2011-01-20 / Front Page
Ferry loses engine control
Operations now back to normal
Port Aransas ferry operations were halted for about 40 minutes this morning, Friday, Jan. 21, when one of the ferries, the B.L. DeBerry, “lost engine control,” according to Howard Gillespie, ferry operations manager.
No injuries or damage resulted from the incident, which occurred about 7 a.m., Gillespie said.
Loaded with about a dozen vehicles, the DeBerry was leaving the Harbor Island side of the Corpus Christi Ship Channel when the ferry lost engine control, Gillespie said. The ferry got caught in a current, and the captain then steered the ferry purposely up against the bulkhead at the McDermott industrial property on Harbor Island in order to stay out of the way of other vessels, Gillespie said.
Two other ferries then helped guide the DeBerry into a slip on the Mustang Island side of the landings.
The cause of the mishap was “a components failure on the control device down on the engine,” Gillespie said. Workers were making repairs this morning.
The rest of the ferry fleet was checked out after the mishap to make sure there weren’t similar component problems, and no such problems were found, Gillespie said.
The DeBerry probably won’t be available to move traffic this weekend, but that’s not expected to cause significant delays, Gillespie said.
On Oct. 14, another ferry, the R.E. Stotzer Jr., suddenly lost steering control while loaded with cars. The vessel went adrift and remained disabled for nearly an hour in the channel before other vessels helped it back to a dock. No injuries were reported.
Gillespie said the two mishaps weren’t related.
“These things happen a couple times a year, probably,” he said.