Crews Work to Contain Fire on Barge in Delaware Bay

DNREC Onsite to Assess Possible Environmental Impacts

Local emergency responders have been working into the afternoon today to contain a fire aboard a cargo barge in Delaware Bay approximately nine miles off the coast of Port Mahon. Crews from the U.S. Coast Guard and the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control are onsite assessing the situation after the fire was reported just after 1 a.m. today. 

USCG Cape May … At approximately 01:15 this morning a crew from Station Fortescue was activated to a 300 foot barge with a fire onboard. The barge was unmanned and carrying scrap metal and household appliances. Also responding are multiple units from Bowers Beach Fire Department Delaware. The barge fire is in the vicinity of Bombay Hook Point, DE. Station Fortescue remains on scene to ensure a safety zone is kept around the barge for safety of vessel traffic. Responding crew: BM2 Burns, BM3 Friedreich’s, MK3 Fox

The DNREC Emergency Response Team joined federal and local partners monitoring the Delaware Bay by air and patrol boat for environmental impacts caused by the fire, which discharged a plume of smoke. While smoke is currently visible from the beach, air quality monitoring stations in the region are currently showing low readings of Particulate Matter (PM2.5). Data is available to the public at or

Lewes Delaware air quality may 23 at 5 p.m. from Air Now

The USCG and DNREC crews are also looking for debris from the barge and its cargo of disused household appliances and scrap metal, and wildlife that might be struggling from the effects of the fire. As of Monday afternoon, they had observed no debris in the water from the vessel and there have been no reports of impacted wildlife.

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Barge Fire Delaware Bay May 23 seen from the Ferry .. photo Laura Cook

“We’re working closely with the Coast Guard, Bowers Fire Company and other response agencies to assess any possible environmental impacts to the bay,” said DNREC Emergency Response Chief Jamie Bethard. “While there have not been any significant areas of impact observed during the search, we’ll continue to monitor the situation.”
Bowers Fire Company is leading the incident command. The USCG and DNREC crews will continue to monitor the situation.

Barge Fire Delaware Bay May 23 .. photos U. S. Coast Guard Station Cape May

>>>>>>>>> COAST GUARD …. Update: Station Fortescue has been released by U.S. Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay after being relieved by USCGC BONITO.
The barge is still on fire and all vessels transitting the Delaware Bay are urged to use caution when in the area.

U. S. Coast Guard Station Cape May
U.S. Coast Guard
U.S. Coast Guard Mid-Atlantic
U.S. Coast Guard Atlantic Area Command

Barge Fire Delaware Bay May 23 .. photos U. S. Coast Guard Station Cape May

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