The 920-foot tanker Suez Matthew, carrying 31 people and a full load of LNG from Trinidad to Boston, lost propulsion just before 12 a.m.
Propulsion was restored aboard the Suez Matthew within the hour and the tankship executed a successful test of propulsion by 8:45 a.m. The Coast Guard Cutter Jefferson Island and the commercial tugs Liberty and Freedom are escorting the carrier to an anchorage in Broad Sound.
There, Coast Guard marine inspectors and investigators, along with the vessel’s classification society surveyor, will inspect the ship to determine why it lost propulsion. The tugs will also remain in the area to assist as needed.
The ship’s crew is making hourly situation reports to Sector Boston. The Coast Guard Cutter Escanaba is enroute to the anchorage to assume on-scene command from the Jefferson Island.
“The Coast Guard and its port partners are taking steps to ensure the vessel, crew and cargo remain safe,” said Cmdr. William Kelly, the acting commander of Sector Boston. “However, as a precaution, the Coast Guard will monitor the situation until I am satisfied all repairs are made and it can return to full international service.”
Current weather is 12-to-15-knot winds with 2-foot seas.
“There was a comprehensive analysis of every system on board the ship as well as the crew’s procedures in response to the power loss,” said Cmdr. William Kelly, the acting commander of Coast Guard Sector Boston, in charge of the response. “Hoegh Fleet Services and the master and crew were extremely proactive in addressing the problem and ensuring a safe outcome.”
After several hours of troubleshooting, repair specialists determined that a malfunctioning control valve had partially stuck in an open position, causing back pressure and subsequent failure of the turbo charger.
“Safety is always our top priority during this kind of response,” said Kelly. “The public, the vessel and her crew, as well as the cargo, were never in danger, and we took every precaution to keep the situation under control.”