Governor misses last two Memorial Day trips

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The Governor had a staffing issue on Monday, which forced it to miss its final two crossings. -George Brennan

On Memorial Day, the Steamship Authority ferry Governor missed its last two round-trips on the Vineyard route. SSA spokesman Sean Driscoll said an essential crew member was unable to come to work, and the vessel could not sail because of this. He declined to provide the reason why the crew member wasn’t aboard the vessel, but noted it wasn’t necessarily for reasons related to the pandemic. 

In anticipation of the missed crossings, Driscoll said reservations staff made adjustments, and the ferry Island Home employed its lift decks. The combined effect, he said, was that anybody who needed passage got it Monday night. When asked if the crew member who bowed out was a captain, Drisicoll declined to name the person’s position. However, he also said that even the absence of an able-bodied seaman would be sufficient to sideline the Governor.

SSA director of marine operations, Mark Amundsen, told The Times on Thursday the reason the Governor was sidelined for two days earlier in the month was due to a failure to properly reset some software. Amundsen said the Governor had a full fuel injector replacement as part of preventive maintenance. Software connected to the engine needed to be reset after the replacement injectors were installed, but it wasn’t reset and the engine stalled, Amundsen said. 

“Safety is the objective here,” Amundsen said. “Having an engine stall [as it did] on the first day is not something that we take lightly. And thus we went through a complete testing the second day to make sure all was in proper order.” Amundsen also said despite having a hull just under 70 years old, the Governor has enjoyed such a long life as a ferry in part because about a decade ago the SSA modernized its propulsion with a “much younger and sophisticated system,” and upgraded its generators too.

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