TOTE’s ‘Perla Del Caribe’ Arrives in Puerto Rico After Avoiding Hurricane Matthew

Mike Schuler
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October 7, 2016

File photo shows the LNG-powered Isla Bella at the port of Jacksonville, Florida. Photo: JAXPORT Marine Unit via NASSCO

TOTE Maritime’s new LNG-powered containership Perla Del Caribe arrived in Puerto Rico on Friday after sailing around Hurricane Matthew.

AIS data showed the American cargo ship moored in San Juan as of 3:30 p.m. EDT. The ship departed from Jacksonville, Florida on Tuesday ahead of Matthew but as part of its regular route from JAX to San Juan.

Although the ship seemed to navigate well away from Matthew’s path, the story made headlines as the storm arrived exactly one year after the loss of the El Faro with all 33 crew. The El Faro was sailing on the same Jacksonville to San Juan route when it sailed directly into the path of Hurricane Joaquin as storm approached the Bahamas.

Perla Del Caribe is one of two new LNG-powered Marlin ships TOTE Maritime built to replace older tonnage including the El Faro. Earlier this week TOTE expressed confidence in Perla Del Caribe’s crews ability to handle the storm.

According to AIS data, the Isla Bella, the first Marlin ship, departed San Juan on its voyage back to Jacksonville on Thursday.

As of Friday afternoon, the center of Hurricane Matthew was located about 60 miles southeast of Jacksonville with storm surges of several feet expected, but forecasts put the storm just off the coast of South Carolina by Saturday morning.

The voyage from Jacksonville to San Juan normally takes about 3 days.

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