Emerald Isle Suffers Engine Failure

Beaver Island Barge

The first barge is loaded with vehicles and the damaged engine

One of two engines on the Emerald Isle suffered a catastrophic internal engine failure on July 25 while on route to Charlevoix. BI Fire Dept. and BIEMS deployed on the Beaver Islander in case there was a need for their services. The vessel was able to return to the Island on one engine and passengers either boarded the Beaver Islander or flew to the mainland.

Transportation Authority Director Barb Schwartzfisher said the Coast Guard was notified and proper protocol was followed. By the next morning representatives from the Coast Guard, the Boat Company, and engineers from Caterpillar had arrived to access the damage. The bottom line: one engine with major internal damage with holes in both sides of the engine.

On June 30 Fogg Towing hauled the engine on a barge to the Michigan Caterpillar facility in Kalkaska. The Boat Company announced that a partnership with St. James Marine’s barge is in place and they will be sending some vehicles to and from the Island on the barge. The travel time of the barge is approximately four hours and no passengers are allowed.

Those with reservations on the ferry were notified and the plans call for the Beaver Islander to be used, with many extra runs scheduled to accommodate transporting vehicles and passengers.  All those with reservations are encouraged to keep up to date on the boat schedule by checking their website: www.bibco.com

“We have a phenomenal team who will do everything in their power to get us up and moving again as soon as possible,” said Schwartzfisher. “This clearly points to the need for a new ferry in the near future,” she said.

We will keep readers up to date on our website: www.NorthernIslandernews.com as more information is available.