Coast Guard responding to grounded 1,000-foot freighter in St. Marys River

Great Lakes Coast Guard NewsSAULT STE MARIE, Mich. – The Coast Guard is responding Wednesday to a 1,000-foot freighter that is hard aground in the downbound channel of the St. Marys River.

Initial reports indicate there is no resultant pollution and no injuries were reported, but there is some damage to the ship. The freighter’s stability is currently unaffected.

At 3:10 a.m., response coordinators at Coast Guard Sector Sault Ste. Marie received notice that the motor vessel Paul R. Tregurtha, 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 vessel is carrying approximately 62,000 tons of coal.

The initial grounding occurred in way of the vessel’s bow but the ship pivoted and the stern became grounded as well. Currently, the vessel is hard aground at its bow and stern and the ship spans the width of the shipping channel. Coast Guard Station Sault Ste. Marie transported responding personnel to the grounded freighter at approximately 6 a.m. to assess the situation and determine the extent of any structural damage to the vessel.

Coordinators at the Sector Sault Ste. Marie Command Center are in constant communication with the vessel’s crew and with responders aboard the ship. The Sector Sault Ste. Marie Vessel Traffic Service has limited vessel traffic to portions of the St. Marys River. Sector personnel are working closely with the vessel’s owner representatives and the Coast Guard Marine Safety Center, and the Salvage Engineering Response Team to determine the safest approach to re-floating the vessel.

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