Fire extinguished at Grande Costa D’Avorio in Port Newark

The fire on board Greater Ivory Coast was cleared in Port Newark, New Jersey, Unified Command said Tuesday.

The response will now transition from shipboard firefighting operations to investigation and recovery operations. The investigation is being led by the US Coast Guard in cooperation with the NTSB and other agencies.

The first began last Wednesday evening when the ship loaded used vehicles for export. Tragically, the initial response killed two firefighters and injured six others.

“I would like to once again extend our heartfelt condolences to the families of Newark Firefighters Augusto Acabou and Wayne Brooks Jr., as well as their colleagues, their fellow first responders, and the community in which they both lived and served,” said Capt. Zeita Merchant, Captain of the Port of New York and New Jersey and federal coordinator on site. “Their selfless sacrifice is remembered by all involved in the response and we will never forget their brave actions.”

Comprised of the US Coast Guard, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the Newark Fire Department and Gallagher Marine Systems, the Unified Command represents ship operator Grimaldi Deep Sea SpA, part of the Italy-based Grimaldi Group.

With the completion of the firefighting phase, the focus now shifts to investigation and recovery efforts to assess and mitigate any remaining risks or impacts on port operations. The aim of the salvage work is to safely remove and recover the affected vessel while minimizing the impact on the environment.

A formal investigation is led by the Coast Guard and also includes the National Transportation Safety Board, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, New Jersey State Fire Marshal, New Jersey State Police, Newark Fire Arson Division and Essex County Prosecutor. The aim of the investigation is to determine the root causes and contributing factors of the fire.

“The security of maritime infrastructure remains of paramount importance and the Unified Command is committed to fulfilling its mission to protect the country’s maritime interests,” the Unified Command said in a statement. “The transition from onboard firefighting to salvage and survey operations in Port Newark underscores the dedication, professionalism and resilience of its staff and partners.”

The Greater Ivory Coast, built in 2011, is a combination container/roll-on/roll-off (ConRo) vssel operating on Grimaldi Deep Sea’s regular North America-West Africa Ro/Ro service. The company said the ship contained 1,200 vehicles and 157 containers when the fire started, but there were reportedly no electric vehicles or dangerous cargo on board.

As of Sunday evening, Great Ivory Coast The 11th deck was monitored and overhauled to eliminate any remaining sources of heat while rescuers drained spaces to ensure the ship’s stability.

The Port Newark Channel reopened at 5 p.m. Sunday. The Port of New York and New Jersey remains open and operational.

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