Updated 1:50 pm
The Steamship Authority ferry Martha’s Vineyard was stuck at the Slip 2 transfer bridge at the Vineyard Haven terminal Saturday morning after a cable broke.
“Cold weather caused a cable on the transfer bridge to break while the vessel was docked,” SSA spokesman Sean Driscoll emailed at 9:50 am. “Maintenance is en route.”
The cable broke shortly before 8am while the vessel was loading, Driscoll wrote.
It’s unclear to what degree the weight of the bridge impacted the vessel. At about 10:40 Driscoll told The Times the Martha’s Vineyard was free of Slip 2 and was moving into Slip 1 to make the 10:45 run to Woods Hole with a delay that is expected to be lessened during the crossing. At 11:15 am Driscoll said the vessel was underway. At about 1:20 pm Driscoll said the bridge had been repaired and operational. In May of 2020 a cable snapped and trapped the Martha’s Vineyard at the same slip. That cable held up a 20,000 pound set of counterweights. Both sets of counterweights were aloft when a reporter went to the terminal at about 10:20 am and a maintenance truck was parked in front of the transfer bridge. On Nov. 26, 2021, a cable snapped on the same bridge, crippling it. The next day a gap opened up between the bridge and the ferry Island Home while a minivan was crossing the bridge to the ferry. The minivan occupants were not injured and eventually boarded and crossed without further problems.
The SSA downplayed any connection between the minivan incident and the cable break at a board meeting in December.
All of this comes as the SSA was forced to suspend all crossings on Friday night because of heavy winds.