Asphalt tanker engine ignites off Nantucket


Updated October 6

The engine of the asphalt tanker Feng Huang Ao was ablaze early Friday morning some 40 miles southeast of Nantucket, according to the Coast Guard. The tanker Star Bright came to the aid of the vessel while it was burning. The crew of the Feng Huang managed to extinguish the fire, and the vessel attempted to anchor.

An ocean sentry from Air Station Cape Cod arrived on scene over the Feng Huang Ao. The Coast Guard cutter Legare also cruised to its aid. In a statement to The Times early Friday afternoon, Vitol spokesperson Andrea Schlaepfer said the tanker was about 20 miles nearer to Nantucket than previously believed.

“The Feng Huang Ao is a vessel chartered by VALT, a company connected to Vitol,” she wrote.  “The ship is about 40 miles off Nantucket. This morning there was an incident which affected the engines, but the ship is otherwise unaffected. There were no casualties, and there is no pollution. The vessel will be towed to harbor for assessment.”

As of Friday evening the Feng Huang Ao was under tow by one or more oceangoing tugs, according to Coast Guard Petty Officer Nicole Groll. Which port the tanker would be towed to was not known.

Updated with latest information. -Ed.