89,000 Ton Container Ship Loses Power Near NYC’s Verrazzano Bridge

A large container ship encountered propulsion failure near New York City.

This incident occurred on the evening of April 7, 2024, when the 89,000-ton M/V APL Qingdao lost power while navigating the Kill Van Kull waterway—a critical shipping lane connecting Staten Island and Bayonne, New Jersey.

The M/V APL Qingdao was en route to Norfolk, Virginia and is registered in Malta and owned by French shipping and logistics company CMA CGM.

The 1,100-foot-long APL Qingdao found itself adrift close to the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge, which spans the gap between Brooklyn and Staten Island.

Three tugboats, which had been escorting the APL Qingdao, guided the vessel to safety.

“Coast Guard Vessel Traffic Service New York received a report from the M/V APL Qingdao around 8:30pm, Friday, that the vessel had experienced a loss of propulsion in the Kill Van Kull waterway. The vessel regained propulsion and was assisted to safely anchor in Stapleton Anchorage, outside of the navigable channel just north of the Verrazano Bridge, by three towing vessels,” the Coast Guard reported.

“These towing vessels were escorting the vessel as a routine safety measure, which is a common practice for large vessels departing their berth.”

The Kill Van Kull waterway, a narrow 3-mile tidal strait, separates Newark Bay from Upper New York Bay. It ranks among the busiest waterways in the Port of New York and New Jersey.

To ensure safe passage, the Coast Guard mandated that the vessel’s propulsion system undergo certification to verify repairs and functionality. Additionally, the crew was asked to provide a detailed casualty report pinpointing the cause of the propulsion failure.

After meeting the Coast Guard’s requirements, the M/V APL Qingdao received clearance to continue its voyage to Charleston, South Carolina.

This incident echoes the recent catastrophe in Baltimore, when the cargo ship Dali collided with the Francis Scott Key Bridge, causing a section of the 1.9-mile-long bridge to collapse and resulting in six fatalities.

During a recent appearance on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” Maryland Governor Wes Moore acknowledged the severity of the situation at Baltimore’s port. He expressed optimism, stating that it was “realistic” for normal operations to resume on the waterway as early as May.

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