Coast Guard responds to 656-foot freighter grounded in Lake St. Clair

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CLEVELAND – The Coast Guard responded Sunday to a 656-foot freighter that is hard aground in the downbound shipping channel of Lake St. Clair.

Initial reports indicate there is no resultant pollution and no injuries were reported.

At around 3 a.m., response coordinators at Coast Guard Sector Detroit received notice that the motor vessel Federal Rideau, a Hong Kong-flagged vessel, grounded on the downbownd channel in Lake St. Clair near the Detroit River.

The vessel is carrying approximately 22,672 tons of wheat.

Coast Guard marine inspectors from Coast Guard Sector Detroit Prevention Department responded to the grounding to assess the situation and determine the extent of any structural damage to the vessel.

Coordinators at the Sector Detroit Command Center are in constant communication with the vessel’s crew and with responders aboard the ship.

The vessel was en route to Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

The cause of the grounding was determined to be a loss of steering caused by a motor coupling failure and repairs to the coupling have been completed.

One attempt to refloat the freighter by two tugs was unsuccessful after one of the tugs experienced motor issues. Two more tugs were scheduled to arrive on scene Sunday night and attempt another refloating.

Currently 580-feet of the grounded vessel is in the shipping channel but the channel is still open to traffic.

Canadian Coast Guard Vessel Traffic Services in the Sarnia Traffic Zone is notifying mariners of the waterway obstruction and is directing one-way traffic in the area.

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