Contaminated fuel cause in WSF ferry grounding

Chamber of Shipping > Blog > News > US > Contaminated fuel cause in WSF ferry grounding

The Washington State Ferries (WSF) Jumbo-class ferry Walla Walla returned to service May 3 on the Seattle/Bremerton route after running aground two weeks ago. WSF says that internal and US Coast Guard investigation teams determined that contaminated fuel led to a generator failure resulting in a loss of propulsion and steering controls. Backup systems were also affected by the same fuel issue, resulting in a second generator failure within seconds of the first. The investigation into how the fuel was contaminated is ongoing. To ensure a similar incident does not occur, all fuel currently on board has tested clean.

The Coast Guard issued a Marine Safety Alert in May of last year after a towing vessel experienced a loss of all propulsion while operating on the Mississippi River. That loss of power was attributed to water contamination of the fuel.

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