USCG Responding to Vessel Aground in St. Marys River
The Coast Guard continues to monitor the 603-foot bulk carrier Mississagi which ran aground in the St. Marys River near De Tour Village, Michigan early Wednesday.
The motor vessel, a Canadian-flagged bulk carrier with a load of stone, was transiting downbound the St. Marys River from Bruce Mines, Ontario, when it ran aground in the Potagannissing Bay, approximately 4 miles northeast of De Tour Village.
The bow of the vessel is aground. There are no reported injuries to the crew and no reported pollution.
Coast Guard marine inspectors completed a post-damage survey Wednesday afternoon and determined that port and starboard ballast tanks had no significant damage or ingress of water. In addition, fuel tanks located near the stern of the vessel did not sustain any damage.
The Coast Guard Cutter Buckthorn. a 100-foot buoy tender, conducted an aids to navigation verification survey Wednesday and determined that all aids were in position in the water when the grounding occurred.
The owner of the vessel, Lower Lakes Towing, continues to work with Northeast Tech Salvage Company on a salvage plan to present to the Coast Guard. Lightering operations are expected to commence following the Coast Guard's approval of the salvage plan.
At about 1:00 a.m. Wednesday, the master of the motor vessel Mississagi notified a watchstander at Coast Guard Sector Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, that the carrier was hard aground on shoal water in the vicinity of De Tour Village.
The Coast Guard responded with a 25-foot response boat from Station Sault Ste. Marie as well as a 45-foot response boat from Station St. Ignace, Michigan. A helicopter crew from Air Station Traverse City, Michigan, aboard an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter, flew over the vessel to confirm there was no pollution.
The vessel is located out of the shipping channel, and navigation in the St. Marys River is currently unimpeded.
The Coast Guard has established a 500-yard safety zone around the vessel.
The cause of the grounding is under investigation.