Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Crowley, Foss Tugs Assist Disabled Container Ship off Neah Bay

Two tugs, including the Crowley Maritime Corp. emergency response tug Hunter, provided emergency assistance to the container ship Horizon Tacoma last week, towing the disabled vessel through Puget Sound to the Port of Tacoma.

The crew of the 712-foot-long Horizon Tacoma, en route to the port from Dutch Harbor, Alaska, noticed smoke coming from one the vessel's main engine turbochargers late Tuesday evening. The incident occurred with the vessel located about three miles north of Neah Bay.

The captain decided to shut down the main engine as a precautionary move. Though no fires, damage, or injuries were reported aboard the Horizon Tacoma and the vessel maintained full use of its thrusters and directional navigation, the captain decided to call for tug assistance.
The Hunter, which reached the vessel in about 30 minutes, attached a towline and began towing the vessel toward Port Angeles.

A repair crew that met the container vessel at Port Angeles Wednesday morning determined that the vessel needed to go to Tacoma for full repairs.

Under direction of the United States Coast Guard, Horizon Lines engaged a second tug – Foss Maritime Co.'s Garth Foss – to meet the container vessel at Port Angeles and assist with the tow to Tacoma.

The Horizon Tacoma arrived at the Port of Tacoma APM Terminal at about 1 a.m. Wednesday morning.

The Hunter, a state-funded emergency response tug, is based at Neah Bay under an annual contract between its owner, Crowley, and the Washington State Department of Ecology.

This was the Hunter's first full emergency response of the year and its 11th in ten years. More than 44 full emergency responses have been made since a response tug was first stationed at Neah Bay in 1991.

The Crowley tug Valor was on position at Neah Bay until the Hunter returned from Tacoma.