Response to Disabled Freighter Ongoing

By Eric Haun
Thursday, May 29, 2014
U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy of Robert Fratangelo

Incident responders from the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) and representatives from the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation continue to oversee the salvage and investigation of the disabled freighter that ran aground after losing steering Tuesday while transiting the St. Lawrence Seaway in the vicinity of Wellesley Island, New York.

The motor vessel Federal Kivalina is currently anchored upriver, about one-third of a mile from the Thousand Island Bridge. 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 salvage team is on board the freighter and has completed a review of the hull inspection. The Coast Guard is reviewing the salvage plan. Navigation in the St. Lawrence Seaway remains suspended until vessels can resume safe transits of the area.  

Two tug boats from Montreal are en route to assist with the situation and are due to arrive early Thursday afternoon. Coast Guard investigators from Marine Safety Detachment Massena, New York, are currently investigating the cause of the incident.

“The Coast Guard continues to work with our partners to minimize the impact of the grounding on the St. 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 priorities.”

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

Response crews from 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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