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CMA CGM vessel restarts voyage after stalling near New York bridge

One of CMA CGM’s ships has been finally permitted to resume its voyage, after suffering a loss of propulsion just outside the port of New York in the United States.

The 2012-built, 10,000 TEU APL Qingdao, which the French carrier deploys on an Asia-US East Coast service, stalled near Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge outside New York port around 9 pm local time on 5 April, evoking memories of Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge, which collapsed on 26 March after being hit by the similar sized container ship Dali.

At the time, APL Qingdao, which was heading to Hampton Roads, after setting out from the GCT New York Terminal on Staten Island, was escorted by three tugs, a normal procedure for ships going to the Atlantic Ocean.

The US Coast Guard said, "The vessel regained propulsion and was assisted to safely anchor in Stapleton Anchorage, outside the navigable channel just north of the Verrazzano Bridge, by three towing vessels. These towing vessels were escorting the vessel as a routine safety measure, which is a common practice for large vessels departing their berth.”

The Coast Guard pointed out that, unlike Dali, APL Qingdao did not suffer a power outage that removed the ship’s ability to generate power for all onboard systems, including propulsion. The APL Qingdao’s last Port State Control inspection was on 25 October 2023, in the US port of Norfolk; no deficiencies were found then.

At the Coast Guard’s behest, the captain of New York port ordered that Det Norske Veritas, which classes the APL Qingdao, certify that all necessary repairs were done and the propulsion system is fully operational. APL Qingdao was allowed to restart its voyage after the Coast Guard was satisfied with the necessary rectifications.

Confirming the incident, CMA CGM told Container News, “On 5 April 2024, a moment after APL Qingdao departed the New York terminal under pilotage with the assistance of two tugboats, main engine alarm occurred, restricting full maneuvering without loss of propulsion. After reporting the incident, the APL Qingdao dropped anchor at designated anchorage by US Coast Guard, beside the channel.”

The French carrier continued, “Following thorough inspections and main engine tests, an attending class surveyor confirmed the vessel’s seaworthiness. The US Coast Guard has since cleared the vessel to resume her voyage to the next port in Norfolk on 8 April.”

Martina Li
Asia Correspondent

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