Maritime Emergency Averted Off Cayman Islands

Prompt Intervention by Passing Vessels Saves Stranded Containership from Drifting Peril


On Tuesday evening, the Government of the Cayman Islands, in collaboration with the Cayman Islands Coast Guard, issued an urgent plea for assistance subsequent to being apprised of an imminent maritime crisis. This exigency arose following notification that a containership had encountered an engine malfunction, rendering it adrift in perilous proximity to the islands. The Cayman Islands Coast Guard’s Operation Coordination Center promptly initiated outreach efforts while confronting the logistical challenge posed by the nearest available tug being situated a daunting 60 nautical miles distant from the distressed vessel’s location.

The vessel in question, identified as the Liberian-registered containership SC Montana, boasting a deadweight tonnage of 33,757, relayed distressing news to maritime authorities, disclosing the cessation of its main engine’s functionality and divulging its distressing trajectory toward the western extremity of Little Cayman—a constituent island within the tripartite archipelago composing the Cayman Islands. Situated roughly 60 miles northeast of the principal island, Grand Cayman, Little Cayman epitomizes the quintessence of seclusion, characterized by diminutive dimensions and sparse human habitation. Regrettably, the docking facilities on both Little Cayman and its proximate counterpart, Cayman Brac, proved inadequate for accommodating the dimensions of the imperiled SC Montana.

Government officials were expeditiously convened to deliberate upon stratagems aimed at preempting the escalation of potential maritime calamities should the vessel’s drift remain uncontested. Despite possessing auxiliary power derived from onboard generators, the incapacitated vessel lamented its inability to resuscitate its primary engine, consequently heightening apprehensions of an imminent grounding scenario.

The precarious situation incurred a fortuitous turn with the timely intervention of two passing vessels: the Panama-registered cargo ship Lefkes, boasting a deadweight tonnage of 33,298, and the Marshall Islands-registered Aruna Cihan. Responding promptly to the distress call, the Lefkes managed to rendezvous with the beleaguered SC Montana, effectuating a successful tow operation that steered the imperiled vessel to a less precarious position. Simultaneously, the port authority’s tug, Navigator, was en route from Grand Cayman to bolster the ongoing salvage efforts.

Government sources have assured that the crew aboard the SC Montana remains unharmed, and that vigilant oversight of the environmental ramifications ensuing from the incident is being diligently upheld by the Environmental Department. Heartfelt expressions of gratitude have been extended to the crews of both the Lefkes and the Aruna Cihan for their instrumental role in averting a potential maritime catastrophe.

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