DETROIT (WWJ) – Coast Guard personnel responded Sunday evening to the location of an 86-foot passenger vessel that suffered an engine shutdown while underway in the Detroit River with 143 passengers and six crew members aboard.
A marine investigator and a marine inspector from Coast Guard Sector Detroit went to the private dock in East China, Mich., where the passenger vessel Diamond Belle was able to moor after the engine casualty.
Speaking with WWJ, the Coast Guard Sector Detroit public affairs officer Lt. Justin Westmiller said the passengers on board were safe and there were no injuries.
Westmiller said the vessel was “under tow with just a chief engineer on board” and was returned to Detroit.
The passengers were all bused back to the point of origin in Detroit.
The break down began early Sunday afternoon and initial reports are that smoke was seen in the engine room, followed by a shutdown of the vessel’s main diesel engine.
With no means of propulsion, the master was reportedly able to use the vessel’s momentum to guide it to a private dock, drop the vessel’s anchor and swing it in to moor there.
The Coast Guard is working closely with the vessel owner, Diamond Jack’s River Tours, to investigate the matter.
It has been reported to WWJ that preliminary investigation shows that a main diesel engine failed and that caused the vessel to lose power.
There are no reports of injuries. The waterway remains open to marine traffic.