The Steamship Authority freight ferry Katama shot flames and sparks from one of its exhaust stacks Monday while on the Vineyard route between Woods Hole and Vineyard Haven. Video of the incident captured by a passenger on the vessel showed sparks and ribbons of fire rising from the stack.
Asked about the incident at Wednesday’s Port Council meeting, SSA director of marine operations Mark Amundsen said similar occurrences happen with some regularity. “It’s not uncommon to get sparks emanating from the exhaust,” Amundsen said.
Amundsen acknowledged he was aware the incident had been reported, but that he hadn’t seen visuals of it.
“We have gone out to the vessel’s chief engineer,” Amundsen said. “We’ve gone through the exhaust temperatures on that particular stack, and everything is normal.”
Asked what causes such a phenomenon, Amundsen said, “Generally that would be a result of unburned fuel.”
Amundsen reiterated that all the exhaust temperatures were found to be normal. “Normally you would see an increase in exhaust temperature for something like that,” he said. “We’ll be reviewing it with the engineering staff.”
SSA spokesman Sean Driscoll told The Times nobody was injured, and the vessel wasn’t delayed.