Inclement weather is causing a dangerous situation as crews try to tow a disabled cargo ship to safety near the coast of Newfoundland, says a Canadian Coast Guard official.

MV Baby Leeyn, a 132-metre cargo ship with nearly 300 tons of fuel onboard, ran into engine trouble just after midnight Sunday when it was 15 kilometres south of Cape St. Mary.

Larry Crann, a senior response officer with the Canadian Coast Guard, said the vessel was drifting in the ocean Sunday afternoon in what he called a “fluid” situation because of rough sea conditions.

The owner of MV Baby Leeyn has hired a tug boat, but Crann said the conditions make it difficult to safely attach the disabled ship.

“The biggest challenge for us right now is the safety of the people who are on board and the safety of the crew that’s trying to attach the tow line,” he said.

Gusting winds in the area created waves about three metres tall on Sunday, Crann added.

The coast guard has hired a second tug boat and have sent one of their own ships to assist with the situation in case any complications arise.

Crann said that in the current conditions, a tug boat would have to move very slowly back to port if they are able to get a tow line attached.

“Right now we’re just monitoring the situation and getting updates from the tug on site,” he said. “It’s hard to say how long it’ll take because of the sea state.”

Crann said the vessel was not on a collision course with land as of Sunday afternoon.

MV Baby Leeyn was not carrying any cargo when it left port from Argentia, N.L, on Saturday night.

The Canadian Press

The Canadian Press