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During today’s regular meeting of the JAXPORT Board of Directors, the Board recognized the leadership of the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department (JFRD) and U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Sector Jacksonville for their agencies’ successful and outstanding response during the Höegh Xiamen vessel fire earlier this month at JAXPORT’s Blount Island Marine Terminal.
JFRD and USCG crews worked around the clock to safely contain and extinguish the fire, which broke out on board the vehicle carrier on Thursday, June 4.
Under the leadership of JFRD Director and Fire Chief Keith Powers and USCG Sector Jacksonville Captain of the Port Captain Mark Vlaun, the agencies were able to maintain the structural integrity of the ship, safeguarding lives and protecting the environment. JAXPORT Board Chairman Jamie Shelton and CEO Eric Green presented Chief Powers and Capt. Vlaun each with a commemorative plaque to recognize their efforts.
“There is no question that the quick actions and decisive leadership of Chief Powers and Captain Vlaun prevented a very challenging situation from becoming much worse, and for that JAXPORT is extremely grateful,” said JAXPORT Board Chair Jamie Shelton. “Our firefighters and Coast Guard members did outstanding work under extremely difficult circumstances, and we thank them for their service to our port and our community.”
Nine firefighters were injured during the incident, including five who are still recovering.
“We want the injured firefighters to know that we are thinking of them, praying for them, and we are eternally grateful for their efforts,” said JAXPORT CEO Eric Green. “We commend these heroes for their bravery.”
JAXPORT continues to work closely with the U.S. Coast Guard, federal investigators and other agencies as they look into the cause of the fire and the options for safely salvaging the vessel.
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