Bay Ferries Limited canceled its next two scheduled trips after arriving in Portland from Nova Scotia on Monday with only two of its four engines operating.

The company canceled the return service to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, on Monday and the trip from Nova Scotia to Portland on Tuesday because of an engine “abnormality.” The sailing to Nova Scotia later Tuesday also was in jeopardy.

The high-speed ferry had been running on three engines since last month when a previous problem caused it to scale back its sailing schedule, and it’s likely it won’t be able to resume service between the two destinations until Thursday, said Mark MacDonald, the Canadian company’s chairman and CEO.

“Today en route to Portland, the crew detected an abnormality in one of the three operating engines. That engine was taken out of operation and the vessel continued to Portland,” MacDonald said in an email. “We have technical crews en route to Portland who will be immediately diagnosing and addressing the problem.”

The Cat, which has been having engine problems since the company was forced to cancel its service for a day in late June, had to be assisted by tugboats once it reached dock in Portland on Monday, MacDonald said. Tugboat assistance is usually only needed on windy days, but the loss of the third engine made the vessel less maneuverable.

Bay Ferries canceled its 3 p.m. departure from Portland to Yarmouth on Monday, as well as its 8:30 a.m. Yarmouth-to-Portland sailing on Tuesday.

“It is likely (Tuesday’s) crossing from Portland to Nova Scotia will also be canceled while we complete diagnosis and hopefully, repair of the problem,” MacDonald said. “There is no scheduled crossing either way on Wednesday.”

A statement posted on the company’s website attributed the cancellations to “technical issues.”

Last month, the ferry service announced there would be fewer sailing days because of an engine problem it wouldn’t be able to fix during the 2017 season. The loss of one of its four engines forced the catamaran to slow from 33-35 knots to 28-30 knots, the company said, making the trip in 6½ hours instead of 5½.

In an effort to help its customers get to southwest Nova Scotia by Tuesday night, the company has added an extra crossing on its Bay of Fundy service that departs Saint John, New Brunswick, at 8:15 p.m. bound for Digby, Nova Scotia.

“This is just a short-term initiative to offer customers potentially displaced in Portland,” he said. “We are hopeful we’ll have this behind us in a day or two.”

Dennis Hoey can be contacted at 791-6365 or at:

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