Natural gas tanker disabled and adrift 35 miles off Cape Cod

BOSTON – The Coast Guard is monitoring and assisting a Liquefied Natural Gas tanker, which lost propulsion and is disabled and adrift with 29 people aboard approximately 35 miles east of Chatham, Mass., today.

The vessel is not in immediate danger and is drifting away from Cape Cod.

The 933-foot tanker Catalunya Spirit, carrying a full load of LNG from Trinidad and Tobago to Boston, became disabled about 3 a.m., this morning.

The tanker crew is making hourly situation reports to Sector Boston. Additionally, Air Station Cape Cod is planning to deliver a Coast Guard marine inspector and a technical representative to the Catalunya Spirit today. The Coast Guard Cutter Escanaba is on scene with the tanker to assist with communication.

Teekay Corporation, the company that operates Catalunya Spirit, has contracted two tug boats to assist. The tugs are expected to arrive on scene with the Catalunya Spirit at 11:30 p.m. A second Coast Guard marine inspector is aboard one of the tugs.

Current weather is 30-35 knot winds with 12 foot seas and is forecast to diminish overnight.

“As part of our response plan, we’ve notified our National Strike Team, and we’re coordinating salvage and pollution response assets,” said Capt. Gail Kulisch, Captain of the port of Boston. “A very comprehensive safety system has been developed by the Coast Guard in conjunction with port partners and the shipping company to minimize the risk to the marine environment and public safety.”

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