Victoria Clipper fire forces evacuations in Seattle

by: Alison Grande Updated:

A fire aboard the Victoria Clipper forced an emergency docking at Shilshole Marina Friday evening, and about 150 passengers were evacuated. (KIRO 7)

A fire in the engine room of the Victoria Clipper 3 forced an emergency docking at Shilshole Bay Marina Friday evening, and passengers were evacuated.

About 150 passengers were moved from the first floor to the top of the boat, and the Coast Guard was assisting with their evacuation about 7:30 p.m.

The group was not traveling to Canada - the boat was returning from Friday Harbor where the passengers were whale watching.

The Clipper was supposed to dock at Pier 69 in downtown Seattle at 7:15pm.   The fire started in one of the engine rooms.

Passenger Nancy Yee told us the captain made an announcement, “’'We did have a small fire in the engine room. We think we put it out.  But we’re going to just go very slowly.’”

The crew used the chemical suppression system to put out the flames.    The Coast Guard escorted the Clipper 3 as it limped into Ballard’s Shilshole Marina on the remaining engine.

Passenger Rita Pagano told us she was outside when all of sudden other passengers started packing the upper deck.  Pagano, who was visiting from Florida, told KIRO 7, ” I was pretty scared thinking any little spark could start a bigger fire.”

The passengers were loaded into waiting buses, and driven back to the Victoria Clipper terminal at Pier 69 in Downtown Seattle.

Passengers praised how the crew handled the fire.

The Coast Guard is investigating how the fire started.

Mechanics working on the Victoria Clipper 3 Friday night told KIRO 7's  Alison Grande,  it was some oil that leaked out of the engine's turbo charger that started to smoke.

An engineer put it out.

The Clipper 3 will be out of service, if you have reservations check with the Clipper.

A mechanic  mentioned to KIRO 7, the timing is bad, just at the height of the season.