BALTIMORE (WJZ) — An international ship with 18 crew members on board is stuck in Maryland waters, and to complicate matters even more, many of them are not allowed off the vessel.
A huge ship carrying asphalt, has run into major engine problems, but until those issues are fixed, the Coast Guard says it can’t move and so it’s has been stuck in limbo for weeks.
The MT NewLead Granadino is now floating about four miles from the inner harbor, after the Coast Guard restricted it from moving another inch.
“They were on a, supposed to be a one week voyage from Curacao, and it ended up taking them three weeks,” said U.S. Coast Guard Chief Warrant Officer Chris Davis.
On board the ship are 18 crew members, but some have no visas, so they can’t get off to get supplies. As word spread that they were running out of food, workers at Urban Pirates, usually a harbor tour company, used their ship and went to the rescue.
“A little bit of a high to just want to help people out,” said Kyle Dembowski, Urban Pirates Captain.
“Just the looks on their faces made it worthwhile. They were smiling ear to ear. When they were carrying, they felt that the trays were hot food and you could tell that they were really excited,” said James Dimaggio, Urban Pirates Captain.
Now the company that operates the vessel is based out of Greece, and they said as soon as there was an indication of a problem, they took action.
“Life and well-being of the crew on board the vessels is of primary and utmost importance to NewLead,” said the company.
They are awaiting on funding to replace the necessary parts. The Coast Guard says it’s very clear the Greek company will have to overcome some financial hurdles before the ship can set sail.
“Once the engine is running they have to have class reinstated, they have to all those certificates reissued or reinstated, so I think they have a long road ahead of them,” said Chief Warrant Officer Davis.
And so, the Urban Pirates plan on going out every week with warm food, until the ship can depart.
The Coast Guard also says it’s not clear how long it will take the company to fix the engine, and with reinstatement, the process that could take months.