Response to vessel aground in St. Lawrence Seaway continues

The motor vessel Juno, a 621-foot bulk carrier, sits aground under the Thousand Islands Bridge, April 20, 2015. The vessel ran hard aground after suffering a steering casualty, and at this time there is no pollution reported. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

The motor vessel Juno sits aground under the Thousand Islands Bridge, April 20, 2015. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

CLEVELAND – The Coast Guard continues its response Tuesday to a 621-foot bulk carrier which ran aground in the vicinity of Wellesley Island in the St. Lawrence River, New York, Monday while transiting inbound from the St. Lawrence Seaway to the Port of Toronto.

The Bahamian-flagged motor vessel Juno, carrying a load of sugar, is aground and taking on water in one of the forward ballast tanks, however, these tanks were empty prior to the grounding, and there has been no report of pollution.

Contracted salvage personnel arrived on scene late Monday evening, and hired tugs arrived late Tuesday morning to assist in refloating the vessel.

Vessel navigation is currently suspended in the vicinity of the grounding. There are seven other vessels in the area waiting for the navigational channel to re-open.

A unified command, consisting of the U.S. Coast Guard, the Canadian Coast Guard, the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation, Saint Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation, Polsteam USA, Seaway Traffic, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and Jefferson County, has been stood up to manage the incident.

The vessel is slightly listing to port with 18-feet of water in the forward peak of the vessel. There are no reported injuries to the crew, and no reported pollution.

The bulk carrier ran aground after a loss of steering early Monday morning. Vessel owners reported Tuesday morning the steering malfunction has been fixed.

At about 1:10 a.m., the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation notified a watchstander at Coast Guard Sector Buffalo of the grounding. The vessel did not come in contact with the bridge.

Coast Guard marine inspectors from the Coast Guard Marine Safety Detachment Massena, New York, are on board the Juno with SLSDC representatives conducting an initial investigation along with the SLSDC. A crew from Coast Guard Station Alexandria Bay responded to enforce the waterway closure and monitor the situation.

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