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Press Release | June 11, 2023

Coast Guard, partners respond to report of vessel fire off California



SAN FRANCISCO — The U.S. Coast Guard and Monterey Fire Department responded to a report of a possible fire on board the 50-foot whale watching vessel Pacifica with 43 people aboard off Point Pinos, Sunday.

A Station Monterey 47-foot Motor Life Boat crew put the disabled Pacifica in tow and brought it back to Monterey. There are no reports of injury.

The cause of the incident is under investigation.

At approximately 10 a.m., Coast Guard Sector San Francisco watchstanders received a report from the master of the Pacifica stating a fire alarm was going off in the vessel’s engine room and there were reports of smoke. The master stated the Pacifica was returning to port and requested Coast Guard assistance.

Sector San Francisco watchstanders deployed the motor life boat crew in response to provide an escort for the Pacifica and coordinated with the Monterey Fire Department who also launched a fire boat crew to assist.

U.S. Coast Guard Air Station San Francisco and Naval Air Station Lemoore also launched helicopter crews to support.

While en route to Monterey the Pacifica lost propulsion at which point the motor life boat crew put the Pacifica in tow and brought the vessel to Monterey harbor and awaiting emergency services.  There were no reports of injuries or medical concerns. 

The weather on scene was winds of 10 mph and seas up to 5 feet.