UPDATE 3 – Aground Great Lakes Freighter Stops Commercial Traffic through Sault Locks

Aug 13, 2017 @ 10:12

The cargo vessel Calumet, a 629-foot ship that ran aground on the north side of Sugar Island Wednesday, was re-floated Friday, at approximately 8:50 PM, after the Coast Guard approved a salvage plan submitted by the vessel’s owner.

The St. Marys River, which had been closed to commercial vessel traffic from the Soo Locks to Six Mile Point following the grounding, was reopened at 9:30 p.m. Friday after the Army Corp of Engineers surveyed the bottom of the river in the vicinity of the grounding and found that no debris was obstructing the channel.

After the Calumet was refloated by offloading ballast water, it then sailed under its own power to anchorage near Lake Nickolet where it underwent an exterior and interior examination. No warping, indentations, or other damage to the hull was found.

There were no injuries during the incident or salvage operations. Coast Guard Station Sault Ste. Marie conducted a sunrise search this morning for any signs of pollution; no impact to the environment was found.

There are seven vessels waiting to transit upbound and downbound on the river. Delays to commercial traffic on the St. Marys River is expected to cease Sunday.

The cause of the grounding is under investigation.

 

Aug 11, 2017 @ 22:12

The 629-foot cargo vessel Calumet sits hard aground in the St. Mary’s River southeast of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, while a Coast Guard response boat – medium encircles the vessel, August 10, 2017. The vessel was heading to its next port of call in Brevort, Michigan when it ran aground. (US Coast Guard photo)

 

The U.S. Coast Guard continues to monitor a 629-foot U.S. cargo aground on the north side of Sugar Island in the St. Marys River, Friday.

Grand River Navigation Inc., the vessel’s owner, submitted a salvage plan Friday afternoon to the Coast Guard’s Salvage Engineering Response Team (SERT) for review. The plan, which included plans to offload ballast water and refloat the vessel, was approved. Efforts to refloat the vessel are scheduled to begin Friday evening.

Once the vessel is refloated, it will be towed to a designated anchorage in Lake Nickolet for exterior and interior hull examinations. The Army Corp of Engineers will then survey the bottom of the St. Marys River in the vicinity of the incident to ensure there is no debris obstructing the channel and to determine when the river will reopen to commercial vessel traffic.

The St. Mary’s River remains closed to commercial vessels from the Soo Locks to 6 Mile Point. There are 12 vessels anchored or moored waiting to transit downbound on the river and 5 vessels waiting to transit upbound on the river.

A safety zone of 200 yards is being enforced around the vessel’s current position. All vessels without prior authorization from the Captain of the Port or his designated representatives shall stay out of the safety zone.

The Coast Guard Cutter Biscayne Bay, homeporterd in St. Ignace, Michigan, is on scene, along with a local agency response boat, to assist in enforcing the safety zone and monitor the stability and potential environmental impact of the grounding.

The Coast Guard conducted aerial flights on Thursday and Friday. No pollution was observed.

As a precaution, boom remains in place on the surface of the water near the front of the vessel to protect the environment. Additional boom has been contracted and is pre-positioned as an additional precaution.

Contracted divers conducted an initial assessment of the vessel’s stern Thursday and determined that it is structurally sound.

The cause of the grounding is under investigation.

The merchant vessel, Calumet, departed Essar Steel in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario and was transiting downbound on the St. Marys River to its next port of call in Brevort, Michigan, when it ran aground Wednesday. The vessel was not carrying any cargo.

 

Aug 11, 2017 @ 18:28

The U.S. Coast Guard continues to monitor a 629-foot U.S. cargo ship that ran aground on the north side of Sugar Island in the St. Marys River, Wednesday, at about 11:40 p.m.

The merchant vessel, Calumet, departed Essar in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario and was transiting downbound on the St. Marys River to its next port of call in Brevort, Michiagn, when it ran aground. The vessel was not carrying any cargo.

The Army Corp of Engineers conducted an assessment of the river bottom around the vessel.

Contracted divers conducted an initial assessment of the vessel’s stern and determined that it is structurally sound. Divers were expected to survey the rest of the vessel later this afternoon.

The merchant vessel Calumet sits hard aground in shallow water outside of the channel on St. Marys River, southeast of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, August 10, 2017. A U.S. Coast Guard 45-foot response boat – medium encircles the aground vessel assessing damage. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

Grand River Navigation, the owners of the ship, has hired an Oil Spill Removal Organization to place boom on the surface of the water near the front of the vessel to protect the environment as a precaution.   

The Coast Guard conducted two aerial flights Thursday, one with an MH-60 helicopter from Air Station Traverse City, and one later in the day by a Coast Guard Auxiliary Air Patrol. A Coast Guard pollution aerial observer was aboard both flights and saw no pollution.

An investigating officer and safety officer from the Coast Guard are on board the Calumet. In addition, a 45-foot response boat from Coast Guard Station Sault Ste. Marie remains on scene to monitor the safety of the vessel and any possible environmental impact. The Coast Guard Cutter Biscayne Bay is scheduled to arrive on scene Friday afternoon to provide support.  

The St. Marys River will remain closed  to commercial vessels from the Soo Locks to 6 Mile Point.  

Grand River Navigation is finalizing a salvage plan and will present it to the U.S. Coast Guard for review and approval later today.

The cause of the grounding is under investigation.

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