Cargo vessel Calumet is refloated, St Marys River reopened to traffic

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)

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.  (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. — 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.

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