The following is the text of a news release from the U.S. Coast Guard:
(SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich.) — The grounded 603-foot Canadian bulk carrier Mississagi was successfully refloated on the St. Marys River following operations to offload approximately 2,000 tons of stone Saturday.
The motor vessel, carrying more than 17,000 tons of stone, was transiting downbound the St. Marys River from Bruce Mines, Ontario, early Wednesday when it ran aground in Potagannissing Bay, approximately four miles northeast of De Tour Village.
Lightering operations began at 8 a.m. under the supervision of Coast Guard marine inspectors and pollution responders. The vessel was successfully refloated by 1 p.m. then anchored in a new location near Big Trout Island with no injuries or pollution.
While at anchor, the vessel underwent a thorough internal and external inspection by Coast Guard marine inspectors and commercial divers. The Coast Guard concluded that no primary structure on the vessel had been damaged. After inspections were complete, the vessel was cleared to depart anchorage at around 6:30 p.m. The Canadian Coast Guard concurred with the U.S. Coast Guard. The vessel will reload its cargo of stone in Bruce Mines, Ontario.
At about 1 a.m. Wednesday, the master of the Mississagi notified a watch stander at Coast Guard Sector Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., that the carrier was hard aground.
Personnel from Coast Guard Stations Sault Ste. Marie and St. Ignace, Mich., responded. A helicopter crew from Air Station Traverse City, Mich., aboard a Dolphin helicopter, provided an overflight of the vessel to confirm there was no pollution.
Coast Guard marine inspectors completed a post-damage survey Wednesday afternoon and determined that 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 crew of 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 cause of the grounding is under investigation.
(SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich.) — The Coast Guard is responding to a 603-foot bulk carrier which ran aground in the St. Marys River near De Tour Village, Mich., early Wednesday.
The motor vessel Mississagi, a Canadian-flagged bulk carrier with a load of stone, was transiting downbound from Bruce Mines, Ontario, when it ran aground in Potagannissing Bay approximately four miles northeast of De Tour Village.
There are no reported injuries to the crew and no reported pollution.
At about 1 a.m., the master of the motor vessel Mississagi notified a watch stander at Coast Guard Sector Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., 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-small from Station Sault Ste. Marie as well as a 45-foot response boat-medium from Station St. Ignace, Mich. At first light a helicopter crew from Air Station Traverse City, Mich., aboard an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter flew over the vessel to confirm there was no pollution.
The bow of the vessel is aground and the fuel tanks are located near the stern of the vessel.
Vessel navigation in the St. Marys River is currently unimpeded.
Coast Guard marine inspectors from Sector Sault Ste. Marie will board the vessel to survey the damage.
The crew of the motor vessel Mississagi is working with the Northeast Tech Salvage Co. to create a salvage plan.
The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Buckthorn is scheduled to conduct aids to navigation verification.
The Coast Guard is also establishing a 500-yard safety zone around the vessel.