier and from FDNY fireboats. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Dan Henry)
The Coast Guard, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Newark Fire Department, and multiple state and area agencies respond to a fire in Port Newark on the vehicle carrier ship, Grande Costa D’Avorio. Fire fighting crews are working to extinguish the fire both from the pier and from FDNY fireboats. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Dan Henry)

A Unified Command has been established to continue response to the fire aboard Grimaldi cargo vessel Grande Costa D’Avorio, which caught fire Wednesday night around 9:30 PM at the Port of Newark, an incident in which two firefighters died Thursday.

The U.S. Coast Guard, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Newark Fire Department, and Gallagher Marine Systems (as representative of the ship operator) have established a Unified Command in Port Newark, supported by a host of federal, state and local emergency response agencies, to respond to the vessel fire.

The Unified Command’s operational priorities are ensuring the safety of the public and first responders, conducting fire suppression, protecting the environment, and ensuring any economic or operational activities in the port area are minimally affected, U.S. Coast Guard said.

"Currently, firefighting crews are working to extinguish the fire, both from the pier, and from waterside. Crews are working to gain access to the upper decks of the vessel, which is believed to be the primary source of the ongoing fire," Coast Guard said.

"Unfortunately, as of Thursday afternoon, there have been two fatalities and six injuries sustained due to responding to the fire aboard the vessel. Air quality monitoring is being conducted by the Newark Fire Department and New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection to ensure safe working conditions and public safety," Coast Guard said.

“On behalf of the Unified Command, I would like to express my heartfelt condolences to the families and colleagues of the two firefighters who tragically lost their lives, and those injured during the response,” said Capt. Zeita Merchant, Captain of the Port of New York and Jersey. “We continue to work closely with our partner agencies and neighboring jurisdictions. Together, we are pooling our resources, expertise, and equipment to enhance the safety of all responders and maximize the effectiveness of our response efforts.”

The vessel was completing cargo operations of loading automobiles on to the vessel when the fire began. The crew of the vessel immediately activated the on-board fire suppression procedures while the local fire department was alerted.

The vessel is reportedly carrying 1,200 vehicles and 157 containers that were scheduled to be exported. There are reportedly no electric vehicles or hazardous cargo aboard.

"At this time, the cause of the fire is under investigation. A formal investigation will be conducted to identify what caused the fire and all parties at the federal, state, and local levels as well as the owners are working closely together during this process," Coast Guard said.

The 2011-built Grande Costa D’Avorio Ro/ro vessel is deployed on the North America-West Africa regular ro/ro service operated by Grimaldi Deep Sea.


Logistics News

Consortium Forms North Pacific Green Corridor

Consortium Forms North Pacific Green Corridor

Maritime Risk Symposium 2024 – Great Power Competition and Gray Zone Engagement

Maritime Risk Symposium 2024 – Great Power Competition and Gray Zone Engagement

New Agreement Targets Nordic Hydrogen Projects

New Agreement Targets Nordic Hydrogen Projects

IMO's Facilitation Committee Revised MASS Roadmap

IMO's Facilitation Committee Revised MASS Roadmap

Subscribe for Maritime Logistics Professional E‑News