Coast Guard Assists Disabled Freighter

The Coast Guard assisted a disabled and adrift 432-foot ocean freighter with 9 people on board 70 miles southeast of Cape Cod on Saturday, February 26.

The vessel Dintelborg, enroute from the Netherlands to Willington, Virginia, lost propulsion when a small fire broke out on the bridge, disabling the ship in 16-foot seas. The vessel had no ship-to-shore communications.

Watchstanders in the First District Command Center in Boston first became aware of the problem when a signal from the freighter’s emergency position indicating radio beacon was detected at 1:13 a.m. Radio calls to the ship went unanswered, and it wasn’t until an MH-60 jayhawk helicopter sent from Air Station Cape Cod arrived on scene at 2:52 a.m. that contact was established via the freighter’s crew, who were equipped only with a handheld VHF.

A Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules aircraft from Elizabeth City, North Carolina, later relieved the helicopter, and served as a communications platform to relay messages from the disabled ship to rescue coordinators on shore.

A tug Rown Mcallister from New Bedford, Massachusetts, was dispatched and planned to tow the freighter to Providence, Rhode Island.

The cause of the fire is unknown and the Coast Guard is investigating.

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