Salvage experts successfully refloated the freighter 'Paul R. Tregurtha' from downbound channel St. Mary's River.
Two tugs with a combined 4,000 horsepower, moved the stern of the ship into the middle of the channel. This enabled salvage experts to successfully raise the ship’s bow by filling stern voids which reduced the amount of forward weight on the rocks.
The vessel was cleared to proceed to anchorage near Detour, Mich., where the owners, the Coast Guard marine inspectors, ABS Surveyor and divers will continue inspection and investigation activities to ascertain the vessel’s condition and ensure it’s safety prior to departing anchorage. The vessel is planning to offload its cargo of 62,000 tons of coal and proceed to a drydock facility for repairs.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is on scene and a crew aboard the vessel Bufe swept the channel to identify any hazards raised by the grounding. USACE will be dredging areas in the vicinity of the grounding.
The Sault Ste. Marie Vessel Traffic Service is making preparations to allow eleven delayed vessels to resume their downbound transits as soon as the channel is reopened to commercial traffic.
Lt. Rob Scott, chief, Marine Investigations Division and chief, Waterways Management Division at Coast Guard Sector Sault Ste. Marie said:. “We understand shipping traffic in the Great Lakes Region is crucial to the economy of the United States and we are working steadfastly with our partner to reopen the shipping channel to commercial traffic.”