M/V New Jersey
NORTH CAPE MAY — Two Cape May-Lewes Ferry vessels were temporarily removed from service Nov. 26 when asbestos was found in the engine room of the M/V New Jersey.
According to a DRBA memo, provided by spokesperson James Salmon, samples were taken of a small amount of debris found around exhaust lagging in the engine room aboard the M/V New Jersey to determine if it could be a hazardous material.
“Test results received this morning confirm that some of the debris contains asbestos. As a precaution yesterday, we removed the vessel from service, and encapsulated the affected areas,” reads the memo.
At the same time, similar areas in the engine room of the M/V Cape Henlopen were encapsulated. Afterwards, air-sampling devices were placed in the engine rooms of both vessels to test the air quality of these spaces.
“Test results show that the air quality is good and safe for operation,” according to the memo.
Salmon told the Herald a firm was contracted to encapsulate the areas in question on both ferries. He said the asbestos substance was never in any passenger area, only the engine rooms of the vessels.
Both boats have returned to service. The asbestos substance was discovered on the floor of the engine room by an engineer the M/V New Jersey, said Salmon.
He said the next time the vessels are taken into dry dock it will be determined the cost of removing the material. Asbestos was addressed on the other Cape May-Lewes Ferry vessels when they were in dry dock for major renovations, said Salmon.
The New Jersey and Cape Henlopen have not had major renovations, he said.