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A historic WWII ship was spared in a big fire on the adjacent pier.  As soon as I heard the fire was a Pier 45 I was worried about the ship.  The NRG toured the ship during the SF Conference. NRG member Edward Von der Porten lead the tours - Ed had a big part in getting the ship to SF and served on her crew that sailed her to SF (Ed passed in 2018).

 

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2020-05-23
 

Dear Friends,

At 4:15 am, a four-alarm fire broke out at Pier 45, next to the SS Jeremiah O'Brien.

Damage to the sheds was extensive, but thanks to the quick response of the San Francisco Fire Department the ship and her personnel are safe and secure.

We thank the SFFD and their fireboats for their incredible efforts in saving the ship. Without them, the ship likely would not have survived.

Please do not come to the ship. We are still assessing the situation and are working with our regulatory, municipal and community partners to gather more information as it becomes available.

We will continue to update everyone on the situation as it progresses.

Thank You,
SS Jeremiah O'Brien
National Liberty Ship Memorial

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I am most certainly not making light of the situation at all, but I find that for anyone who has read "The Cruel Sea", the silhouette of a Liberty Ship with a conflagration behind it gives me goosebumps.

 

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San Francisco is my favorite cities in the world. My son works there and my wife and I love going to the city. I've never toured the O'Brien but I know the area well and am grateful that the damage was not even more extensive. Yet another example of our first responder heroes doing jobs so well...right up there with our health care workers...

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The fire made the evening news over here in OZ - including the fact that 'a historic World War II museum ship' was saved.

 

John

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The wooden shed on the outer end of the pier burned. It was full of the fishing fleet's gear, as most were in port and "sheltering in place" due to the pandemic. The guys lost all of their crab pots and other fishing gear. Unfortunately, a lot of it wasn't insured. It's hard for a fisherman to take a $300,000 casualty loss like that. We fear a lot of them aren't going back to sea anytime soon.

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The ship was saved but they lost their entire support museum in the pier fire and the artifacts on display inside the museum.  A terrible loss.

 

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obrien-at-pier-35
 

Friends of the O’Brien,

This week we moved from our home at Pier 45 to our new temporary home at Pier 35 North. This is for a period of two months while the Port and other agencies clear debris and complete inspections of Pier 45’s infrastructure.

Foss Maritime provided free tug service for the move and many other companies have provided us logistical and material support. Thank you all!

The new home berth at 35 North is leased to Metro Cruise via the Port of San Francisco. Both Metro Cruise and the Port worked quickly to accommodate us and we are very grateful for the new temporary space.

We also want to thank everyone that has donated, provided assistance or reached out. It means a lot to our organization and crew.

If you would like to help with our recovery efforts, please click the donate link below. For material support contact us at liberty@ssjeremiahobrien.org.

Regards,

Matt Lasher
Executive Director
National Liberty Ship Memorial

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I did hear they lost an office on the pier. The big question everybody in the maritime community is asking is, "Where the hell was the firewatch?" The fire started and really got cooking inside the wooden shed before anybody noticed smoke seeping out, by then it was fully engulfed. As soon as the air got inside, it went up like a bonfire. There used to be some pretty stringent regulations requiring firewatches to be posted on all ships and on the docks at the Port of San Francisco.

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