Another Large Cargo Ship Loses Control Exiting US Harbor

( – Another cargo ship plying the U.S. East Coast temporarily lost control, narrowly avoiding a repeat of the tragic and destructive collision and collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, Maryland.

According to authorities, the cargo ship APL Qingdao experienced a sudden loss of propulsion as it approached the Verrazzano Narrows Bridge in New York City, another iconic piece of U.S. history and infrastructure. The 1,145’x150’, 89,000 ton-vessel was on its way out into open waters from Port Newark, New Jersey, through the Kill Van Kull channel when crew members alerted authorities on shore that the ship had lost propulsion.

Three tug boats escorting the vessel at the time attempted to assist the vessel safely to port. The effort was successful, with the APL Quingdao safely anchoring in Stapleton Anchorage, and no incidents were reported. The Coast Guard said that the tug boats were part of a safety protocol implemented for all large vessels that are leaving their berth.

The Verrazzano Narrows Bridge is a critical passage that allows access into the New York City port, and an estimated 200,000 vehicles traverse the length of the bridge every day.

The APL Quingdao’s loss of propulsion was only temporary, and power was restored to the ship after some time. In contrast, the container ship Dali, which slammed into the Francis Key Scott Bridge, was shown to have completely blacked out and lost power just moments before hitting and causing the complete collapse of the iconic Baltimore passageway. In addition, escort tugs are not required at the Port of Baltimore. The operator of the Verrazzano Narrows Bridge also said that the structure is better protected against collisions, with its piers surrounded by large rock walls that are specifically designed to withstand impact from even vessels as large as container ships.

After being anchored, The APL Quingdao underwent repairs, and afterward passed inspection from the Coast Guard before being allowed to go back out to sea.

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