The 564-foot container ship Wan Hai 176 with its anchors deployed approximately seven miles off the coast of Point Reyes, Calif., April 9, 2022

ICYMI: Containership Loses Power and Drifts Dangerously Close to Point Reyes, California

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 8078
April 12, 2022

With all eyes on the Ever Forward stuck in Chesapeake Bay, there was another incident over the weekend that had the potential to escalate into a major maritime incident. Given the lack of media coverage, with the exception of some local reports, it was an easy one to miss.

On Friday, the Wan Hai 176, a Singapore-flagged vessel with 21 people on board, reported a loss of engine power and being adrift off the coast of Point Reyes, California, a protected stretch of coastline off Northern California’s Marin County north of San Francisco.

Along with 783 containers, the Wan Hai 176 had approximately 39,000 gallons of fuel on board.

To stop its drift towards shore, the 564-foot container ship was able to anchor approximately seven miles off the coast and remained stable as tugs transited to the location.

The towing vessel Tug Stacey Foss arrived at 10 p.m. to assist, followed by two more tugs, the Delta Deanna and Delta Billie, arrived on scene around 2:30 a.m. Saturday morning. But due to rough weather the towing vessels were unable to deploy lines to tow the ship.

You can see the anchors deployed in the video below, taken Saturday:

Once more favorable weather arrived, the Delta Deanna was able to pass tow lines to the Wan Hai 176’s crew and began towing the vessel with the tugs Stacey Foss, Delta Billie, Delta Deanna and Rachel Allen escorting the ship to anchorage nine in the San Francisco Bay.

You can see the ship under tow here:

Thankfully, there were no reports of injuries or pollution and the crew is safe.

The Coast Guard Captain of the Port of San Francisco has ordered the ship to remain at the anchorage until the ship’s engines have been fixed and Coast Guard personnel have conducted an inspection. As of Tuesday morning, it remained at the anchorage.

The Wan Hai 176, a Singapore-flagged vessel with 21 people on board, reported a loss of engine power and being adrift to Coast Guard Sector San Francisco watchstanders. It’s pictured here as it was towed into San Francisco Bay. (U.S. Coast Guard Video)

Once the Captain of the Port order is removed, the ship is scheduled to be escorted out of the San Francisco Bay with tugs.

“This hazardous situation was successfully resolved through proactive collaboration, seamless communication and deliberate risk assessment provided by our local, state, federal and industry partners,” said Unified Command representatives.

Tne Unified Command consisted of the Coast Guard, California Department of Fish and Wildlife Office of Spill Prevention and Response and Marin County.

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