Ship Fire at Port Newark Extinguished

July 11, 2023

U.S. Coast Guard Capt. Zeita Merchant, the captain of the port and federal on-scene coordinator, addresses in front of the Grande Costa D’Avorio in Port Newark, New Jersey, July 11, 2023. (U.S Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Mikaela McGee)
U.S. Coast Guard Capt. Zeita Merchant, the captain of the port and federal on-scene coordinator, addresses in front of the Grande Costa D’Avorio in Port Newark, New Jersey, July 11, 2023. (U.S Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Mikaela McGee)

The Unified Command consisting of the U.S. Coast Guard, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Newark Fire Department, and Gallagher Marine Systems has successfully concluded shipboard fire response operations at Port Newark and is transitioning to the investigation and salvage operations.

The Grimaldi cargo vessel Grande Costa D’Avorio caught fire Wednesday night around 9:30PM at the Port of Newark, an incident in which two firefighters died Thursday. As of the morning of July 11, the fire has been extinguished.

“I want to share our heartfelt condolences once again to families of Newark firefighters Augusto Acabou and Wayne Brooks Jr., as well as to their colleagues, their fellow first responders, and the community they both lived in and served,” said Capt. Zeita Merchant, the captain of the port of New York and New Jersey and federal on-scene coordinator. “Their selfless sacrifice is on the minds of all involved in the response and we will never forget their acts of courage.”

Salvage operations will encompass the safe removal and recovery of the affected vessel, with the primary objective of minimizing any potential impact on the environment.

The vessel was completing cargo operations of loading automobiles on to the vessel when the fire began. 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 onboard.

Concurrent with salvage operations, a comprehensive formal investigation will be launched to determine the root causes and contributing factors leading to the shipboard fire.


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