Ship towed to Port Angeles for repairs after stalling in Strait
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The MV Westwood Columbia is moored at the Port of Port Angeles repair dock Tuesday after being towed into Port Angeles Harbor. Arwyn Rice/Peninsula Daily News

By Arwyn Rice
Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — The MV Westwood Columbia was moored to a pier in Port Angeles Harbor on Tuesday, a day after losing power in the middle of the Strait of Juan de Fuca north of Neah Bay on Monday.

The 650-foot green cargo ship — an unusual-looking vessel featuring a large, square structure in its midsection — reported a loss of propulsion at about noon, said Lisa Copeland, state Department of Ecology spokeswoman.

The container ship, which is based in the Bahamas, was carrying lumber and other cargo outbound through the Strait of Juan de Fuca in Canadian waters when the failure occurred.

“It took less than an hour for the tug [from Neah Bay] to reach them,” Copeland said.

She said the MV Jeffrey Foss, the Neah Bay emergency response tug, took the ship under tow to the Port of Port Angeles repair pier.

“It was an 8-mile run at 8 knots,” Copeland said.

Copeland said there is no official report, but initial findings show that the cause of the loss of propulsion was related to an electrical issue.

The crew reported a switchboard failure. The ship was operating under emergency power during the rescue tow.

While in Port Angeles, the Westwood Columbia will undergo inspection, repairs and a class survey/report that will be submitted to the Coast Guard for review and approval prior to the ship being released.

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Reporter Arwyn Rice can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5070, or at arwyn.rice@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: May 20. 2014 7:22PM
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