Historic Martha’s Vineyard Ferry Breaks Down After Refurbishment

The Steamship Authority announced that the historic ferry from Martha’s Vineyard to Woods Hole had lost power on Saturday night, stranding approximately 100 passengers. The company might face public backlash considering the multi-million dollars refurbishment, completed only months ago. The ship is being investigated by marine inspectors dispatched by the Coast Guard.

Ferry Broke Down 15 Minutes after Departure, Coast Guard Declared

On Sunday, the Steamship Authority confirmed that the historic Martha’s Vineyard historic ferry experienced a mechanical failure on Saturday, at around 9 p.m. Furthermore, according to the Coast Guard, the ferry broke down 15 minutes after departed and it got stranded somewhere between West Chop Light and East Chop Light.

According to an official Coast Guard estimate, at the moment of the breakdown, the vessel was ferrying three hospitality employees, 72 tourists, and its 11-man crew complement.

The crew was not successful in restarting the ship’s main power generator and for approximately five hours, the stranded ferry had to rely on its secondary generator which barely managed to maintain the ventilation system.

Following an unsuccessful reboot, the crew called in the Coast Guard who used a triple towing system in order to tow the ferry to Woods Hole. At the moment, the Steamship Authority is collaborating with Coast Guard agent to determine the nature of the mechanical failure.

Investors are also circumspect regarding the ferry’s breakdown, considered that the Steamship Authority recently completed an $18.5 million refurbishment.


Following the incident, no injuries have been reported, but several passengers required medical attention for spending time in the cold.

Until the official investigation is completed, the Steamship Authority and the Coast Guard have refused to disclose any details pertaining to the mechanical failure.

After being towed to Woods Hole, the ferry has resumed normal operation the following day and has returned to Martha’s Vineyard.

Image source: Wikipedia

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