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BEATING THE PIRATES
What's the best way for a shipowner to avoid having a ship hijacked by pirates?

Reroute the ship even if it means a huge diversion
Stay within recommended safe limits and patrolled areas
Hire an on-board security team
Just hope for the best

December 29, 2008

LNG carrier loses propulsion power

The 1979-built LNG carrier Suez Matthew moored in Everett, Mass., at around 11 a.m., today, after the lifting of a detention order that had been placed on the ship when it temporarily lost propulsion east of Provincetown, Mass., late Saturday night.

The 920-ft Suez Matthew, carrying 31 people and a full load of LNG from Trinidad to Boston, lost propulsion just before 12 a.m.

Propulsion was restored within the hour and the ship executed a successful test of propulsion by 8:45 a.m. The Coast Guard Cutter Jefferson Island and the commercial tugs Liberty and Freedom then escorted it to an anchorage in Broad Sound.

After several hours of troubleshooting, repair specialists determined that a malfunctioning control valve had partially stuck in an open position, causing back pressure and subsequent failure of the turbo charger.

At 11 p.m., Sunday, the captain of the port of Boston reviewed and approved the final repair certification presented by Lloyd's Register, an internationally recognized classification society, and the ship's owner, Hoegh Fleet Services, signaling approval for the LNG tanker to re-enter international service.

"There was a comprehensive analysis of every system on board the ship as well as the crew's procedures in response to the power loss," said Cmdr. William Kelly, the acting commander of Coast Guard Sector Boston, in charge of the response. "Hoegh Fleet Services and the master and crew were extremely proactive in addressing the problem and ensuring a safe outcome."


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