UPDATED Disabled Cargo Ship Arrives in Argentia After Going Adrift Near Cape St. Mary’s

MV Baby Leeyn arrived in Argentia before 8 a.m. thanks to efforts of tug Placentia Hope

The Canadian Coast Guard was forced to send help on Sunday as the ship formerly known as Jana was disabled and drifting — again, and the vessel is now safely docked in Argentia, N.L., after being towed there overnight.

It was a harrowing few hours at sea for the 11 crew aboard the ship, now renamed the Baby Leeyn, after its main engine failed, cutting power to the vessel’s thrusters.

The situation became especially tense when the ship drifted within two nautical miles from land.

The ship was tied up in Argentia in September 2014 after running into engine troubles offshore.

On Saturday, after three years of being stranded in Newfoundland, the crew of 11 people set sail for Romania.

The ship made it 12 kilometres offshore before experiencing engine troubles and setting adrift again in rough seas.

While adrift, the ship’s crew continued efforts to fix the engines. The Coast Guard told them to draw up an emergency response plan, which resulted in the crew calling for a tugboat.

Winds were in the 30-knot range Sunday evening, and waves were three to four metres high, but conditions have improved since then.

Coast guard officials said tug boat was able to attach a line to the drifting ship around 6:30 p.m. NT, just as it closed within a nautical mile of the rocks at Cape St. Mary’s Ecological Reserve.

The vessel was initially secured by the Beverly M, a tugboat from Argentia hired by owners of the MV Baby Leeyn, but the towline was parted due to poor weather conditions.

“It was very challenging for the masters on the tugs. The sea state was three to four meters, with winds at 35 ot 40 knots,” Larry Crann, the superintendent of Environmental Response told CBC’s St. John’s Morning Show.

The coast guard said a second tugboat contracted by the Canadian Coast Guard, the Placentia Hope, had secured the MV Baby Leeyn, and that it is anchored in 20 metres of water about 1.4 kilometres from land.

Placentia Hope began towing Baby Leeyn to Argentia overnight, accompanied by the CCG Sir William Alexander, a coast guard spokesperson said. Just before 8 a.m. NT Monday the Baby Leeyn safely docked in Argentia.

While there is no cargo onboard the Baby Leeyn, it is carrying 250 tonnes of heavy propulsion fuel and 35 tonnes of marine diesel. The coast guard says there has been no pollution released from the incident.

The vessel had not declared a distress signal on Sunday, but coast guard said an environmental response team and equipment are currently in St. Brides, where they are establishing a staging area as a precautionary measure.

The crew of eight Ukrainians and three Russians struggled while in Newfoundland after the Jana encountered engine problems while attempting to return overseas. CBC reported the ship’s owners refused to pay them and many stayed in the province to fix the ship.

Sources say the ship’s original captain died in Placentia earlier this fall. It is unclear how many of the crew from 2014 were on board when the boat left on Saturday.

The Canadian Coast Guard said it is now up to the ship’s owners to determine what happens to the vessel.


Source: CBC News