On its maiden voyage of 2012, the S.S. Badger car ferry is stuck in a sand bar just shy of its Wisconsin dock.
The Ludington car ferry left Michigan this morning and the Ludington Daily News reports the ship lost a piston in the starboard engine just as it was pulling into dock.
It’s not clear when the ship will return home tonight.
Meanwhile, the Badger continues to fight new federal regulations that will shut the car ferry down at the end of this season. At its departure this morning, the ship’s owners announced they have applied for a new permit from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The ship burns coal and dumps the ash overboard. The EPA has said the Badger cannot do that after 2012.
The company says it is still committed to retrofitting the boat to be powered by natural gas. That would put the ship back in step with new environmental rules. But company leaders say they need more time to make the conversion.