Coast Guard reopens Mobile Ship Channel after grounded ship is refloated (UPDATE)


The following is the text of a news release from the U.S. Coast Guard:

(MOBILE, Ala.) — The Coast Guard restricted traffic on the Mobile Ship Channel after a vessel grounded between buoys 36 and 38, Monday.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Mobile received a report that the containership MSC Kyoto grounded outside of the Mobile Ship Channel reportedly as a result of a steering failure.

The Coast Guard issued a Safety Marine Information Broadcast restricting vessels with a draft of more than 30 feet from transiting the channel. All vessels allowed to transit are on a one-at-a-time basis.

Efforts to refloat the ship will begin following a Lloyd's Register's review of the vessel's stability conditions.

There are no reports of pollution or injuries.

The cause of the incident is under investigation.


(MOBILE, Ala.) — The Coast Guard reopened the Mobile Ship Channel to all deep-draft commercial vessel traffic at approximately 5 p.m. Monday.

The Coast Guard restricted vessel traffic at about 3 a.m. Monday, after the container vessel MSC Kyoto grounded outside the channel.

MSC Kyoto's owner contracted the towing vessels Hawk and Escambia to assist in freeing the vessel. In combination with high tide, the two tugs were able to tow the vessel back into the channel after more than 12 hours aground.  

There are still no reports of pollution or injuries.

"Coast Guard Sector personnel and patrol boats were able to respond quickly and efficiently to ultimately restore the full flow of commerce to the Port of Mobile," said Cmdr. Scott Muller, Coast Guard Sector Mobile. "Our marine casualty investigators initiated an investigation of the vessel's grounding. The goal is to find out what happened and why, so we can prevent similar accidents occurring in the future."

The cause of the incident is under investigation.

By Professional Mariner Staff