Reefer Ship Runs Aground in Delaware Bay [UPDATE]

santa lucia aground delaware bay
Coast Guard units are working with partner agencies to assist the motor vessel Santa Lucia after it ran aground near Miah Maull Shoal Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015. Local Coast Guard personnel examined the grounded vessel to determine whether it was leaking fuel or presented a danger to navigation. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

The U.S. Coast Guard reports today a 470-foot cargo ship full of fresh produce is aground in the middle of Delaware Bay near Miah Maull Shoal.  The Liberian-flagged Santa Lucia is owned by Seatrade and was enroute to Philadelphia.

A crewmember aboard the 470-foot Santa Lucia contacted Coast Guard watchstanders at about 4:30 a.m. to report the grounding, according to the Coast Guard.

Miah Maull Shoal

As the above chart shows, Delaware Bay is a particularly hazardous area to transit through with narrow channels, few landmarks and shoal water in nearly every direction.  Complicating the matter the fact this ship is now aground in the middle of the bay which puts it at the mercy of a considerable fetch of water.

The Coast Guard says they are working with New Jersey and Delaware state government officials as well as the ship owner’s salvage team to evaluate the situation and safely refloat the ship.

“Our first priority is to ensure the safety of the crew, the vessel, and the environment especially in the current weather conditions,” said Capt. Kathy Moore, the commander of Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay. “We are also investigating the cause of the grounding.”

Update: The MV Santa Lucia got back underway under its own power at approximately 3 p.m. Tuesday.

The vessel is scheduled to anchor at Big Stone Anchorage for a Coast Guard safety inspection before moving on to its destination of Philadelphia.

There are no reports of injuries or pollution.

A comment from a crew member on board one of the Mcallister tugs on scene yesterday indicates the vessel had suffered a stuck rudder during a turn which caused her to run aground.