Massive container ship loses power near NYC’s Verrazzano Bridge

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A massive container ship lost propulsion power in the waters around New York City and was brought to a rest near the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge on Friday night — less than two weeks after failure on another massive cargo vessel caused it to smash into Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge.

The US Coast Guard confirmed that its Vessel Traffic Service received a report that the 89,000-ton M/V APL Qingdao lost propulsion about 8:30 p.m. as it traversed Kill Van Kull waterway — the shipping lane between Staten Island and Bayonne, New Jersey, the New York Post reports.

An image shared on X by John Konrad, CEO of maritime-focused news outlet gCaptain, shows the 1,100-foot APL Qingdao floating uncomfortably close to the span that connects Brooklyn and Staten Island.

In response to the power failure, three tug boats that were escorting the APL Qingdao guided the vessel until it regained propulsion a short time later. The vessel was brought to a position just north of the bridge where it anchored.

“Coast Guard Vessel Traffic Service New York received a report from the M/V APL Qingdao around 8:30pm, Friday, that the vessel had experienced a loss of propulsion in the Kill Van Kull waterway. The vessel regained propulsion and was assisted to safely anchor in Stapleton Anchorage, outside of the navigable channel just north of the Verrazano Bridge, by three towing vessels,” the Coast Guard said.

“These towing vessels were escorting the vessel as a routine safety measure, which is a common practice for large vessels departing their berth.”

The Kill Van Kull waterway is a narrow 3-mile long tidal strait separating Newark Bay — home to the Port Newark Container Terminal — and Upper New York Bay.

It is one of the Port of New York and New Jersey’s busiest waterways.

The Coast Guard required the vessel’s propulsion system to be certified that it had been repaired and was fully operational.

The crew was also required to provide a detailed casualty report documenting precisely what contributed to the loss of propulsion.

After meeting those requirements, the vessel was allowed to resume its voyage to Charleston, South Carolina.

Despite the unsettling optical illusion, the image instantly brings to mind last month’s deadly Francis Scott Key Bridge disaster in Baltimore, in which six construction workers were killed when cargo ship Dali rammed one of the 1.9-mile bridge’s supports, sending it tumbling into the Patapsco River.

The collapse ground maritime transit to a halt in the vital Port of Baltimore. Speaking on CBS’ “Face the Nation” Sunday morning, Maryland Gov. Wes Moore said it was “realistic” that normal operations would resume on the waterway as early as May.

“It is an aggressive timeline, but we are going to work around the clock to make sure we hit this timeline,” Moore said.

The Dali appeared to suffer loss of power leading up to the Baltimore crash.

The APL Qingdao, by contrast, just lost propulsion.

The APL Qingdao is registered in Malta and owned by French shipping and logistics company CMA CGM. It was bound for Norfolk, Virginia at the time it lost power.

CMA CGM could not be reached Sunday. Konrad did not respond to messages from The Post seeking comment.

This article originally appeared in the New York Post and was reproduced with permission

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