(CORNWALL, Ontario) — A grounded cement carrier that ran aground Sunday in the St. Lawrence Seaway, blocking the transit of more than a dozen ships, was refloated Tuesday morning with the assistance of tugboats, according to news reports and the waterway’s managers.
NACC Argonaut was en route from Montreal to Oshawa, Ontario, when it grounded between St. Regis and Cornwall Island at buoy D90, about 7 miles downstream of the Eisenhower Lock. According to the Canadian Coast Guard, the ship was not breached and all crew and cargo are safe. No injuries or pollution were reported.
At least two tugboats are helping move the ship to Lake St. Francis for further inspection. The tug Ocean Intrepide helped to stabilize the ship when it was grounded and listing to port, and the tug Ocean K. Rusby was on scene to assist.
On Monday, 15 ships near Cornwall – nine upbound and six downbound – were delayed as they waited for NACC Argonaut to be refloated.
“Traffic has been halted just to avoid any vessels approaching the area around the vessel so we can ensure that boats aren’t getting close,” Jeremy Hennessy, a spokesman for the Canadian Coast Guard, told WWNY News. “We’re also monitoring with the shipping company themselves. So, they are working on a refloating plan to make sure that it is refloated and free from the ground in a safe manner.”
The Canadian-flagged cement carrier is operated by NovaAlgoma. The cause of the grounding has not been determined.