USCG: MT Pine Galaxy Progress Slowed

MT Pine Galaxy photo (c) MarineTraffic.com/
MT Pine Galaxy photo (c) MarineTraffic.com/

The arrival of a disabled products tanker under tow by a commercial tug to San Francisco Bay is being hampered severe weather, the U.S. Coast said late Sunday.

The MT Pine Galaxy and the towing vessel are expected to arrive in San Francisco later this week, the Coast Guard said, about two weeks after an engine room fire cut propulsion and killed one crewmember. The update said that heavy weather has slowed their progress.

The fire broke out on August 13 while the Pine Galaxy was underway approximately 700 miles from the Oregon coast. The fire was extinguished using installed firefighting systems, however the ship sustained damage to its generators, leaving the crew with only minimal battery power and without propulsion. One crewmember was killed in the incident and, according to reports, was later buried at sea.

Following the initial incident, the Coast Guard said the vessel’s owner had contracted the commercial tugboat Millennium Falcon, based in Anacortes, Washington, to respond, but technicians were unable to restore power and propulsion to the vessel.

The Coast Guard says it has formed a joint agency team with the ship’s owners to ensure the vessel safely transits through San Francisco Bay to repair facilities in San Francisco.

A report from the Associated Press said that the tanker left Los Angeles on August 9 bound for South Korea with a cargo of propylene tetramer, but added that the ship’s cargo area was not damaged in the fire.