TOTE Maritime’s MV North Star Breaks Down Off British Columbia

Mike Schuler
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November 25, 2015

MV North Star. Photo: Canadian Coast Guard

Tote Maritime’s MV North Star spent more than half a day adrift Tuesday off the coast of British Columbia, Canada.

The Canadian Coast Guard reported late Tuesday that the cargo ship lost propulsion and was adrift near the coast of Haida Gwaii.

The MV North Star has since regained power and is no longer adrift.

Canada’s CBC reported that the ship lost propulsion at about 10 a.m. Tuesday approximately 50 nautical miles west of Haida Gwaii.

The Coast Guard sent the CCGS Gordon Reid and a tug to assist the vessel.

The Canadian Coast Guard reported at about 3:30 a.m. PT Wednesday that the ship had restarted its engine and was no longer adrift.

At no point was the ship in danger of running aground.

The MV North Star is one of two U.S-flagged, Orca-class roll-on/roll-off cargo ships operated by TOTE Maritime Alaska, the Alaskan division of TOTE Maritime. This ship serves the Jones Act Tacoma, WA to Anchorage, AK route.

TOTE Maritime’s Puerto Rico division, TOTE Maritime Puerto Rico, operated the ill-fated El Faro cargo ship which sank with the loss of all 33 crew members off the Bahamas in October during Hurricane Joaquin.

The two Orca-class vessels – MV North Star and MV Midnight Sun – are due to be converted to LNG beginning as early as this year. The El Faro was actually scheduled to be removed from its regular Jacksonville, FL to San Juan, Puerto Rico route and redeployed to the U.S. West Coast in place of the Orca-class vessels as the two ships begin their conversion to LNG fuel.

According to the NTSB investigation into the SS El Faro incident, the last communication from the crew of the El Faro said that the ship had lost propulsion, was taking on water and listing.

Orca Class Vessels:

  • Overall Lengt: 839’
  • Beam: 118’
  • Speed at 90% MCR: 24 knots
  • Trailer Capacity: 600 FEU
  • Auto Capacity: 250
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