Cruise ship cleared to continue scheduled voyage

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The cruise ship Star Pride was stranded in Buzzards Bay after losing propulsion. Coast Guard crews responded from multiple stations — WikiMedia Commons

Updated Sept. 8 at 10 am

The cruise ship Star Pride regained power a little after 5 pm Friday. The ship weighed anchor later in the evening, and left Buzzards Bay for Newport, R.I., with a tugboat escort, according to Petty Officer Nicole Groll. At 5:30 am Saturday, Coast Guard inspectors cleared the ship to continue its cruise to New York, she said.

Coast Guard vessels from Menemsha, Cape Cod Canal, and Woods Hole, along with elements from the Buzzards Bay Task Force and aircraft from Air Station Cape Cod, deployed to aid the 437-foot cruise ship Star Pride on Friday after it lost propulsion en route to New York from Boston.

The ship went adrift at approximately 3:30 pm, roughly three miles southeast of Westport and three miles northwest of Cuttyhunk, according to Commander Matt Baker, chief of response for Sector Southeast New England. The ship has 150 crewmembers and 190 passengers aboard, Baker said. The Star Pride drifted for about two miles, he said, because the pilot feared dropping anchor on the undersea cables that provide electricity to Cuttyhunk. At about 4:45 pm, the pilot dropped anchor for safety reasons. Baker said the Coast Guard doesn’t believe the ship’s anchor hit the cables, but knowing that is difficult.

“The nautical charts don’t indicate the exact location of the cables,” he said.

No decision was made to evacuate those onboard, he said.

Sally Spaulding, a spokesman for the Star Pride, wrote in an email that the ship “experienced a loss of cooling water for the engine systems, causing an automatic shutdown of the propulsion and auxiliary engines while navigating Buzzards Bay on the coast of Massachusetts. The cause of the shutdown was identified and addressed.”

As of 5:30, power was restored, and guests were served dinner, she wrote.

“At no time were the 191 passengers and 160 crew and ship at risk,” Spaulding wrote. “The U.S. Coast Guard provided assistance to the vessel, and a pilot from Boston was on board during the entire incident providing guidance. The Star Pride is on a 17-day cruise from Reykjavik to New York. It is anticipated the ship will soon resume its cruise to New York.”

Star Pride was on emergency generator, which provided “power to navigational equipment and essential safety systems, as well as basic comforts for the passengers and crew,” she wrote.

The 96-foot escort tug Buckley McAllister deployed from near the Massachusetts Maritime Academy to aid the Star Pride, according to the Coast Guard.