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Marine Log

February 14, 2008

Computer problem blamed in LNG tanker power loss

An AP report is quoting unnamed Coast Guard sources as saying "a problem with the computers that control a tanker's boilers" caused the loss of power that left the LNG tanker Catalunya Spirit drifting off Cape Cod.

UPDATE: A statement from the Unified Command now says the repair crew found two malfunctioning electrical relays

Yesterday, a Unified Command statement said only that technicians on the ship restored full electrical power to the vessel's switchboards Tuesday night and had continued to make progress toward resuming the ship's propulsion.

The ship is at the future site of the Neptune Offshore LNG facility off Eastern Point Light near Gloucester, Mass.

The Coast Guard Cutter Escanaba remains with the Catalunya Spirit enforcing a safety zone around the tanker.

The Unified Command at Coast Guard Sector Boston is monitoring and managing the tanker's safety and ongoing repairs. The vessel has not suffered any structural damage or released any product.

The Maine Responder, currently on scene with the Catalunya Spirit, has 2,640 feet of boom on board. The New Jersey Responder is en route carrying an additional 2,640 feet of boom.

There are 17 additional spill-response boats in the area that could respond to a fuel oil leak in three to four hours. Another 150 spill-response boats could be on scene in eight to 10 hours.

The Catalunya Spirit regularly delivers LNG to Boston. The Coast Guard is overseeing the vessel's repairs that will be certified and approved by the Captain of the Port of Boston prior to any future deliveries to Boston Harbor.

Every LNG ship that enters the Port of Boston undergoes an extensive pre-arrival check by a Coast Guard marine inspector. State, local and Coast Guard security boats meet the ship at the harbor entrance and ensure safe passage to the LNG terminal in Everett, Mass.

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