Coast Guard continues to oversee response to disabled, aground freighter in St. Lawrence Seaway

CLEVELAND — Incident responders from the Coast Guard, in partnership with the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation, are overseeing the salvage and investigation of a disabled freighter that ran aground after losing steering Tuesday while transiting the St. Lawrence Seaway in the vicinity of Wellesley Island, New York.

The freighter is currently anchored upriver, about one-third of a mile from the Thousand Island Bridge. Vessel traffic has been suspended. There are no reported injuries to the crew and no reported pollution at this time.

A dive team conducted an underwater hull survey Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning and determined the vessel was aground but stable.

A contracted salvage team is en route to the grounded freighter. Once on scene, they will review the hull inspection report as well as current weather and water conditions as they develop a plan for safe removal of the vessel. The salvage plan must be reviewed and approved by the Coast Guard.

Investigators from Coast Guard Marine Safety Detachment Massena, New York, are currently investigating the incident.

“The Coast Guard continues to work with our partners to minimize the impact of the grounding on the Saint Lawrence Seaway region,” said Cmdr. Dan Jones, chief of response for Coast Guard Sector Buffalo. “The safety of the crew, public and environment remains our top priority.”

The Coast Guard and SLSDC were notified Tuesday afternoon of the disabled freighter Federal Kivalina, a 656-foot, Hong Kong-flagged freighter carrying 23,000 metric tons of canola seeds.

Response crews from Coast Guard Station Alexandria Bay, New York State Parks Police, New York State Police, New York Department of Environmental Conservation, and inspectors from MSD Massena and the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation responded to assist the vessel and its crew.

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