Photo of the Master Dylan before the accident.

​​Master Dylan grounded on a sandbar after being towed by the Master Dustin II. This image was taken from the Coast Guard small boat. (Photo courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)

Engine Room Fire aboard Fishing Vessel Master Dylan

Investigation Details

What Happened

​​About 0745 on December 1, 2020, the fishing vessel Master Dylan was trawling for shrimp in the Gulf of Mexico when an explosion occurred in the engine room. Attempts to fight the subsequent fire from on board the vessel were unsuccessful, so the crew abandoned ship to a Good Samaritan vessel. The fire was eventually extinguished by other responding vessels, and the Master Dylan was taken under tow. However, during the tow, the stricken vessel ran aground, the fire re-flashed, and the vessel later sank. The vessel was a total constructive loss with an estimated value of at $300,000.

What We Found

​The probable cause of the engine room fire on board the Master Dylan was the catastrophic failure of a diesel generator. Contributing to the spread of the fire was the location of the fuel shutoff valves within the engine room, which prevented the crew from securing them.​

Lessons Learned

​Following the initiation of an engine room fire, it is imperative to remove the source of available fuel to the fire found in the fuel oil and lube oil systems. In this accident, the vessel had no remote emergency cut-off valves outside the engine room, and thus fuel to the fire could not be stopped and the vessel was eventually consumed by the flames. Vessel designers, builders, owners, and operators are encouraged to install, regularly test, and have emergency drills that incorporate remote cut-off valves for fuel and lube oil lines.​​