A bulk carrier that had loaded grain in Duluth and went aground in New York State at the eastern end of Lake Ontario, just days before the St. Lawrence Seaway was scheduled to close, has been refloated and is being towed to Montreal.
, a 656-foot, Marshall Islands-flagged ship chartered by Fednav, went aground near Tibbetts Point on Lake Ontario, but is now under tow and this morning was near the Brockville Narrows on the St. Lawrence River on its way to Montreal, said Lt. Cmdr. Thomas Pequignot, a public affairs officer for the U.S. Coast Guard.
The ship will have to pass through five locks on its way to Montreal.
The Coast Guard said no flooding, pollution or injuries occurred as a result of the grounding. Orsula
, carrying more than 20,000 metric tons of wheat, was planning to exit the St. Lawrence Seaway before it closes for the winter.
A dive survey revealed significant damage to the propeller, the Coast Guard said.
"We have no doubt she will exit the Seaway before it closes for the winter," said Marc Gagnon, a spokesman for Fednav. He said the ship will be further inspected in Montreal. The exact cause of the grounding is not known, he added, but will be determined later with a full investigation.
is a "saltie," a ship that carries cargo between the Great Lakes and overseas destinations. It was the last saltie loaded in Duluth in the current shipping season, bound for Italy.
(By the way, if you have a child who is interested in ships, the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corp. has a fine booklet, Tommy Trent's ABC's of the Seaway
, that can be downloaded here for free
. While it's pitched at youngsters, it's also interesting for adults if you don't regularly deal with cargo or ships moving via the Seaway.)