Coast Guard investigating marine incident after Canadian-flagged laker damages pier, boat near Lorain, Ohio

Great Lakes Coast Guard NewsCLEVELAND — The Coast Guard is investigating a marine casualty incident that occurred, Wednesday evening, on the Black River near Lorain, Ohio.

No injuries or pollution have been reported, although there is a report of damage done to a concrete pier and a Northern Border Initiative Boston Whaler operated by the Lorain Police Department operates that was moored near Coast Guard Station Lorain.

Marine investigators from Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Cleveland Harbor, in Cleveland, received a report of the motor vessel John D. Leitch, a 730-foot Canadian-flagged laker, alliding with a pier and the boat at 7:20 p.m., Wednesday.

The vessel was outbound the Black River approaching the Charles Bury Bridge.

Response crews from Station Lorain and MSU Cleveland Harbor conducted the preliminary assessment and noted the damage to the NBI boat and pier. The sheriff’s boat was unoccupied at the time of the incident. The NBI boat remains afloat and will be pulled out of the water Thursday evening to undergo a full damage assessment.

The John D. Leitch suffered minimal damage and was reported with scrapes to the hull’s surface paint.

Alcohol testing of the vessel crew was administered by the captain as well as Station Lorain personnel and the City of Lorain Police Department officers at approximately 9:30 p.m. MSU Cleveland Harbor responders conducted interviews, tested the vessel’s steering systems, ensured machinery operability, and verified communication equipment and navigation equipment. All systems tested were operational. After the initial assessment, personnel from MSU Cleveland Harbor and Coast Guard Sector Buffalo allowed the vessel to depart. A more extensive damage survey will be completed in the near future to ensure that no major damage was sustained by the vessel.

The cause of the accident is not known and remains under investigation.

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