Maersk Containership Broken Down in the Pacific Ocean

An ocean-going tug from Dutch Harbor, Alaska has arrived at a Maersk containership which has been been broken down for more than two weeks in the Pacific Ocean.

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As of the latest update, the ship was currently located some 650 miles off Dutch Harbor, AK. Maersk reports that the MV Maersk Eureka was forced to shut off its main engine back on March 12 to replace a damaged fuel pump as it was en route to Long Beach.

While the vessel was initially able to continue its voyage, the main again had to be shut off again on March 14 and the 366-meter-long ship has been adrift ever since as crews fear restarting the engine could cause further damage.

An update from Maersk on Tuesday said the tug is now with the vessel and Eureka’s cargo remains stable and secure. As of an earlier March 22 update, all reefer (refrigerated) containers were with power.

The tug arrived over the weekend with an engineering team and repair parts. Maersk said it expects a progress report from the team on Wednesday, at which point it will have a better indication of when the ship will arrive in Long Beach. For now, repairs are expected to continue and weather remains favorable as Maersk continues with its contingency plan.

Built in 2012, Maersk Eureka has a cargo capacity of 13,100 twenty-foot equivalent containers and is registered in Singapore.

The vessel is operated on Maersk’s Transpacific 3/MSC’s Sequoia service connecting Ningbo and Shanghai, China with Long Beach, although AIS shows the Eureka last departed Yokohama, Japan, on March 6.

The Maersk Eureka incident is now at least the third involving a Maersk ship in as many months on the trans-pacific.

Previously, Maersk Essen and Maersk Eindenhoven each lost hundreds of containers overboard after encountering severe weather during recent voyages across the Pacific in January and February, respectively.

Late last year, on December 20, the 370-meter-long Maersk Elba became disabled just off Portugal’s southern coast following an engine room fire. The ship was two miles off the coast when it anchored and she was eventually towed to Algeciras, Spain.