Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Foss Tows Incapacitated Cargo Ship

By Mark Edward Nero

An incapacitated Russian cargo ship that had lost power due to mechanical failure after leaving the Port of Everett, Washington was towed to the Port of Prince Rupert by a Foss Maritime tug on Oct. 20 after drifting for nearly three days.

Foss Maritime’s oceangoing tug, the Barbara Foss, towed the Russian cargo vessel, Simushir, which lost power due to mechanical failure late on the night of Oct. 16 off the west coast of Haida Gwaii, also known as the Queen Charlotte Islands. The ship had recently left Everett on its way back to Russia when a broken oil heater rendered the vessel disabled.

A Canadian Coast Guard vessel arrived at the scene last Friday to tow the ship, but could not keep a tow line attached and the ship again went adrift.

The Barbara Foss was eventually called in and managed to tow the stranded ship to the Port of Prince Rupert, BC early Monday morning, where two assist tugs and a pilot were on hand to help the ship dock.

The Simushir, which is roughly 443 feet long and was built in 1998, is owned by Russia-based Sakhalin Shipping Co., commonly known as SASCO. According to SASCO, the vessel was carrying about 400 tons of bunker oil, 298 containers filled with mining equipment, and 50 tons of diesel fuel when it lost power.

The Simushir had been traveling with a crew of 11, but officials said the vessel’s captain was reported injured and had to be evacuated by helicopter to Haida Gwaii on Oct. 17. No further medical details were given.