A Canadian Armed Forces video shows an airlift of crew members who were burned in an engine room fire aboard a cargo ship west of Haida Gwaii. (Canadian Armed Forces/Twitter)

Video shows air rescue over ship west of Haida Gwaii

A Canadian Armed Forces video shows injured crew members being airlifted from a cargo ship that suffered a major engine fire last week.

The fire on the MOL Prestige injured three crew who were in the engine room, and left the ship powerless west of Haida Gwaii last Wednesday.

Two of the injured crew were airlifted to the Haida Gwaii Hospital last Thursday with blistered hands. A third was airlifted the following day.

The MOL Prestige was adrift for more than a day after the fire, and needed a tugboat to return to port in Vancouver. The 20 remaining crew had lighting, heating, and communications gear powered by an emergency generator.

Bound for Tokyo, the nearly 300-metre, 70,000-tonne cargo ship was about 270 nautical miles west and south of Haida Gwaii when the fire started.

The Joint Rescue Coordination Centre was first on scene with a CC-115 Buffalo aircraft, and then a Cormorant helicopter to evacuate the burn victims. The Sir Wilfrid Laurier, one of the Coast Guard’s largest ships, also responded along with private vessels to standby until the tugboat arrived.

A spokesperson for Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, which owns the ship, said it’s unclear what caused the fire, which is under investigation.

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