Aleutian Falcon, 1 of Trident’s 2 floating Alaska seafood processors, burns in Tacoma

A oat on fire gets sprayed down
The 233-foot Aleutian Falcon caught fire shortly before midnight Wednesday, according to the Coast Guard. It was one of two floating processors Trident operates during the herring and salmon seasons in Alaska. (Tacoma Fire Department)

A 233-foot floating processor owned by Trident Seafoods caught fire shortly before midnight Wednesday. The processor, the Aleutian Falcon, was docked at the Port of Tacoma, Wash.

Trident has said the vessel is a total loss, according to multiple news outlets.

The Aleutian Falcon was one of Trident’s two floating processors that operate in Alaska. According to the company’s website, the processors follow herring from Southeast Alaska to Bristol Bay then operate in salmon fisheries throughout the summer. The Aleutian Falcon could support 120 crew members.

The Coast Guard said in a news release the vessel was still burning as of 2 p.m. PST Thursday afternoon. So far, no one has been injured.

The Tacoma Fire Department reported the fire. The department fought the blaze with water from the pier and three other boats.

In an update on Twitter, the department said the hull of the vessel is sound and it’s working with Trident to start removing water to prevent it from sinking.

The ship also held ammonia, used in refrigeration to chill fish. The fire department said during the fire the ammonia tanks were “of great concern” but that they “have been continuously cooled and are intact at this time.”

At 1 a.m. Thursday, Coast Guard pollution responders arrived on scene, and four vessels from a spill response company contracted to address the situation arrived around 5 a.m.

Trident has not responded to phone calls or emails requesting comment.

Trident has faced a number of challenges since the start of the year. A large COVID-19 outbreak at its huge processing plant on the remote Aleutian Island of Akutan has infected more than a third of its workforce, and forced the plant to shut down in January — just as the lucrative winter fishing season kicked off.

Just a week later, on Jan. 28, the virus hit another of the fishing giant’s processing plants — this time aboard one of the corporation’s massive factory trawlers, the Island Enterprise, as it was arriving in Dutch Harbor.

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