SSA reports smell of smoke, but no fire, on Friday evening trip

— File photo by Tim Johnson

Reports of a fire aboard the ferry Martha’s Vineyard on her crossing to Woods Hole Friday evening were incorrect, Steamship Authority (SSA) general manager Wayne Lamson said.

Reports of a fire began to circulate on Facebook, after a passenger on her way to Woods Hole said there had been a fire in the engine room, passengers smelled smoke, but everyone was safe.

In an email to The Times Saturday, Mr. Lamson said that at 7:30 pm Friday, June 1, Capt. David Dandridge called the SSA assistant port captain and reported that the vessel’s boatswain reported smelling smoke on the Martha’s Vineyard’s freight deck.

“After investigating, it was discovered the lagging (insulation) around the bow thruster exhaust smelled like it was burning. It wasn’t,” the port captain reported. “The exhaust was reconfigured. There is a loop in it and this may be the reason.”

The assistant port captain said the bow thruster was used to hold the boat in place in Oak Bluffs for an extended period of time, the first time it had been used since the new exhaust was installed.