The United States Coast Guard responded Wednesday to a 1,000 foot Jones Act freighter that had ran hard aground on the St. Mary’s River.
The USCG received a call at approximately 3:10 a.m. saying that that the M/V Paul R. Tregurtha, a U.S.-flagged freighter owned by Interlake Shipping Company of Ohio, grounded on the west side of Neebish Island in the vicinity of what is commonly known as the “Rock Cut.”
The initial grounding occurred in way of the vessel’s bow but the ship pivoted and the stern became grounded as well. As of late Wednesday the vessel sat hard aground at its bow and stern with the ship spanning the width of the shipping channel. No injuries or pollution were reported however the vessel did sustain some damage in the incident.
Early Thursday morning salvage experts were able to refloated the freighter with the help of two tugs with a combined 4,000 horsepower.
The vessel was cleared to proceed to anchorage near Detour, Mich., where the owners, the Coast Guard marine inspectors, ABS Surveyor and divers will continue inspection and investigation activities to ascertain the vessel’s condition and ensure it’s safety prior to departing anchorage. The vessel is planning to offload its cargo of 62,000 tons of coal and proceed to a drydock facility for repairs.
The M/V Paul R. Tregurtha is the current “Queen of the Lakes” title holder, meaning it is largest ship operating on the Great Lakes with a length of 1,013’ 06”.