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Coast Guard cutter undergoing repairs catches fire at Port Tampa Bay

Flames shot through the roof of the 150-foot Benjamin Dailey on Friday night before firefighters brought the blaze under control.
 
It took Tampa Fire Rescue 45 minutes to get a fire aboard the Coast Guard cutter Benjamin Dailey under control at Port Tampa Bay on Friday.
It took Tampa Fire Rescue 45 minutes to get a fire aboard the Coast Guard cutter Benjamin Dailey under control at Port Tampa Bay on Friday. [ Tampa Fire Rescue ]
Published Dec. 11, 2021|Updated Dec. 11, 2021

A fire broke out Friday night aboard a U.S. Coast Guard cutter in dry dock at Port Tampa Bay, sending flames shooting through the roof of the 150-foot vessel, Tampa Fire Rescue said.

Workers at the dock noticed smoke coming from the Sentinel-class cutter Benjamin Dailey and called 911. The first fire rescue crews responded at 7:30 p.m. and saw flames rising from below the deck through the roof of the 350-ton vessel.

The Coast Guard used the Benjamin Dailey to explain on Facebook the features of its Sentinel-class cutters. The Benjamin Dailey caught fire Friday while in dry dock at Port Tampa Bay.
The Coast Guard used the Benjamin Dailey to explain on Facebook the features of its Sentinel-class cutters. The Benjamin Dailey caught fire Friday while in dry dock at Port Tampa Bay. [ U.S. Coast Guard ]

A fire commander called for more trucks and firefighters due to “nearby exposures,” fire rescue officials said. It took 45 minutes to bring the fire under control and flames were extinguished shortly after. No injuries were reported.

The cause of the fire is under investigation. The ship was undergoing repairs when the fire broke out, authorities said.

The Benjamin Dailey was commissioned in 2017 Pascagoula, Miss., its home port, and its first crew training was conducted in Key West. The boat isn’t used for Florida operations but was docked in Tampa Bay for standard maintenance, said Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Ayla Hudson. It typically patrols the Gulf of Mexico and assists with search-and-rescue missions.

No one was on board when the fire began, Hudson said.