The 564 TEU container ship Wan Hai 176 lost engine power on the afternoon of 8 April, while it was sailing from Oakland, US toward Seattle, US, and it was adrift to Coast Guard Sector San Francisco watchstanders.
With 21 crew members on board, the Wan Hai-owned vessel began to sail about 19 kilometres from the coast of Point Reyes, California, and as the ship’s captain reported they were unable to properly anchor, the ship drifted toward the coast.
On 10 April, the Unified Command tried to coordinate the tow of the ship to anchorage with four tugs, but rough seas prevented them from deploying lines for towing. The National Weather Service, an agency of the United States federal government, had also issued a gale warning for the waters in that area through Sunday (10 April) morning.
Finally, Delta Deanna, a 34-metre long tug, was able to pass tow lines to the Wan Hai 176’s crew at its anchored location due to more favourable weather conditions, according to the US Coast Guard (USCG).
Once the lines and anchors were secured, the tug began towing the Singapore-flagged boxship with the tugs Stacey Foss, Delta Billie, Delta Deanna and Rachel Allen accompanying the ship to anchorage nine in the San Francisco Bay.
The Coast Guard Captain of the Port of San Francisco has ordered the ship to remain at the anchorage until its engines have been fixed and Coast Guard personnel have conducted an inspection of the ship.
Then, 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.
Wan Hai 176 is carrying miscellaneous material in 783 containers, according to a statement, and has no reported hazardous materials, while there have been no reports of injuries or pollution, and the crew is safe.