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Ship due in SF after crewmember killed

A 485-foot chemical tanker that experienced an engine room fire on Aug. 13 resulting in the death of a crewmember and the loss of electrical power and propulsion is in the process of being towed into the Port of San Francisco for assessment and repairs, the U.S. Coast Guard announced Saturday.

A safety and assessment team comprised of the Coast Guard, along with a number of federal, state and local agencies, will work with the owners of the disabled tanker Pine Galaxy to ensure the safety of the ship’s crew while finalizing plans for the ship to be brought into the Port of San Francisco for repairs, Coast Guard officials said.

The fire left the vessel about 700 miles west of Cape Blanco, Oregon, according to Coast Guard officials.

The Bahamian registered ship, a mixed-product carrier, is being towed toward San Francisco, but its arrival date and time remain uncertain, due to factors such as weather conditions and the speed of the tow, Coast Guard officials said.

Among the products being transported by the ship are neutral oil, tetramer, propylene tetramer and vegetable oil, according to Coast Guard officials.

The Coast Guard said that there have been no reports of cargo leaking from the ship and no reported damage to the vessel’s cargo tanks, fuel tanks or hull.

Capt. Greg Stump, commander at Coast Guard Sector San Francisco, said in a statement released Saturday:

“Our top priority is ensuring a coordinated effort to get the ship safely into port where repairs can be made.”

The Coast Guard will escort the ship and establish a safety zone around the vessel, officials said. The cause of the deadly fire remains under investigation.

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