Tug Remains Grounded on Lake Superior Shoreline

GRAND MARAIS, MI – The tug SENECA remains grounded on the Lake Superior shore, approximately 20 miles east of Grand Marais, MI. The tug became grounded after its tow line with the Tug Hoey parted in the late evening of December 2, 2006. Inclement weather prevented the Hoey and several U.S. Coast Guard assets from locating and reestablishing a tow with the Seneca, prior to the vessel’s grounding on December 4, 2006.

Pollution response efforts, thus far, have resulted in the removal of approximately 1,800 gallons of diesel fuel oil, 25 gallons of paint, and 30 gallons of lube oil. Less than 70 gallons of lube oil are estimated to remain on board the Seneca. Early afternoon weather conditions forced the Coast Guard and pollution responders to suspend operations yesterday. Current and forecast weather conditions exceed the safe operating capabilities of the spud barge, which is utilized to transfer product from the tug to the proper storage containers. Any continued efforts to retrieve additional petroleum product, under the current and forecast weather conditions, would be considered hazardous to work crews and the barge.

The Coast Guard will continue to monitor the tug’s status by utilizing all available resources, which may include assets from Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City, Cutter KATMAI BAY, or Station Sault Ste. Marie. The Coast Guard and contractors will continue to assess the best course of action with regards to the vessel and the remaining petroleum product.

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