CLEVELAND – The Coast Guard is continuing to respond Friday to a 286-foot cruise ship that hit a concrete wall in the Eisenhower Lock in the St. Lawrence Seaway in Massena, New York.
Thursday night, 30 people were removed from the ship due to injuries. Of those, 28 were released from the hospital and returned to the ship.
Passengers and luggage are being taken off the vessel in baskets attached to cranes. They will be loaded onto buses, and driven to Montreal, Canada. Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation personnel are in the baskets to assist passengers. U. S. Customs and Border Protection are on the vessel clearing all passengers before departure off the vessel. It may take up to six hours to remove all the people from the ship.
There were 274 people, including passengers and crew, aboard at the time of the collision.
The vessel remains in the lock.
An initial damage assessment indicated that 10 feet of the bow was pushed inward during the impact, causing water intrusion in the bow area. There have been no reports of additional water intrusion since the lock was partially drained.
Navigation is currently suspended in this section of the seaway until the Saint Laurent can be moved. At least nine vessels have been delayed due to the closure.
The ship will remain in the lock with both doors closed until it is safely refloated and can be moved to different location.
There continue to be no indications of any pollution.
At 9:45 p.m. Thursday night, a search-and-rescue controller at Coast Guard Sector Buffalo received notification of the allision.
A crew aboard a 25-foot response boat from Coast Guard Station Alexandria Bay, New York, responded along with a marine inspector from Coast Guard Marine Safety Detachment Massena.
The Saint Laurent is a cruise ship owned by International Shipping Partners.
The cause of the allision is under investigation.
The Eisenhower Lock is one of two U.S. locks on the 10-mile-long Wiley-Dondero Canal, which provides access to Lake St. Lawrence and is operated by the SLSDC, a modal administration of the U.S. Department of Transportation.