A US bridge was closed on Wednesday after an MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company boxship lost control of its engines.

The US Coast Guard prevented traffic from crossing the Arthur Ravenel Jr Bridge in Charleston, South Carolina after the pilot of the 6,648-teu MSC Michigan VII (built 2000) reported that it was stuck at a nearly full throttle speed of between 14 and 17 knots.

Television station WCSC and news agency AP reported that the Coast Guard received a report from Charleston Harbor Pilots around midday.

Charleston Coast Guard deputy commander Randy Preston said the ship was leaving North Charleston bound for Savannah, Georgia.

“Our sector command centre folks immediately started coordinating with our local partners to include launching our own vessels to clear vessel traffic out of the way of the container ship, and also coordination with the local police departments to ensure traffic on the Ravenel Bridge was stopped,” Preston said.

The vessel’s crew were later able to regain control of engines and it left the harbour without incident.

A small boat was pushed onto rocks by the boxship’s wake and two boaters were injured.

AIS shows the MSC Michigan VII has remained in Charleston on Thursday. It was due in Savannah on Wednesday.

A Coast Guard investigation has begun.

Fort Moultrie Beach had been evacuated in case the ship needed to ground.

The bridge was not damaged.

MSC has been contacted for comment.

The US is on high alert after the Maersk-chartered 9,962-teu container ship Dali (built 2015) lost power and destroyed the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore in March.

Two weeks later, a CMA CGM boxship, the 10,100-teu APL Qingdao (built 2012), lost propulsion near New York’s longest suspension bridge.