Great Lakes NEWS & RUMOR Archive

* Report News


CANADIAN OYLMPIC still running

01/30:
Spotted downbound in Lake St. Clair today was the CANADIAN OLYMPIC bound for the Atwater dock in Detriot with a load of salt. After she unloads she heads back to Goderich for another load.

Reported by: Andrew Severson and Dave R. Marcoux




John B. Aird calls it a season

01/30:
John B. Aird (06:42) finally tied up in the North Slip, Sarnia. She backed in to the South end of the North slip, Port side to shore.

Reported by: Duncan White




Ore Trade To Finish Soon

01/28:
Inland Steel's WILFRED SYKES and JOSEPH L. BLOCK will load the last iron ore cargos of the season today (January 28) and tomorrow at Escanaba, Michigan. Preliminary totals show that U.S.-Flag carriage will top 116 million tons during the 1996 navigation season, a new post-recession peak for Lakes Jones Act carriers.

Reported by: the Lake Carriers Association




Kinsman ordered to pay $246,000

01/28:
A jury in Douglas County, Wis., has awarded $246,000 to the estate of a Maple, Wis., man who died while working aboard the Kinsman Enterprise, according to the Duluth News-Tribune.Oiler John D. Becker, 50, suffered a heart attack and died Oct. 30, 1994, while the vessel was crossing Lake Erie enroute to Buffalo. On Jan. 24, the jurors found that Kinsman Lines was negligent in failing to provide prompt medical care and for failing to educate its employees in heart attack awareness, said James Cirilli, an attorney in Superior.

The jury had returned a $492,000 verdict or negligence but that was cut in half when it found Becker 50 percent at fault because he didn't insist on being helped when he had symptoms of a heart attack.

Reported by: the Duluth News-Tribune




John B. Aird still running

01/28:
JOHN B. AIRD has one more trip to Goderich for salt. She will load for Detroit and lay-up at the North Slip in Sarnia -- ETA : February 1.

Reported by: Rod Burdick




Amherst Island Ferry

01/28:
Early Saturday , Jan.25, the car Ferry Amherst Islander Damaged her propeller.(due to ice.) This left her secured at Millahven and left the people of Amherst Island stranded. The backup ferry for Wolfe Island, the Frontenac II, was asked help the Amherst Islander. There has been no ice breaking tug on stand-by here for the last two winters due to budget cuts.

The Frontenac II left Kingston around 11 a.m. and did not arrive in Millhaven until 8 P.M. This is normally about a 1 1/2 hour trip. The ferry was making about 1 mph in the ice areas. She made one trip to the Island to clear the cars and then towed the Amherst Islander back to Kingston. The Frontenac II then returned to Amherst Island to assume the run between the Island and Millhaven.

The Amherst Islander has lost one blade and damaged others. The local dry dock is iced in at the moment.

We have three ferries running in this area. The Amherst Islander and the Wolfe ISlander have bubble systems to help keep the crossings ice free.

Reported by: Ron Walsh




Adam E. Cornelius holed

01/27:
After departing Escanaba loaded Inland Steels Adam E. Cornelius holed her bow enough to take on water. Thank goodness for bulkhead compartments as the water in the forward compartment was estimated to be 31 feet. A Coast Guard helicopter stood by as a precaution and the ship was escorted by tugs to Bay Shipbuilding at Sturgeon Bay to end the season after expecting to run untill the end of Jan. The Inland Fleet including the Edward L. Ryerson are scheduled to be ready for fit out around mid March.

Reported by: Wayne M.Gray




New Toronto - Niagara Service

01/27:
A company is planning to operate regular passenger ship service across Lake Ontario from Toronto to Port Dalhousie, in St.Catharines, and Rochester, New York. Shaker Cruise Lines have acquired the former Marine Atlantic vessel Marine Courier, and are refitting the ship in Toronto for a start-up of service in March or April. The ship was built in 1986 as a 144-passenger ship; its passenger capacity is being increased, and the ship will be renamed Constellation. Up to three round-trips a day are planned between Toronto and Port Dalhousie, with service to Rochester starting when customs arrangements have been made. The company expects that service can operate up to ten months of the year, given the robust design of the former Newfoundland coastal ship.

Reported by: Pat Scrimgeour




Canadian tendering changed

01/25:
Canada has announced changes to the way it contracts for work on Canadian government vessels. In the east and Great Lakes, any shipyard can bid on work valued at more than C$25,000. Formerly, ships based in a certain province could only be worked on by shipyards in that province.

Reported by: Steve Schultz
From the weekly electronic publication "The World Maritime News"





Corps of Engineers divisions realigned

01/25:
U.S. Secretary of the Army Togo D. West Jr. has approved a plan to restructure the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers divisions. There will be eight divisions, with each having at least four subordinate units. The new Great Lakes and Ohio River Division will consist of the North Central and Ohio River divisions, located in Chicago and Cincinnati. The changes are in response to U.S. Public Law 104-206, the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act of 1997, which mandates reductions in the number of divisions.

Reported by: Steve Schultz
From the weekly electronic publication "The World Maritime News"





Barge drifts in Lake Erie

01/25:
At 1200 23 Jan., a cable from the forward area of the Donald C. Hannah (U.S.-registry 191-gt, 28-meter/91-foot tug built in 1962, owned and operated by Hannah Marine Corp.) parted from the Hannah 3601 (U.S.-registry 35,360-barrel, 88.1-meter/290-foot tank barge built in 1972, owned and operated by Hannah Marine) in western Lake Erie. The tug, with a crew of six, was trapped in ice 20 centimeters/eight inches to 25 centimeters/10 inches thick. The barge, with 5.225 million liters/1.375 million gallons of medium heating oil, drifted and came within 730 meters/2,400 feet of Middle Sister Island. The tow was sailing from Sun Oil in Cleveland to Toledo, Ohio, under escort by the U.S. Coast Guard Katmai Bay-class Icebreaking Tug U.S.C.G.C. Neah Bay (WTGB 105) when the tow parted. The cutter was able to secure the barge and took it in tow. Either the Neah Bay or sister U.S.C.G.C Bristol Bay (WTGB 102) will escort the tow to a port, either Toledo or Canada. The Canadian Coast Guard Light Icebreaker/Navigational Aids Tender C.C.G.S. Griffon and the Navigational Aids Tender C.C.G.S. Samuel Risley were sailing or were already on-scene to assist. They have now left the area.

Reported by: Steve Schultz
From the weekly electronic publication "The World Maritime News"





Cutter steers runaway barge away from island,disaster

01/24:
The U.S. Coast Guard cutter Neah Bay may have averted disaster Thursday when it intercepted a runaway oil barge heading for the rocky shore of Middle Sister Island in Lake Erie.

Neah Bay stopped the loaded Hannah barge about 800 yards from the island and pushed it to safety during the 5 hour mission in Canadian waters. Shifting ice up to 10 inches thick and 25 mph winds pushed the barge, loaded with about a million gallons of fuel oil toward the island where rocks and ice could have ruptured the hull.

The tug Donald C. Hannah was pushing the barge, loaded in Toledo to LTV Steel Co. in Cleveland. The Neah Bay was escorting the tug and barge until about 11 A.M. when a steering cable snapped disengaging the barge from the tug.

Once the Neah Bay had pushed the barge a safe distance from the island the crew on the Hannah tug was able to pair the cables enough to tow the barge to a port in Canada for repair. The tow may continue once they convince the Coast Guard that this won't happen again.


Reported by:

Edited from a story appearing in the Cleveland Plain Dealer




Ice still causing problems in Western Lake Erie

01/24:
A report on NPR radio last night had a tug and barge, one of the Hannah fleet I believe, was stuck in ice near the western Lake Erie islands. the barge is loaded with 26,000 barrels of home heating oil and bound from Toledo to Cleveland. There is concern that ice and wind may drive the barge aground. The reported noted that the tow rope may have broken, and that the Coast Guard cutter Bristol Bay was on the way to help.


Reported by: Jim Flury




Season totals U.S. fleet

01/24:
Shipments of potash on the Great Lakes totaled 657,256 net tons in 1996, an increase of roughly 50,000 tons compared to 1995. Thunder Bay (north shore of Lake Superior) is the sole port loading potash on the Great Lakes.

The Lakes potash trade used to top 2 million tons a year, but since farmers need the product to use as a fertilizer during the spring planting and the Soo Locks don't open until March 25, most shipments have switched to rail.

Coal shipments on the Great Lakes totaled 34,531,197 net tons in 1996, an increase of 4.8 percent compared to 1995. The only coal port to see its shipments decline was Thunder Bay, Ontario (north shore of Lake Superior); loadings fell by 25 percent to 1.6 million tons.

Reported by: Lake Carriers Association

Visit the LCA's home page for complete details





C.S.L. and U.L.S. ordered to pay fines

01/24:
The Laurentian Pilotage Authority has fined Canada Steamship Lines Inc. and Upper Lakes Shipping Corp. $5,000 for each violation of a compulsory pilotage zone in December. Three C.S.L. ships, the Nanticoke, the Jean Parisien and the Tadoussac, and one U.L.S. vessel, the Canadian Enterprise, violated St. Lawrence River pilotage regulations when they decided they had waited long enough for pilots. On 1 Dec., the Nanticoke sailed from Montreal, Quebec, Canada, to Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, and the Canadian Enterprise sailed from Contrecoeur, Quebec, to Trois-Rivieres. On 2 Dec., the Jean Parisien and the Tadoussac sailed from Trois-Rivieres to Montreal. None of the vessels had the required pilots. As a result, C.S.L. will now have to pay $15,000 and U.L.S. $5,000. The Laurentian Pilotage Authority also reportedly wants to C.S.L. and U.L.S. to pay extra charges it says were needed because vessels with pilots had to anchor while the ships without pilots passed.

Reported by: Steve Schultz
From the weekly electronic publication "The World Maritime News"





Stuck in ice off Buffalo

01/23:
Follow up:
The mystery boat from last night turns out to be the John B. Aird. She dumped a load of salt at Lackawanna on the 21st and tried to make it out on the afternoon of the 22nd. The Samuel Risley came to her aid that evening and they were clear of the ice field by the morning of the 22nd. Once on the open waters of the lake the Risley turned around and cleared the track out again all the way back to Buffalo.

There is an Algoma Central straight decker stuck in ten feet of ice in the Buffalo South Entrance Channel. There is a Coast Guard Breaker trying to free her (8pm) . They are making little progress and may wait until the morning. They have four miles of wind rowed ice to make it to open water off Buffalo.


Reported by: Brian Wroblewski




Paul R. Tregurtha Still loaded

01/22:
PAUL R. TREGURTHA was unable to deliver her last cargo of season because of ice in Lorain. She rests in Cleveland with 40,000 tons of ore in her.

Reported by: the Lake Carriers Association




Duluth-Superior Lay-Up Activity

01/22:
As of Saturday, Jan. 18: the Calcite II had a fresh coat of paint, and it appeared the Philip R. Clarke was getting one too. Also in Fraser, it looks like the St. Clair is having some work done on her unloading boom because part of the belt was unwound and laying on her deck.

Anyone interested in getting up-close views of vessels in winter lay-up should take a drive down to the Port Terminal in Duluth. There is a road you can drive on that is just a few feet from the Indiana Harbor and Edgar B. Speer. This gives you a great opportunity to see just how huge the 1000 footers actually are. There is also a road that goes under the two gantry cranes and right next to the Roger Blough. In the slip with the Blough are the 4 G-tugs and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers tug Lake Superior. On a building next to the Blough, more than a dozen foreign vessel names were spray painted along with many crew members and the date the vessel was in the slip. It was an unusual thing to see. You can also get up-close views of the Mesabi Miner and Kaye E. Barker and Hallet Dock 5. Near the bow of the Barker is the old bum boat Marine Trader.

Reported by: Andy Hering




Paul R. Tregurtha changes lay-up port

01/21:
The Paul Tregurtha is now at the Port of Cleveland, Cuyahoga County Port Authority. She arrived on 1-19, the ship was assisted by two tugs and ice apparently caused some problems.

This leaves only three U.S. ships running, the self-unloaders JOSEPH L. BLOCK, WILFRED SYKES and ADAM E. CORNELIUS. The three will continue to load iron ore at Escanaba, Michigan, until month's end.

Reported by: Kevin Baker and the Lake Carriers Association




Tregurtha delayed

01/19:
The Paul R. Tregurtha was due to lay-up in Ashtabula on the 17th, she is now (mid-night) clearing the Detroit River with an ice breaker escort. The plan is to wait in the East Outer Channel for the tanker Saturn (now down bound on Lake St. Clair) and head for Ohio.

Reported by: Neil Schultheiss




Duluth and Superior's Lay-up fleet

01/17:
Duluth and Superior are playing host to one of their largest winter layup fleets in recent years. Thirteen vessels are spending the winter at various docks in the two ports along with an additional vessel in long-term layup.

In Duluth, the Mesabi Miner and Kaye E. Barker are docked end-to-end at Hallett 5, the first time in many years that dock has seen winter layup vessels. Docking space at the port terminal is filled with Roger Blough, Edgar B. Speer, Indiana Harbor and James R. Barker.

In Superior, Walter J. McCarthy Jr. has assumed its usual winter home at Midwest Energy Terminal while Fraser Shipyards is the location for St. Clair, Lee A. Tregurtha, Elton Hoyt II, Calcite II, Cason J. Callaway and Philip R. Clarke. John Sherwin remains in long-term layup at the nearby Superior municipal dock.

No word on what sort of winter work is being done on these vessels. A crane can be seen alongside the stern of Indiana Harbor and, apparently, Walter J. McCarthy Jr. The drydocks at Fraser are filled with one of the GLF's AAA boats and, in the small drydock, a Corps of Engineers tug and two excursion boats.

Reported by: Al Miller




More on the LTV train derailment

01/17:
According to a recent story in the Duluth News-Tribune, the two-man crew of an out-of-control LTV taconite train at one point warned other workers that the train might run off the end of the loading dock and plunge into the harbor at Taconite Harbor.

The accident earlier this week occurred while Paul R. Tregurtha was loading at the LTV Steel Mining Co. dock at Taconite Harbor. The boat left without a full load after the train derailed and cut off rail access to the shiploader.

The train was coming down a 2 percent grade at an estimated 45 mph instead of the usual 5 mph. LTV officials praised the trainmen for using their radio to warn other workers to block auto traffic on Highway 61 where it passes under the rail line and for alerting them that the train could crash into the shiploader and plunge off the dock.

A safety system functioned as planned when it automatically switched the onrushing train to an uphill loop track, diverting it away from the dock. The entire 93-car train derailed when it hit the switch at high speed.

Reported by: Al Miller




U.S. float up 26 Percent in December

01/17:
Aided by more "normal" sailing conditions, U.S.-Flag operators moved 11,141,893 net tons of dry-and liquid-bulk cargos on the Great Lakes in December, an increase of 26 percent compared to the corresponding period in 1995. The final month of 1995 was marred by the onset of a severe winter which slowed shipping to a crawl. In contrast, this past December was more typical and vessel delays were not excessive.

The December U.S.-Flag ore float totaled 6.6 million tons, an increase of 4.1 percent compared to a year earlier. Stone loadings nearly doubled to 1,947,152 net tons. Coal cargos in U.S. bottoms totaled 1.8 million tons, an increase of 8 percent.

Through December, U.S.-Flag carriage stands at 114.9 million tons, an increase of 3.2 percent compared to the same point in the 1995 shipping season. As of today (January 17), the iron ore trade is the only active dry-bulk move on the Lakes. Ore will continue to be shipped from Escanaba, Michigan, to steelmakers along Lake Michigan's southern shore until month's end.

Reported by: Lake Carriers Association

Visit the LCA's home page for complete details





Ice Hazard bulletin

01/16:
Note: this report is offered for entertainment and should not be relied on for navigation. Please consult Canadian Ice Service for current conditions (subscription necessary)

Ice Hazard bulletin for the Great Lakes issued by Environment Canada from Canadian Ice Service in Ottawa at 1700 Wednesday, 15 Jan.

-Lake Huron
Open water in central portion of lake - narrow band of thin to medium lake ice along the eastern shore of the lake - mostly new lake ice within 5-8 miles of the western shore - greater than 9/10 mostly thin lake ice in Saginaw Bay.

-Lake Erie
7 - 9/10 new lake ice within 8 miles of the northern shore with fast ice in Long Point Bay - west of a line between Point Bruce and Cleveland, 8/10 new with some thin lake ice in the northern 2/3, with 2-4/10 new lake ice in the southern 1/3 of the lake - in the western basin, greater than 9/10 thin with some new lake ice - east of the line between Port Bruce and Cleveland, mostly open water except new lake ice within 3-5 miles of the shore - in Lake St. Clair, 9-10/10 mostly thin lake ice

The following comes from the good folks at the Canadian Ice Service (current forecast is available on-line to subscribers)

Area coverage is expressed in tenths
1-3/10's---very open drift ice
4-6/10's---open drift ice
7-8/10's---close pack ice
9-9+/10's--very close pack
10/10's---compact
10/10's---frozen together - consolidated

When ice reaches 6/10's or greater, ships can no longer traverse between floes.

Fast ice--ice fastened to the shore (frozen all the way across)

New Lake Ice----recently formed less than 5 centimeters thick.
Thin Lake Ice---5 - 15 centimeters thick.
Medium Lake Ice-15 - 30 centimeters thick.
Thick Lake Ice--30-70 centimeters thick.
Very Thick Ice--greater than 70 centimeters thick.

Reported by: Neil Schultheiss

Report from the Canadian Coast Guard's Continuous Marine Broadcast
visit the Canadian Ice Service's home page for subscription information




Miner last to Duluth

01/15:
The Mesabi Miner arrived in Duluth about 6 p.m. Jan. 15, making it the 13th and final vessel expected to join the Twin Ports winter layup fleet.

Reported by: Al Miller




Paul R. Tregurtha last through the Soo Locks

01/15:
The M/V PAUL R. TREGURTHA locked down through the Poe Lock at 7 a.m. on January 15, thus bringing to a close the 1996 shipping season through the Soo Locks. The TREGURTHA is carrying iron ore to Lorain, Ohio. After delivery of this cargo, the 1,013.5-foot-long self-unloader will proceed to her winter berth in Ashtabula, Ohio. Iron ore will continue to be loaded at Escanaba, Michigan, until the end of the month.

Reported by: Lake Carriers Association
Visit the LCA's home page for complete details





John B. Aird still sailing

01/15:
Algoma's JOHN B. AIRD was due into Milwaukee today (Jan 15) with salt from Goderich.

Reported by: Rod Burdick




Goderich Continues Shipping Salt

01/15:
CANADIAN OLYMPIC was in Goderich harbour today (01/14) for perhaps her final shipment of salt for the season. She is being accompanied on this trip by the Canadian Coast Guard Icebreaker SAMUEL RISLEY.

Reported by: Mike Gibson




Tregurtha departs with partial load

01/14:
The Paul R. Tregurtha was forced to leave Taconite Harbor without a full load Jan. 13 after a railroad accident brought the shipping season there to a premature end. An entire 93-car train of taconite pellets derailed, spilling about 8,000 tons of pellets and tearing up at least half a mile of the track that links LTV Steel Mining Co.'s pellet plant with its shiploading facility. With the loading dock empty and the rail line closed indefinitely, the Tregurtha was forced to depart to beat the closing deadline at the Soo. Two men aboard the train were slightly injured.

Reported by: Al Miller
Visit the Duluth News-Tribune for more details (inc. picture)




Follow up on the Halcyon

01/13:
A Series of errors, some apparently made during hull modifications two years ago, have been cited as causes for the December 2 dockside sinking of the NOAA research vessel Halcyon in Muskegon Harbor (see story dated 12/03). An investigation of the incident revealed that zinc plates installed two years ago in Halcyon's catamaran-type hull to control corrosion were installed improperly and allowed water to seep into the vessel's two pontoons. That made Halcyon sit lower in the water. Then, during the winterizing process in late November, crews pumped water out of the four front ballast tanks, left several heavy drums of antifreeze and lubricants sitting on her aft section and failed to properly replace the covers on two deactivated bilge pumps in the aft part of the hull. All this steadily sunk the stern lower until water rushed in at a rate too fast to be controlled and the vessel sank. Halcyon was eventually rasied by three crains, costing about $200,000. At last report NOAA was still weighing whether to repair the 10-year old vessel or scrap her.

Reported by: C. Vincent




01/13

Visit the Photo Gallery for a picture of the Mauthe/Purves tow.







Finial calls in the Twin Ports

01/12:
Stewart J. Cort was scheduled to arrive Jan. 12 at the BNSF ore dock in Superior to load the last cargo of the season for the Twin Ports. Also making last-minute trips from ore docks on the western end of the lake were Paul R. Tregurtha, arriving Taconite Harbor on Jan. 12 and Edwin H. Gott, loading at Two Harbors on Jan. 11.

Reported by: Al Miller




Alpena stuck in ice and update

01/11:
7:00 P.M. EST - The Alpena has become stuck in heavy ice in the west end of Lake Erie. Heading out bound through the Pelee Passage for Cleveland, she became stuck in position 4152.3 - 8239.9. At this time, the Canadian Coast Guard ship Griffon is under way to free her.

01/12:
The Griffon was upbound about 9:00 A.M. this morning, I assume this means she was able to free the Alpena.

Reported by: N. Schultheiss




Tonnage through Duluth-Superior

01/10:
Tonnage through Duluth-Superior this season will total about 37 million tons, which is a respectable total near the ports' five-year average but still down 10 percent from last season. Contributing to the decline was last spring's extensive ice delays and environmental tussles over American grain with Canada and Turkey. Among the bright spots was Midwest Energy Terminal, which shipped 13.6 million tons of low-sulfur western coal, up about 3.5 percent from the previous season.

Reported by: Al Miller
Visit the Duluth News-Tribune for complete details




Fire boat to aid in ice breaking

01/10:
The 118 foot Buffalo Fireboat Edward M. Cotter has been put into service as an ice breaker on the Buffalo River and the Outer Harbor. She will leave her Michigan St. dock 5 times a week to keep the channels from becoming hard packed with ice.She will also be kept in a state of readiness to fight any major waterfront fires.She may also see some yard time in the Spring to have her hull kept up to ice breaking standards.The Cotter was built in 1900 and with this status she will be the oldest operational fireboat in the country.

Reported by: Brian Wroblewski




Gott last to load, Speer enters lay-up

01/09:
Edwin H. Gott is scheduled to load the season's last cargo for Two Harbors on Jan. 10 destined for Gary. Stewart J. Cort closes out the season for the BNSF ore dock in Superior when it loads there Jan. 11.

Edgar B. Speer arrived Duluth Jan. 9 for layup.

Reported by: Al Miller




Heavy Ice calls for the Mackinaw

01/09:
Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw is due to arrive in Duluth early this morning to break ice for the incoming layup fleet. After lots of snow and cold, the ice apparently is too much for the Sundew to handle alone. Two Interlake 1,000-footers are scheduled to layup at Hallett 5, a stone dock next to the DMIR ore docks in West Duluth. There hasn't been a vessel in that slip since the ice began forming, so it'll take something as big as the Mackinaw to bust it out.

Reported by: Al Miller




Escanaba still shipping

01/09:
Escanaba's ore dock is still busy shipping taconite to lower Lake Michigan destinations. Inland Steel vessels -- WILFRED SYKES, JOSEPH H. BLOCK, and ADAM E. CORNELIUS, Upper Lakes Towing's -- JOSEPH H. THOMPSON, and Oglebay Norton's -- COLUMBIA STAR have called recently.

Reported by: Rod Burdick




Update on the Gregory Busch

01/09:
As of yesterday night the tug Gregory J Busch is back up at her berth in Saginaw.

Last month the Busch was damaged when the Liberty Bridge in Bay City started to close as she passed underneath (see story dated 12/29). As far as the bridge is concerned, they said the brake on the west side draw had a loose wire or two and never locked in place. Instead asthe Busch approach, the span was allready floating downward and clipped the 55 foot mast leaving only about 15 feet on the vessel. Owners say about $5000 to repair. The city accepted responsibility for the accident, but no quote as to paying for the repairs to the tug.

Reported by: Lon W Morgan




Sarnia's activities on Wed. Jan 8

01/08:
Tug John Spence, Barge McAshphalt No.?, Tug Menasha, Tug Paul E. No 1, Tugs Annie M. Dean and Neptune 3, with scows and barges, dredging the harbor slip at the Govt. Dock/Cargill Elevator (to be completed this week), and the CCG ship Samuel Risley (waiting for ice!!) and that was complimented with the passing of the Yankcanuck traveling from Cleveland to Sault Ste. Marie, carrying a 204,000 pound gearbox destined for Algoma Steel.

Reported by: Duncan White




The perils of a dockworker?

01/08:
A dockworker at Cleveland became stuck 7 Jan. aboard the Yankcanuck when he was wedged between two rungs of a ladder. He was pulled through a hatch by crewmembers and was uninjured.

James Zeirke has this to add:
Today's Milwaukee newspaper had a picture of a maintenance worker who got stuck between the rungs of a ladder while working on the Yankcanuck in Cleveland, OH. The caption said that rescue worker worked about an hour to free him. According the the caption, apparently his sizable belly got jammed between the rungs.

Reported by: James Zeirke and Steve Schultz

Steve's report comes from the weekly electronic publication "The World Maritime News"





Wednesday P.M. Mauthe tow up date

01/08:
The J.L. Mauthe arrived at Bay Ship at 1900 Hours on 7 Jan 1997.

Reported by: Al Miller




Vessel traffic in winding down

01/08:
Vessel traffic in Duluth-Superior is winding down. Burns Harbor and Stewart J. Cort both are scheduled to load at Superior's BNSF ore dock later this week. Current schedules call for Paul R. Tregurtha, Lee A. Tregurtha, Mesabi Miner and James R. Barker to arrive early next week for layup.

Reported by: Al Miller




Wednesday Mauthe tow up date

01/08:
The J.L. Mauthe was westbound under the Mackinac Bridge last night (01/06) at 1730 hours. There is some drift ice in the Straits, and probably some at Lansing Shoal, too.

Reported by: Al Miller




Interlake Announces the Conversion of the Mauthe

01/08:
Interlake Steamship Company Announces the Conversion of the Steamship J.L. Mauthe (from a press release dated 01/07/97)

Cleveland based Interlake Steamship Company, which owns and operates a fleet of ten ships, has announced plans to convert a 647' x 70' bulk carrier to a self-unloading barge. The ship selected for this major conversion is the steamship J.L. Mauthe. The Mauthe was built in 1953 for the Interlake Steamship Co. by Great Lakes Engineering Works, River Rouge, Michigan. The vessel was last operated in 1993. Since July 1993, the Mauthe has been laid up in Superior Wisconsin.

Interlake has entered into an agreement with Bay Shipbbuilding Company, a division of Manitowoc Marine Group, located in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, for the conversion of this ship to a self-unloading barge. The basic design of this barge will include a 260' unloading boom and an innovative cargo hold, tunnel belt and loop belt system capable of discharging a wide variety of cargoes.

Interlake expects to have other necessary agreements in place by mid-January which will permit the commencement of the conversion.

The barge is expected to be available for service in late 1997.

Reported by: Interlake Steamship Company




Alpena reaches Muskegon

01/08:
S.S. ALPENA was unloading cement early this morning (01/07) at LaFarge's Muskegon dock. She reportedly passed U.S.S. SILVERSIDES in the Muskegon Channel at approximately 0100 hours, and was still dockside at 0800 hours 01/07/96. Ice is beginning to accumulate on the South lighthouse, with Lake Michigan whitecaps creating a nice show.

Reported by: Reported by: George Micka




Alpena loses cargo

01/08:
According to the story published today (01/07), the S. S. Alpena unloading cement at the Lafarge Corp. pumped tons of cement into the air. A passing Muskegon police officer in the area at the time, saw the dust cloud shooting into the air. Thinking of a possible fire he called for the Muskegon fire department. According to Bill Conwill, Lafarge terminal manager, his "best guess" was that 50 of the 13,000 tons of cement were pumped into the air just after 4 a.m. this morning. "As far as we know, the boat (crew) started pumping too hard and blew the door off the dust collector". Most of the cement dust landed on top of the Lafarge building with some landing near the entrance to Heritage Landing Park. He also said Lafarge crews are likely to shovel the cement into buckets to clean up the mess.

Reported by: Bob Wheelock
Edited from a story appearing in the Jan. 07 Muskegon Chronicle





Marquette's season winding down

01/07:
Marquette's 1996-97 shipping season is coming to an end with the Soo Locks closing soon. ALGOMARINE and ALGOSTEEL have been shuttling taconite cargoes from Marquette to Algoma Soo the past week. Both were delayed by heavy weather over the weekend.

Reported by: Rod Burdick




Mauthe tow up date

01/06:
The tug John Purves and J.L. Mauthe have been anchored off Detour at Black Rock Pt. since Friday afternoon, waiting on weather.

Reported by: Al Miller




Bay Shipbuilding Corp. gets contract

01/06:
Bay Shipbuilding Corp. of Sturgeon Bay, Wis., has been awarded a U.S.$655,812 contract by the U.S. Coast Guard for drydock repairs.


Reported by: Steve Schultz
Report comes from the weekly electronic publication "The World Maritime News"





Duluth/Superior Lay-up Activity

01/06:
At 1230 This afternoon, the Cason J. Callaway was part way into the big drydock at Fraser Shipyard, assisted by the North Carolina. The Philip R. Clarke is laying in the ice off of the drydock entrance, and then it can go back where it was for the winter.

The Indiana Harbor made it in yesterday, and they are laying at the Port Terminal. Supposedly, all three Interlake 1000-footers will be in Duluth/Superior this winter.

Reported by: Eric Bonow and Al Miller




J.A.W. Iglehart makes it to Muskegon

01/06:
According to the bridge tender at St. Joseph, J.A.W. IGLEHART was in port Friday at about 1700 hours. The bridge tender said she unloaded half her cargo at East Chicago, and the remainder at St. Joe. S.S. ALPENA didn't make it into Muskegon on Thursday. I am not sure if she was here over the weekend.

Reported by: Reported by: George Micka




Duluth News

01/04:
At this time (0930) the wind at the Duluth Aerial Bridge is blowing steadily from the NE at 30 knots, with gusts to 40. The Indiana Harbor is outside and will decide whether or not to come in with the wind and its accompanying blowing snow. Ice is also moving in the canal, and the strong winds have pushed the Lake ice down into the end of the lake.

If the Indiana Harbor comes in, it will be the first boat to lay up at the Port Terminal.

In other news, the large drydock at Fraser is still empty, but the Clarke (?) is tied across the end of it. I don't know if any boats are scheduled in there this winter. In the small drydock, the Corp tug Billmaier and the two Vista boats are spending the winter. The Calcite is residing in the spot at the head of Howard's Pocket, so it will again be the last boat out of the yard. The Sherwin is now at the Superior Municipal dock where the Mauthe had laid for the last couple of years. This leaves the Cummings Ave. slip in the shipyard empty. The Cummings Ave. slip is the site of the Whitney Bros. yard, where the tugs were built during WW I, as well as the tug Wm. A. Whitney.

Reported by: Reported by: Eric Bonow




Owen Sound Harbour

01/03:
Passed by Owen sound Harbour today & it seemed like the good old days were back. The Medusa Conquest was coming in to deliver a load of cement. The Mapleglen was tied up for the winter at the Great Lakes elevator. Both the Chi-cheeman and the Nindawayma were also there. Great to see that many boats in one place on Georgian Bay.

Reported by: Reported by: Andrew Woudstra




Sundew aids in Mauthe tow

01/03:
On New Year's Eve, the SUNDEW was called out to assist the J. L. Mauthe, and Tug JOHN Purves and the Great Lakes tugs NORTH CAROLINA and MINNESOTA through the ice. The PURVIS was having trouble getting the MAUTHE through the ice and the other tugs had been trying to help for several hours.

The Sundew left the port at about 6:30 PM and arrived on the scene about 1.5 miles from the breakwaters. At midnight we had only gotten them about a quarter of a mile. The wind finally shifted to the southwest and relieved the pressure on the ice, releasing the MAUTHE. We led them to open water about 5 miles out, and left the PURVIS and MAUTHE on their way. The SUNDEW, NORTH CAROLINA and the MINNESOTA got back to port about 1:30. At midnight, the SUNDEW carried out the tradition of ringing in the new year by striking eight bells, the first four struck by the oldest crewmember, and the last four struck by the youngest.

Reported by: Ken Newhams




Mauthe tow making progress

01/02:
Tug John Purves and J.L. Mauthe should reach Whitefish Point by 2100 hours. Plan is to lock through early a.m., then wait for cutter Mackinaw to escort them through the St. Mary's River.

Reported by: Al Miller




Sarnia's Lay-up Fleet Taking Shape

01/02:
Sarnia's lay-up fleet is taking shape with the J.W.MCGIFFIN, LE CHENE NO.1, ALGORAIL,the tug and barge JOHN SPENCE, MCASHPHALT 401, and the AGAWA CANYON on the 1st of January 1997.

Reported by: Reported by: Andrew Severson




HF marine monitoring on 4369 kHz ssb.

01/02:
This is WLC Rogers City Mich.
Summary of info.
0950   Edwin H. Gott   45.9N 84.3W   Wx Obs
0959   Armco           47.2N 90.4W   Wx Obs

1510   USS Fleet Call in
Cason J Calloway      st. Clair cut   checked due to visibility
      03/1230 Sault   04/1800  Fraser shipyards
Presque Isle          unloaing Gary   56 degrees F etd02/1930
     04/0300  Sault 05/0500 Two Harbours
Roger Blough          
     2.5 miles NE Whitefish Point 1800 Sault
	04/0400 Gary, then Two Harbours to Gary again
Edgar B. Speer        Loading Two Harbours etd 2100-2300 to Gary
Edwin H. Gott         St Marys River 1600 Sault 03/1800 
                      Two Harbours load for Gary

Reported by: Reported by: Ron Walsh , VE3IDW




Escanaba busy loading taconite

01/02:
Escanaba has remained busy loading late season taconite cargoes. New Year's Eve, the dock had one vessel loading, the HERBERT C. JACKSON, and two vessels waiting -- KAYE E. BARKER, and JOHN J. BOLAND. The BOLAND very rarely loads in Escanaba. Most late season cargoes have been destined for Indiana Harbor. As of December 31, loadings were scheduled through January 11.

Reported by: Rod Burdick




Burns Harbor delayed by ice

01/02:
The Burns Harbor (?) spent over an hour at Johnsons Point trying to break through an ice pack. She went back and forth four times before finally breaking through on new years eve. I think it was the Burns harbor it was dark but I am 80% on the ID of this great vessel.

Reported by: N.Scott




Nanticoke Busy on New Year's Eve

01/01:
While most ports have shut down for the winter and many boats headed for winter lay-up, Nanticoke continues to be a bee hive of activity with late season visits. New Year's Eve saw the Gemini loading at Imperial Oil's dock. The Canadian Transport was in with a load of coal for Ontario Hydro and Nanticoke's own Cuyahoga was in to load a cargo of slag aggregate for Canada Lafarge.

Several more trips of coal are in order for the Canadian Transport and tanker traffic will continue as weather and ice conditions permit.

The Cuyahoga will be wintering at Port Stanley later this week after their final trip with the slag.

Reported by: Reported by: Dave Otterman




Mauthe tow clears Duluth

01/01:
Sometime after midnight Dec. 31, the tug John Purves and J.L. Mauthe cleared the ice field off Duluth and proceeded down the lakes.

Reported by: Al Miller




Still more on the J.A.W. Iglehart Refloated

01/01:
J.A.W. IGLEHART was freed from the bottom of Saginaw Bay Monday, after 2,000 tons of cargo were unloaded. The paper said that since the J.A.W. IGLEHART will be unable to unload the rest of her cargo, since the Liberty bridge will be closed to boat traffic at least until January 6, when a General Electric technician will check it.

"Whether the ice and wind pushed them aground or they ran aground of their own accord is undetermined" said Lt. Craig S. Cross of the U.S. Coast Guard.

The S.S. ALPENA is now scheduled to arrive in Muskegon on Thursday at 6:00 p.m., with departure scheduled for 11:00 p.m.

Reported by: Reported by: George Micka

From the Monday, December 31 Muskegon Chronicle




17-year legal battle over sinking near close

01/01:
The City of Milwaukee must pay an estimated U.S.$6 million in interest to National Gypsum Co. in regards to the sinking of the Str. E.M. Ford, Harney B. Stover told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on 31 Dec. Stover is a Milwaukee-based lawyer representing National Gypsum. U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Curran ruled shortly before Christmas that the prime rate is to be used to determine back interest that has accrued during a 17-year legal proceeding between the city and National Gypsum. The interest is on U.S.$1.6 million in damages the city agreed to pay in 1990. On 24 Dec., 1979, the Str. E.M. Ford, then owned by National Gypsum, sank in a storm with 7,000 tons of dry concrete at the Port of Milwaukee. The ship broke loose from its moorings and sank in the outer harbor. National Gypsum filed a lawsuit against the city, as the ship was at a berth owned by the port and hence the city, seeking U.S.$4.5 million. The City of Milwaukee countersued for U.S.$250,000 in damages to the berth. During a trial in 1989, Curran found National Gypsum 96 percent liable, since the ship had few crewmembers aboard when it sank. An appeals court ruled, however, that National Gypsum was 66 percent liable and the firm should receive back interest for the damages assessed to the city. That ruling was appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, which upheld the appellate ruling in June 1995 and sent the case back to Curran to decide how to calculate the back interest. The city is self-insured and any payment would come from its damages and claims fund.

Reported by: Reported by: Steve Schultz

Visit the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's homepage for complete details




Ice delays the Mauthe

01/01:
By 9 p.m. on New Year's Eve, the Purves and Mauthe were continuing to battle the ice off Duluth. Purves is pulling the Mauthe and GLT tugs Minnesota and North Carolina are assisting. Coast Guard Cutter Sundew has been assisting for several hours. The strategy is for the Sundew to run down close alongside the Mauthe, which briefly relieves the ice pressure and allowing the tugs to surge ahead anywhere from a few feet to 75 feet. At last report, the tugs had about 1,400 feet to go to get past a troublesome windrow and into looser ice. Meanwhile, James R. Barker was ready to leave the BNSF ore dock in Superior, about six miles away, but could not because no tugs were available. One GLT tug is not used in ice and two others were engaged with the Mauthe. Not sure on the status of the fourth. Ice had frozen in behind the Barker after its arrival and the master did not want to try backing away from the dock and turning without assistance.

Reported by: Al Miller, Gary A. Putney, Eric Bonow, and Tom Holecek




J.A.W. Iglehart Refloated Continued

12/31:
The J.A.W. Iglehart was refloated yesterday morning after off-loading some of her cargo to the Alpena. She then moved to anchor about 2 miles north of the outer channel markers to assess any damage. The Liberty Bridge is out of service until 1/6, this could explain the change in destination.

Reported by: Lon Morgan and Dan Maus




Iglehart heading to Muskegon

12/31:
The 500-foot freighter J.A.W. Iglehart is scheduled to arrive in Muskegon at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday. The ship, which is carrying 5,500 tons of cement, is headed for the LaFarge cement dock near Heritage Landing. It is scheduled to depart at 1 a.m. Wednesday.

Reported by: George Micka

From the Monday, December 30 Muskegon Chronicle




Purves to tow J.L. Mauthe

12/31:
Purves towing J.L. Mauthe to Sturgeon Bay The tug John Purves arrived in Superior on Dec. 30 to make preparation for towing the idle steamer J.L. Mauthe to Sturgeon Bay for conversion to a barge. The Purves and Mauthe are expected to depart Duluth on the afternoon of Dec. 31.

Reported by: Al Miller




Ore docks keeping busy into 1997

12/31:
The BNSF and DMIR ore docks in the Twin Ports are running much later than normal this year and both plan to operate into 1997. BNSF expects to handle James R. Barker on Dec. 31, Burns Harbor on Jan. 1 and Stewart J. Cort on Jan. 2. The DMIR is expecting Armco on Jan. 2 and Courtney Burton Jan. 3. Meanwhile, the DMIR ore dock in Two Harbors is handling the big GLF boats now, with Edgar B. Speer due Jan. 2, Edwin H. Gott Jan. 3 and Presque Isle Jan. 5.

Reported by: Al Miller




Great Lakes Fleet's AAA boats Heading for Lay-up

12/31:
GLF AAA boats going into layup Great Lakes Fleet's AAA boats are all heading for layup around the first of the year. Arthur M. Anderson is due in Sturgeon Bay on Jan. 1, Cason J. Callaway is due in Superior on Jan. 4 and Philip R. Clarke is expected to arrive Duluth on Jan. 2. Other vessels laying up in the Twin Ports during the next few days include St. Clair and Indiana Harbor, both tying up at the port terminal.

Reported by: Marine Historical Society of Detroit

Visit the Winter Lay-up list for more listings





News from the Welland Canal

12/31:
As of 1600 sunday the canal had drained from lock 7, to lock 3 and was draining between lock 2, and lock 1. Winter maintenance was expected to begin the morning of 12/30.

Reported by: Roger Tottman




J.A.W. Iglehart Aground update Sunday

12/29:
12:45 P.M. the Igelhart is still fast to the bottom of the Saginaw Bay. Three tugs , Manitou, Malcom, and Gregory Busch out of Saginaw are working on scene. When the Busch was outbound thru the Liberty Bridge in Bay City , power was lost to the west span and the bridge started down and caught the mast. The Busch arrived at the scene could not use the stern bit because the mast was in the way. They are discussing bring in the ALPENA to lighten the Igelhart to attempt to float her off.

Reported by: Dan Maus




8 P.M. J.A.W. Iglehart update

12/28:
The Manitou and Malcolm worked for a few hours this morning but did not have enough horsepower to pull her off. About 1530 the Gregory Busch out of Saginaw arrived. Last traffic was about 1/2 hour ago and all three are still trying to get her off the bank. The Iglehart is in the Saginaw Bay Channel at buoy 18 (about 7 miles north of the front range light.

Reported by: Lon Morgan




Emerald Star last to clear Seaway

12/28:
The Seaway officially closed on the morning of Dec. 27th, with the passing of the Emerald Star through St. Lambert Lock. It was open for 274 days and had its best tonnage year since 1988. It is estimated that tonnage was up 2.5% over 1995 with an estimated 3 835 vessels passages.

Reported by: Ron Walsh

Summary from Kingston Whig Standard.





Late Season calls on the DMIR ore dock

12/28:
The late-season parade of unusual callers continues for the DMIR ore dock in Duluth. Dec. 28 saw Oglebay Norton, Courtney Burton and Middletown call there. Buckeye was scheduled for later in the day and Columbia Star was due in Dec. 29. Of all these boats, only the Burton is a semi-regular caller.

Reported by: Al Miller




J.A.W. Iglehart Aground update

12/28:
At 10:00 A.M. EST, The J.A.W. Iglehart is still fast to the bottom at the mouth of The Saginaw River. The tug Manitou arrived on scene sometime last night, both the Manitou and tug Malcolm are working to free her.

Reported by: Dan Maus




J.A.W. Iglehart Aground

12/27:
At 8:30 P.M. EST, the J.A.W. Iglehart is reported aground in Saginaw Bay, Saginaw Channel. She is in postion 43 42.03N 083 48.53W on the red side. The tug Malcolm is on scene with another enroute, ice is reported to be 2-6".

Reported by: N. Schultheiss and Lon Morgan




Duluth-Superior News

12/27:
After several days of limited activity, Duluth-Superior harbor sprang to life Dec. 27 as several vessels made unusually late calls for taconite pellets and others came in for winter lay up. Stewart J. Cort was loading at the BNSF ore dock while Lee A. Tregurtha waited at the Duluth port terminal for the next chance at the dock. Courtney Burton entered port for a rare late-season call at the DMIR ore dock, which usually closes by mid-December.

Coast Guard Cutter Sundew and tow Great Lakes Towing tugs were breaking ice to help Walter J. McCarthy lay up at Midwest Energy Terminal and Elton Hoyt II enter Fraser Shipyards for lay up.

The current schedule calls for John G. Munson to arrive Sturgeon Bay on Dec. 29 for lay up.

Reported by: Al Miller




Delays continue at Burlington Northern Ore Dock

12/26:
After spending more than four days in port waiting for a berth and loading, Burns Harbor hopes to clear the BNSF ore dock in Superior on Dec. 26. By 9 a.m. the vessel had 37,000 tons loaded, another 13,000 in the dock bins ready to load. However, trouble was reported with the train bringing in more ore, which may cause more delays. Stewart J. Cort, which has been waiting since Dec. 24 at the Duluth port terminal, will then take its place at the ore dock once the Burns Harbor leaves. After two days of temperatures dropping as low as minus 20 degrees, the Cort will need a tug to free it from the dock and help it into the loading berth.

Reported by: Marine Historical Society of Detroit




Ice in Saginaw Bay causing delays

12/26:
The J.A.W. Iglehart is out in the Saginaw Bay moving slowly through the ice inbound to the Saginaw River and all the way up to LaFarge Dock- Saginaw. Eight to nine-tenths new and thin lake ice in the Saginaw Bay seem to be giving the vessel some trouble. The Iglehart has to call the bridges and let them know their ETA. The last communication had the Iglehart stuck in the ice about 5 miles out (not sure if this is from the front range or if it is the outer buoys)

Reported by: Lon Morgan




Charter ends, Name returns

12/26:
The Atlantic Trader laid up at PASCOL Drydock Thunder Bay 21st Dec 10:00. The name will be changed (back) to Algobay over the winter and the vessel will no longer be under charter to CSL.

Reported by: P. Schultz

Visit the Winter Lay-up list for more listings





More on the Halcyon

12/25:
According to a story in the Muskegon Cronical, the Halcyon may be scrapped. It seems that the water damage combined with costs associated with her winter layup contributed to this decision. The report also said that the Halycon had design changes which contributed to the sinking, along with crew error. The design changes would also have to be corrected before it would be allowed to re-enter the water.


Reported by: Bob Wheelock




Seaway Radio Message No.21 - 1996

12/25:
This is the final Radio message for the closing period.

The last vessel is expected to enter the Montreal-Lake Ontario section on December 25, and with the passage of this vessel, all operations in the St. Lambert to Iroquois section will cease.

Mariners are advised that for the Montreal-Lake Ontario section of the Seaway the surcharges for December 21st to December 24th have been waived. Special agreements will be required for transits after 0001 hour December 25th. For transits of the Welland Canal after 0800 hours December 24th, written agreements will be required. Arrangements for written agreements can be made at the Authority's St. Lambert, Quebec or St. Catharines, Ontario offices. Further details are available in Seaway Notice no. 7.

Mariners are advised to use caution in restricted channels due to higher than normal flows in the Montreal-Lake Ontario Section.

The openings of the Galop and the Prescott/Ogdensburg ice boom have been reduced to 243m and 610m respectively. The openings are indicated by flashing green and red buoys.

Mariners are advised that the implementation of the power to length ratio restrictions have been postponed until further notice.

The removal of essential aids will continue on Lake St. Francis, Lake St. Louis and the upper St. Lawrence River. Further information concerning this is available from the appropriate traffic control centres.

Water temperature at St. Lambert on December 24, 1996 is 1.3 degrees celsius. Last year's temperature was 0.0 degrees celsius. The ten year average is 0.3 degrees celsius.

At midnight December 23, 1996, the number of ocean vessels above St. Lambert was 4 as compared to 13 in 1995. Above Port Weller the number was 1 as compared to 0 in 1995.

At 0700 hours December 24, 1996 the total number of vessels in transit and in ports between CIP 2 (St.Lambert) and CIP16 (Lake Erie) was approximately 26.


Reported by: The St. Lawrence Seaway Authority

Visit the Seaway Authority's home page for complete details





BNSF Ore Dock Busy

12/24:
The BNSF ore dock continues to rumble along the morning of Dec. 24 trying to deal with the backlog of vessels waiting to load. As of 11a.m. central time, the Stinson is finishing its load and expects to leave in about two hours. St. Clair has called for a tug to break it out from the port terminal dock and clear a path through the ice in the front channel linking Duluth to Superior. Stewart J. Cort is entering port and plans to take the St. Clair's spot while it waits for the ore dock. Burns Harbor remains at the port terminal, where its been since Sunday waiting to load.

Reported by: Al Miller




Banner year for taconite

12/24:
Minnesota's taconite industry is in the midst of its most productive decade ever and forecasts for 1997 call for the industry's best year in 16 years.

The state's seven taconite plants will finish the year having produced nearly 46 million tons of pellets. Plants officials say they likely will produce 47.2 million tons in 1997.

Reported by: Duluth News-Tribune

Visit the Duluth News-Tribune for complete details




Rumors confirmed, J.L. Mauthe to be Converted to Barge

12/23:
Pease note, this was not the official announcement, but very true
Interlake announced Friday (12/20) that the J.L. Mauthe is to be converted to a barge. The work is going to be done at Bayship in Sturgeon Bay, WI. The vessel is supposed to be at Bayship by early January. The first towing company hired (I don't know who.) backed out of the deal. I don't know why, but I bet it had something to do with getting insurance coverage this time of year.

Reported by: Andy LaBorde




Loading Hose Failure Causes Oil Spill

12/23:
Shortly before 0600 hours on Saturday morning December 21, 1996 the motor tanker "Jade Star" suffered a loading hose failure while loading HFO-6C at Imperial Oil's Nanticoke Marine Terminal. Quick actions by the vessel's crew and Imperial's dock staff prevented what could have been a much more serious incident. Much of the oil landed on the ship's deck and was handled by the ship's crew. The estimated 100 gals. which wound up in the harbour was contained by the permanent harbour booms (installed for this type of cargo) and quickly recovered by Imperial's own Emergency Response Team and contract vessel of Cooper Marine despite a fresh breeze and heavy squalls. The cause of the vessel's hose failure is still being investigated by the its owners Rigel, along with Imperial Oil Ltd. and the Canadian Coast Guard. "Jade Star" sailed at 1000 hours Sunday for a Quebec destination. Her spot was quickly taken by the Canadian Olympic with a late coal delivery and followed today by the "Emerald Star" with a load of aviation fuel for Nanticoke. The "Emerald Star" will be scurrying to beat the closure of the system on her way out of the Lakes.

Reported by: Dave Otterman




Livingston Channel Open to Two way Traffic

12/23:
Effective today at 3:00 P.M. EST the Livingston Channel in the Detroit River is open to two way traffic. The Livingston Channel is normally used for downbound traffic only with upbound traffic using the Amherstburg Channel. Each winter the aids to navigation are removed from the Amherstburg Channel, though still open to navigation it makes for a difficult trip.

Downbound Vessels calling in for Grassy Island have the right of way over upbound vessels calling in for the Detroit River Light

Reported by: N. Schultheiss




Columbia Star last to Call

12/23:
Columbia Star is scheduled to be the last boat of the season to load at the Midwest Energy Resources terminal in Superior. The boat is expected to arrive about 5:30 p.m. central time Dec. 23. After that, the dock probably will serve its usual role as a layup berth for a vessel from American Steamship Co.

Reported by: Marine Historical Society of Detroit




Burlington Northern Ore Dock Delays

12/23:
The end of the season is bringing some rare visitors to the Twin Ports: Both David Z. Norton and Wolverine are scheduled to call at the DMIR ore docks Dec. 23.

Vessels are backing up at the Burlington Northern ore dock. George A. Stinson is loading Dec. 22/23. Meanwhile, on Dec. 22 the Oglebay Norton was tied up to the Duluth port terminal waiting for a turn to load. It was joined late in the day by St. Clair. Vessels scheduled to arrive for BN on Dec. 23 are Lee A. Tregurtha and Stewart J. Cort.

No indication about what's causing the delay, although BN often has problem with its long conveyor system during cold weather as well as ice in the slip. With steady, blowing snow and cold temperatures, Burns Harbor on Dec. 23 was asking USCG Sundew to break ice in the front channel that links the Duluth and Superior sides of the harbor. Both Burns Harbor and St. Clair will use that channel to reach BN.

Reported by: Marine Historical Society of Detroit




Mail Boat Ends its 101st Season

12/23:
The U.S. Mail boat J.W. Westcott II was put into lay-up about 10:00 A.M. Friday (12/20). This marks the end of the 101st season of mid-river mail delivery for the Westcott Company. Also in lay-up is the back up boat, Joseph J. Hogan.
Pilot service will continue by tug from the Westcott Co.'s station on the Detroit River.


Reported by: Neil Schultheiss




Christmas Decorations on the Great Lakes

12/23:
Search for the Wilfred Sykes on Lake Michigan this week, it's worth it. The entire after end is lined in red Christmas lights with a "tree" made from blue & red lights on either side of the unloading tower that angle down. Aft of the pilot house are additional lights and a lighted Christmas tree. There is an additional tree on the end of the boom. There are so many lights on the Sykes, the cook can't make toast if they're all lit at once. They will be in Escanaba tonight (12/22) and Ferrisburg later this week, then back to Milwaukee with coal. There is quite a line up of boats in Escanaba so delays are expected and this schedule may change. Bring a tripod.

The Jackson was in Milwaukee unloading coal today (12/20). They were here long enough for me to get some night shots. Too bad the cold had taken its toll on the majority of lights around the pilot house. It was still a pretty sight. Sants Claus is positioned on top of the unloading tower. The Herbert C. Jackson has always had nice Christmas decorations. Look the the Medusa Challenger. They add more lights every year. The Wilfred Sykes was turned down by their front office for money for Christmas lights this year so the crew took up a collection and came up with $500 for lights. The should be visible for miles.


Reported by: Andy LaBorde




Pembina Starts New Life as Missionary Ship

12/21:
Twin Ports residents still have hope they may someday acquire the cargo ship Pembina - one of the last surviving small cargo vessels built in Duluth-Superior during World War II.

Pembina was put up for sale recently and those interested in its preservation feared it might be scrapped. However, a Seattle man bought it a U.S. Marshal's sale in San Francisco for $150,000. The new owner has renamed the vessel "The Spirit of Grace" and has chartered it to a religious group to be outfitted as a missionary ship. Its first destination is to be Honduras.

Twin Ports preservationists, lead by librarian Barry Singer, say they still hope to bring the vessel back to Superior some day.


Reported by: Marine Historical Society of Detroit




Duluth Superior Grain up 4-Percent

12/21:
The heavy fall grain traffic in Duluth-Superior resulted in a 49-percent increase in international grain exports from the Twin Ports in November compared to the same month a year ago. Port officials expect that overall tonnage this season will exceed the five-year average of 33.6 million tons but probably won't reach last season's high of 40.6 million tons.


Reported by: Marine Historical Society of Detroit




Cort May Run all Winter

12/20:
While upbound at the Soo, I overheard the Stewart J. Cort talking with another boat about the upcoming winter. It appears that the Cort has three or four more trips left to Superior and then she may be put on a run between Escanaba and Burns Harbor for the remainder of the winter. The USX and Inland fleets have often extended the season, running well into February and coming out in early March on this same run but as far as I know Bethlehem has never done this.

Dan Sweeley




Lay-up Continues, Work Starts

12/20:
Algowood came off drydock yesterday and went to layup at dock #10 (WellandDock) for the winter, she is to get new hatch covers. Canadian Navigator took her place at the drydock and is to be converted to a self unloader. The Algoway is still laid up outside the drydock but should be going on the blocks soon (saturday?) Algontario was upbound the Seaway (Massena) yesterday on her way to lay up at Hamilton.

Reported by: P. Schultz

Visit the Winter Lay-up list for more listings





Two Small Self-Unloaders Home For the Holidays

12/20:
The GEORGE A. SLOAN arrived her winter lay-up berth at Bay Shipbuilding Company in Sturgeon Bay, Wis., on December 19. As of this morning (12/20), the RICHARD REISS was anchored off Erie, Pa., waiting for the winds to die down so the ship could lay-up at the Erie Sand dock.
In other lay-up news, S. T. CRAPO was shifted from Collision Bend to G&W Dock in the Cuyahoga.

Reported by: Lake Carriers Association
Visit the LCA's home page for complete details





Alpena makes late season call

12/20:
Alpena arrived in port Dec. 20, slowly steaming across the harbor through rising mist caused by the below-zero air passing over the warmer waters of the harbor. This is an unusually late visit for a cement boat, and likely was prompted by last summer's delays resulting from the labor dispute.


Reported by: Marine Historical Society of Detroit




American Mariner Loads at Elevator S

12/19:
Superior's Elevator S - a turn-of-the-century structure that's rarely used today - was visited Dec. 19 by American Mariner. The vessel was loading oats destined for Huron, Ohio.

Reported by: Marine Historical Society of Detroit




U.S.-Flag Float Up 8.4 Percent In November

12/19:
U.S.-Flag vessel operators hauled 12,048,704 net tons of dry- and liquid-bulk cargos on the Great Lakes in November, an increase of 8.4 percent compared to the corresponding period last year.The increase is mostly weather-related. November 1995 was characterized by excessive vessel downtime during to storms and high winds. This November was relatively calm.

Iron ore and coal lead the upswing. Iron ore cargos totaled 5.9 million tons, an increase of 6.3 percent. Coal loadings in U.S. bottoms totaled 2.4 million tons, an increase of 13.2 percent. The U.S.-Flag stone float was virtually unchanged in November.

The November total represents a decrease from previous months, but that is no indication of demand or vessel utilization rates, but rather than many ships lose carrying capacity when they go to winter marks (permitted loadline) on November 1.

For the season, U.S.-Flag carriage stands at 103,794,101 net tons, an increase of 1.2 percent. Only two commodities, coal and grain, show decreases compared to the previous navigation season. U.S.-Flag coal loadings are down as the result of lower demand for eastern coal. Reduced demand for grain reflects shifts in both transportation mode and production facilities.

Reported by: Lake Carriers Association

Visit the LCA's home page for complete details




Saginaw River Closed for Season

12/19:
Technically the Saginaw River closed to traffic on 12/15. Vessels are now required to give 12 hour notice to the USCG and the bridges(which are unmanned now). If 12/17 was the last of the season, it was a good day.....the Fred R. White Jr. reported while inbound that it would be the last trip for both the White and the Joseph H. Frantz.

Reported by: Lon Morgan




George A. Sloan makes last trip of the Season

12/18:
Stmr. George A. Sloan delivered its last load of the season to Green Bay and is scheduled to enter winter lay-up Dec. 19 in Sturgeon Bay.


Reported by: Marine Historical Society of Detroit




Louis R. Desmarais Unloading Boom Breaks

12/17: Story reported yesterday, pictures of the damaged boom added today.




Algolake makes rare maneuver in Duluth

12/17:
Boatwatchers in Duluth saw a rare sight Dec. 16 when the 730-foot Algolake left port by backing under the Aerial Lift Bridge and out the Duluth ship canal. The laker had unloaded salt at the Cutler-Magner dock, which is directly across from the canal that forms the harbor entrance. Rather than buck ice by turning the harbor, the vessel's master decided to back straight away from the dock and out the canal before turning around in the open water on the lake. A bridge operator said it was only the second time in 15 years he's seen a vessel back out the canal.

Longtime boatwatchers recall that the best bit of ship canal boat handling occurred about 10 years ago when St. Clair lost power in the canal. Using his bowthrusters to avoid hitting the canal piers, the master let the brisk wind blow the vessel back into the harbor, where it went to anchor until power was restored.


Reported by: Marine Historical Society of Detroit




Seaway season ends in the Twin Ports

12/17:
The St. Lawrence Seaway shipping season came to end Dec. 16 in Duluth-Superior as a pair of vessels cleared port to make the Seaway's closing deadlines.

The Greek-flag Panagiotis became Duluth-Superior's last oceangoing vessel of the season when it departed with 16,517 metric tons of spring wheat from the Peavey Connors Point grain elevator bound for Ravenna, Italy.

A few hours later Canadian Trader motored under the Aerial Lift Bridge to become the ports' last boat scheduled to travel the full length of the Seaway. The vessel loaded 7,000 metric tons of spring wheat at Harvest States grain elevator in Superior. It will load more cargo in Thunder Bay before continuing on to Port Cartier.

Twin Ports vessel traffic will drop considerably now as most remaining vessels will call only at the Midwest Energy Terminal coal dock and the BN and DMIR ore docks. The DMIR tends to shut down earlier than its counterpart in Two Harbors because of ice. At least one more cement boat - the Alpena - is due in this week.


Reported by: Marine Historical Society of Detroit




Louis R. Desmarais Unloading Boom Breaks

12/16:
On Saturday December 14, the Louis R. Desmarais was unloading at the St. Marys Cement dock in the Rouge River when the unloading boom snapped about two thirds of the way up. When I saw the boom the only thing that was holding it together was the belt. I heard that they called a crain in to lift the broken piece down to the deck.

Reported by: Dave Marcoux

Click here for pictures





McKee Sons Enters Lay-up

12/16:
The tug/barge unit McKee Sons & Olive L. Moore laid up on December 15 in Escanaba, Michigan.

Reported by: Lake Carriers Association
Visit the LCA's home page for complete details




J.W. McGiffin Making Christmas Brighter for Needy Families

12/16:
At this morning's service (12/15) at Grace United Church in Port Dover, Ontario, Pastor Brian Elder was thankful to the Master and crew of CSL's J.W. McGiffin. It seems a couple of weeks ago the Reverend received a cell phone call from Capt. Lars Bouman indicating the crew would like to do a little something for the needy families in the Port Dover area. Last Wednesday evening Reverend Elder visited the ship in nearby Nanticoke and was taken by surprise with a donation of several hundred dollars from the McGiffin's crew. A deal had also been arranged with the local K-Mart in Simcoe to purchase toys with the money and food vouchers are also being purchased by the Church. Thanks to the thoughts of these mariners, Christmas will no doubt be a little brighter for the less fortunate.

Reported by: Dave Otterman

This one deserves a salute



Stinson to be sold

12/14:
Reports indicate that the George A. Stinson is going to be sold at the end of the season to American Steamship. She is to be laid up in Toldeo around the December 26 and will receive her new colors over the winter. She will probably receive a new name as well. Interlake has decided not to renew the contract for her.

Reported by: John Lynch and Dan Sweeley




Research ship raised; salvage costs going up, too

12/14:
Three large cranes raised the HALCYON Thursday morning and placed her onto a barge. Work crews had been trying to raise HALCYON since Monday. NOAA wasbeginning an investigation Thursday morning into the cause of the ships sinking. HALCYON went down stern first. While she was being lifted onto an Andrie Inc. barge, water was observed leaking from the area where her two outdrives was located. NOAA supervisor Steve Ruberg revised his previous cost estimate, and now says it may cost up to $150,000 by the entire salvage operation is complete. HALCYON will remain aboard a barge while her two diesel engines are worked on. Once the ship is repaired, NOAA plans to use her for their Great Lakes research effort along with the R/V Shenehon.

Reported by: George Micka
Edited from a story appearing in the Dec. 12 Muskegon Chronicle





Mail Boat Ready to Call it a Season

12/13:
The U.S. Marine Post Office located in Detroit, is set to lay up the Mail boat J.W. Westcott II on the morning of December 20, 1996. This marks the end of the 101st season of "mail by the pail" for the J.W. Westcott Company.

Reported by: N. Schultheiss




Kinsman Independent to Enter Lay-up

12/13:
The grain carrier KINSMAN INDEPENDENT is discharging her final cargo of the season in Buffalo today (12/13). When unloading is completed tomorrow morning, the ship will lay-up at the Lake & Rail dock.

Reported by: Lake Carriers Association
Visit the LCA's home page for complete details




News from Duluth

12/12:
Two long-standing grain elevators on the Twin Ports waterfront will be coming down over the next few years. Work has been under way for some time on the Globe Elevator, located next to the Harvest States elevator in Superior. Workers have been dismantling equipment outside the elevator since last spring and appear to be working inside as well. The wooden structure was built in the 1880s. Also likely to come down soon is the old Peavey elevator complex next to the Duluth port terminal. The local port authority owns the complex and will soon be seeking bids for demolition.

After a busy autumn that saw as many as half a dozen salties at a time waiting to load, the international shipping season in Duluth-Superior is coming to an end. The Wartenes was loading at the Cargill elevator on the evening of Dec. 11 and again Dec. 12, and salties Serenade, Ziemia Opinska (sp?) and Adveeka are scheduled to arrive in the next few days. They likely will be the last salties in port this season. Although a November cold snap caused an early onset of harbor ice, more moderate temperatures in December have eased the ice problem for boats and even allowed some open water to reappear.


Reported by: Marine Historical Society of Detroit




Canadian Ships without Pilots

12/12:
Four Canadian-registry ships last week sailed through compulsory pilotage zones in the St. Lawrence River without a pilot, risking a potential C$5,000 fine. Three were from Canada Steamship Lines Inc. The firms involved said they were loosing C$1 million in the delays, which were up to two days at the Welland Canal due to heavy traffic and a lack of pilots or pilots arriving late. River temperatures were at 2.5 degrees Celsius and strong ice could form in 48 hours. As a result, each vessel must have two pilots. Shipowners asked that ships that have routinely sailed the area with capable navigation equipment be allowed to sail without pilots. The request was later changed to one instead of two pilots. When both requests were denied, the four ships sailed. It has been decided that fines will not be imposed. Apparently, the unortodox move by the four ships had an effect on the pilot system, as reports suggest the situation has begun to clear.


Reported by: Steve Schultz
Report comes from the weekly electronic publication "The World Maritime News"





Upper Lakes Shipping ships get Certificates

12/12:
U.L.S. Corp. has become the first Canadian shipping line to receive I.S.M. accreditation, and the first to have both the I.S.M. Code and I.S.O. 9002 certification. I.S.M. safety management certificates were given to the M/V Canadian Progress, the M/V Canadian Ranger and the Str. Montrealais.


Reported by: Steve Schultz
Report comes from the weekly electronic publication "The World Maritime News"





M/V Utviken Refloated

12/09:
The M/V Utviken (Bahamian-registry 17,191-gt, 30,052-dwt, 189 meter/621 foot long bulk carrier built in 1987, oprated by Viken Shipping) has been refloated (see story dated 11/28). The vessel, sailing from Richards Bay, South Africa, to Detroit with titanium slag, ran aground in U.S. waters on a shoal along the southern bank of the St. Lawrence River below Massena, N.Y., on 26 Nov. The ship suffered electrical problems in her steering console, which is believed to have caused the grounding. The cargo was lightered before the refloating attempt. The M/V Utviken has damage to the port side forward and amidships. The forepeak tankand the No. 1 double-bottom tank flooded in the grounding.


Reported by: Steve Schultz
Report comes from the weekly electronic publication "The World Maritime News"





St Clair in for Repairs

12/09:
St. Clair docked at the Duluth port terminal Dec. 8 while a crew from Fraser Shipyards worked on the vessel's stern on the starboard side near the propeller shaft. The vessel remained docked on the morning of Dec. 9 but the workers and their crane appeared to be gone.


Reported by: Marine Historical Society of Detroit




Lee A. Tregurtha make first visit to Power plant dock

12/09:
The steamer LEE A. TREGURTHA docked at Port Washington, Wisconsin Friday to deliver a cargo of coal to the Wisconsin Electric Power Plant. It marked the first time that this vessel ever arrived at the small dock.

The TREGURTHA, at 826-feet, is the longest vessel to dock at the 1100 foot long facility at Port Washington, since the 1000-footers MESABI MINER and JAMES R. BARKER visited several times in 1979-80. Prior to today's arrival, the longest ship besides the 1000-footers to arrive at the coal dock was the 770-foot long m/v ST. CLAIR which was at the dock in 1984 and again in 1994.

The vessel was formerly the WALTER A. STERLING, part of the Cleveland-Cliffs Steamship Co. Although Cliffs had a large portion of the utility's coal contract in the 1970's, the STERLING was the only ship of that fleet to have never delivered coal to Port Washington during that era.


Reported by: Paul G. Wiening




M/V Utviken Refloated

12/09:
The M/V Utviken (Bahamian-registry 17,191-gt, 30,052-dwt, 189 meter/621 foot long bulk carrier built in 1987, oprated by Viken Shipping) has been refloated (see story dated 11/28). The vessel, sailing from Richards Bay, South Africa, to Detroit with titanium slag, ran aground in U.S. waters on a shoal along the southern bank of the St. Lawrence River below Massena, N.Y., on 26 Nov. The ship suffered electrical problems in her steering console, which is believed to have caused the grounding. The cargo was lightered before the refloating attempt. The M/V Utviken has damage to the port side forward and amidships. The forepeak tankand the No. 1 double-bottom tank flooded in the grounding.


Reported by: Steve Schultz
Report comes from the weekly electronic publication "The World Maritime News"





St Clair in for Repairs

12/09:
St. Clair docked at the Duluth port terminal Dec. 8 while a crew from Fraser Shipyards worked on the vessel's stern on the starboard side near the propeller shaft. The vessel remained docked on the morning of Dec. 9 but the workers and their crane appeared to be gone.


Reported by: Marine Historical Society of Detroit




Lee A. Tregurtha make first visit to Power plant dock

12/09:
The steamer LEE A. TREGURTHA docked at Port Washington, Wisconsin Friday to deliver a cargo of coal to the Wisconsin Electric Power Plant. It marked the first time that this vessel ever arrived at the small dock.

The TREGURTHA, at 826-feet, is the longest vessel to dock at the 1100 foot long facility at Port Washington, since the 1000-footers MESABI MINER and JAMES R. BARKER visited several times in 1979-80. Prior to today's arrival, the longest ship besides the 1000-footers to arrive at the coal dock was the 770-foot long m/v ST. CLAIR which was at the dock in 1984 and again in 1994.

The vessel was formerly the WALTER A. STERLING, part of the Cleveland-Cliffs Steamship Co. Although Cliffs had a large portion of the utility's coal contract in the 1970's, the STERLING was the only ship of that fleet to have never delivered coal to Port Washington during that era.


Reported by: Paul G. Wiening




St. Lawrence Seaway Statistics

12/06:
Cargo moving through the St. Lawrence Seaway as of the end of November was two percent higher compared to the same period last year.

Some 45,558,446 tons of cargo moved through the seaway by 30 Nov., compared with 44,697,198 ton s as of 30 Nov., 1995. Toll revenue is up C$2 million over last year. In all, 3,463 ships moved through the seaway as of 30 Nov., compared to 3,566 during the same time in 1995. However oceanic vessel transits have increased by almost 100

The breakdown, in tons, is:

19951996
Grain 13,711,52411,170,551
Iron ore11,205,62312,405,683
Coal3,734,5564,146,410
Other Bulk11,481,31612,177,529
General Cargo4,564,1795,658,273
TOTAL44,697,19845,558,446


Reported by: Steve Schultz
Report comes from the weekly electronic publication "The World Maritime News"





Rumor Mill suggests Conversion of the J.L. Mauthe to a Barge

12/06:
The transfer of the idled J.L. Mauthe to Fraser Shipyards has prompted rumors about Interlake's plans for the vessel. The most persistent report is that Interlake is eyeing the steamer for conversion to a self-unloading barge. No one knows whether Interlake would run the barge, create a subsidiary to run it or sell it. It's also not clear on whether the work would be done at Fraser. Apparently, the boat was just brought into the yard so a bid could be prepared.


Reported by: Andy LaBorde




Raise the Halcyon: New try planned

12/06:
A government research ship that sank Monday remained on the bottom of Muskegon harbor this morning as federal officials worked on plans for another rescue attempt. The 60-foot-long R/V Halcyon sank Monday while tied up at a dock off the West Michigan Michigan Dock and Market Corp. Officials at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which owns the vessel, spent Tuesday trying to line up a salvage contractor to hoist the ship out of the water.

Crews tried Monday to raise the Halcyon with a crane, but the effort failed because one of the ship's stern cleats, which can hold a cable, cracked. Another rescue attempt is expected next Monday, said Steve Ruberg, a NOAA supervisor.

U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Greg Case said that the boat must be lifted carefully. "It's full of water," he said. "If you just pulled it up, you could snap cables, injure people, crack open the hull and spill fuel."

The ship rests on the bottom of the harbor; the top of the pilot house is the only portion above water. Federal officials have said the ship will be usable once it is pulled out of the water and repaired.


Reported by: George Micka

Edited from a story appearing in the Dec. 4 Muskegon Chronicle





Paul H. Townsend Enters Lay-up

12/06:
The Paul H. Townsend arrived in Green Bay for winter lay-up on December 5.

Reported by: Lake Carriers Association
Visit the LCA's home page for complete details




Duluth's Grain Shipments to the World

12/05:
South Africa and the former Soviet Union nations of Georgia and Latvia are new destinations this year for grain shipments from Duluth and Superior. Cargoes of durum and spring wheat began moving to South Africa in August. During this fall, shipments of spring wheat began moving to Georgia while Latvia received corn. Grain shipments from the port i n 1996 were destined for 27 countries in Europe, North Africa, Sub-Saharan African, the Middle East, Central America and South America.


Reported by: Seaway Port Authority of Duluth




U.S.-Flag Lakers in Service on December 1

12/05:
Leading U.S.-Flag carriers on the Lakes had 55 of their ships in service on December 1, a decrease of one ship compared to a year ago. However, the fleet will pull even when the cement carrier PAUL H. TOWNSEND returns to service on December 4.

A survey of U.S.-Flag carriers indicates that late-season plans remain largely unchanged. A few of the lower horsepower self-unloaders will finish their season by mid-December or so. A couple other vessels will lay-up before year's end so they can be drydocked for inspections over the winter. The remainder of the active fleet will sail into January.

Reported by: Lake Carriers Association

Visit the LCA's home page for complete details




Welland Canal 167th Anniversary

12/05:
Peter Cresswell, CEO of Algoma Central Corp used the celebration to deliver an attack on the Canadian Federal Government's policies and ill-conceived taxes which he says are threatening the Seaway. In particular Cresswell criticized the Marine Services Fee, levied this year. This fee of $70,000 per Canadian ship is collected whether the ship sails one day or all season. The fee is supposed to help cover the cost of navigation aids in the canal and on the lakes. Cresswell said the plans to privatise the Seaway was an indication that government is turning its back on what must be considered as a national treasure. Later Walt Lastewka MP for St. Catharines said he was disappointed that Cresswell chose the Merritt Day celebration to grandstand and criticize the government.


Reported by: Roger Tottman




Duluth's Lift Bridge Continues to Lift only for Deep-Draft Vessels

12/04:
Duluth's Aerial Lift Bridge, which spans the Duluth entry to the Twin Ports, continues to lift only for deep-draft vessels until repairs can be made to its lifting mechanism over the winter. On Dec. 4, only the outbound Oglebay Norton, loaded with coal, was permitted to use the Duluth entry. All other vessels were routed through Superior Entry.


Reported by: Marine Historical Society of Detroit




Steel Rods Hole Saltie

12/04:
The M/V Kamenitza (Bulgarian-registry 16,188-gt, 24,150-dwt bulk carrier built in 1980, operated by Nav. Mar. Bulgare) was damaged at Chicago on 29 Nov. Two bundles of steel rods were dropped into the No. 3 cargo hold, which holed the ship's double-bottom.


Reported by: Steve Schultz
Report comes from the weekly electronic publication "The World Maritime News"





R/V Halcyon Sinks in Muskegon

12/03:
Apparently pumping efforts were unsuccessful Monday, in their effort to keep the R/V HALCYON afloat. Tuesday afternoon HALCYON's U.S. flag, mast, radar and search light were the only features visible above Muskegon Lake. It appeared that a tug and barge from Andrie marine, and a large Erickson crane were also unable to help keep her above water. The crane was still connected to HALCYON, with the tug and barge standing by. The research vessel W.G. JACKSON was still moored South of HALCYON's submerged bow. Spill containment booms were still in place around the sunken vessel. The slip is readily visible just behind Muskegon's L.C. Walker Arena, on the east side of the West Michigan Dock and Market Company. Interested parties can view/photograph the events from Shoreline Drive, which runs South of the slip.


Reported by: George Micka




R/V Halcyon Sinks in Muskegon

12/03:
In a matter related to the "Mart Dock", Muskegon city officials are updating the city's master plan. This involves the Mart site, which has been proposed for use as an aquarium, cross-lake carferry terminal (previous home of S.S. MILWAUKEE CLIPPER & S.S. AQUARAMA), aquatic research center for Grand Valley State University (G.V.S.U.'s R/V W.G JACKSON is presently berthed there), and as a possible new home for the U.S.S. SILVERSIDES & Maritime Museum (now located at the Muskegon Channel) among others. In past years freighters frequently wintered in one of the Mart Docks slips.


Reported by: George Micka




Thanksgiving on the lakes

12/03:
Here are the entrees for the Indiana Harbor:
Lobster Tail & Alaska King Crab Legs w/drawn butter, Grilled Tenderloin Steak w/mushrooms, and Roast Turkey w/dressing & cranberry sauce. The Boland's entrees were: Roast Tom Turkey w/sausage dressing, Broiled Beef Tenderloin w/sauteed mushrooms and Broiled lobster w/drawn butter. Of course there was also appetizers, soup, vegetables and desserts.

The Stewards are usually not held to a budget by the companies for these special days. Before the CG changed the rules, most Captains even allowed beer and wine to be served at these meals.


Reported by: Andy LaBorde




J.L. Mauthe Towed into Fraser Shipyards

12/03:
Interlake Steamship was busy in the Twin Ports on Dec. 2 with five vessels in motion. Kaye E. Barker and Paul Tregurtha called at the Midwest Energy coal dock and Lee A. Tregurtha loaded taconite pellets at DMIR. J.L. Mauthe, which has been idle the past three years, was towed into Fraser Shipyards. Interlake has not announced what sort of work will be done on the vessel this winter. To make room for the Mauthe, the long-idle John Sherwin was removed from the shipyard and docked in the berth formerly occupied by the Mauthe at the old Meehan Seaway Services dock. The Sherwin has been tied up since 1981 and has been cannibalized for parts.


Reported by: Marine Historical Society of Detroit




Oglebay Norton Reaches Agreement on Mine

12/03:
Oglebay Norton Co. reportedly has reached an agreement to sell its share of Eveleth Mines, ensuring the taconite producer will remain in operation after O.N. withdraws from the operation at the end of this year.


Reported by: Marine Historical Society of Detroit




Research Vessel Sinks at Mart Dock

12/03:
The icy waters of Muskegon Lake envelop the research vessel R/V Halcyon as it slowly sinks this morning along the West Michigan Dock & Market Corp. It is the vessel's first winter in Michigan after coming to Muskegon from Georgia.

Mart dock officials were uncertain as to why the research vessel M/V Halcyon sank at the dock this morning. A check of the vessel at 0400 hours was ok. At 0700 hours the vessel was observed by Mart Dock personnel to be sinking at the stern. The ship continued slowly sinking by the stern until pumping efforts began. Halcyon's master Bill Burns was notified, and "said that the plan was to raise the ship, dry it out, "find out why it did what it did," fix that, then finish winterizing it."

A North Muskegon fire truck was hooked up to the Halcyon's pumps, and by 1100 had raised the stern of the vessel by 2 feet. A dirty water line was readily visible on the side of the ship. At 1100 the 60 foot vessel was half submerged, and the newspaper picture showed the vessel with bow high and stern submerged.

The 10 year old Halcyon was stationed at sunny Savannah Georgia before arriving at Muskegon this fall. Crews were in the process of winterizing the ship, which features a double aluminum hull. Burns theorized that something may have broken due to the fact that the ship was not fully winterized. He also said that Halcyon will be fully usable, and that this happens once in awhile. Hazmat crews arrived at 0815, placing spill containment booms out for her leaking diesel fuel. The incident should not hamper research efforts, and the vessel should be repairable. Damage estimates were not available at the time of the article, as the ship was still being pumped.

The Grand Valley State University research vessel W.G. JACKSON was moored just South of Halcyon, and was fine.

Incidentally, the MHSD listed the Halcyon in their current issue. "HALCYON is referred to as a SWATH (Small Waterplane Area Twin Hull) type vessel and is similar in design to a catermaran, which will give her a much stabler platform for research work. Once in Muskegon, HALCYON will replace another G.L.E.R.L. (Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory) vessel, the 43 year old R.V. SHENEHON."


Reported by: George Micka

Edited from a story appearing in the Dec. 2 Muskegon Chronicle





New Steel Terminal to ship to the Lakes

12/03:
A new steel terminal, capable of handling 1.2 million tons annually, has been opened in Dunkirk, France. It was built by Feron de Clebsattel for Sollac, a steel producer. The terminal will be used to export semi-finished steel products. As part of this, Fednav has contracted to load steel at the new terminal for transport to the Great Lakes.


Reported by: Steve Schultz
Report comes from the weekly electronic publication "The World Maritime News"





Operation Taconite begins

12/02:
The U.S. Coast Guard on 29 Nov. began icebreaking operations on the Great Lakes, two weeks earlier than last year. Operation Taconite, on Lake Superior, began in the ports of Duluth, Minn., and Superior, Wis., where up to 15 centimeters/6 inches of ice was reported. The Balsam-class Seagoing Buoy Tender U.S.C.G.C. Sundew (WLB 404) was working to clear ice off Duluth. Ice was also reported at Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada.


Reported by: Steve Schultz
Report comes from the weekly electronic publication "The World Maritime News"





World Maritime News relating to the Great Lakes

12/02:
MIL Davie, the shipyard at Levis, Quebec, Canada, is now Davie Industries.

The U.S. Customs Service announced 21 Nov. a special tonnage tax and duty charged to Ukrainian-registry vessels calling at U.S. ports will be ended immediately. The penalty was begun in late September to counter discriminatory tonnage fees assessed against U.S.- registry ships at Ukrainian ports. Ukraine has ended the fees.

The U.S. Coast Guard announced 27 Nov. it has temporarily suspended part of the tanker under-keel clearance requirement under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990. Several firms petitioned the Coast Guard to review the responsibility of the owners in the under-keel clearance requirement, and as a result, a 60-day comment period began 25 Nov. Tanker masters must still calculate the deepest draft of the ship and discuss the draft's impact on navigation with local pilots.


Reported by: Steve Schultz

Report comes from the weekly electronic publication "the World Maritime News"





New Passenger and Auto Ferry for Miller Boat Line

12/02:
Miller Boat Line of Put-in-Bay, Ohio announced they have contracted with Bay shipbuilding of Sturgeon Bay to construct a 96-foot long passenger and auto ferry with a 38' 6" beam and 14' 2" overhead drive-through clearance. The new ferry, to be named PUT-IN-BAY, was designed by Timothy Graul of Sturgeon Bay and will include two 620-HP Caterpillar diesel engines which will provide a service speed of 12 miles per hour. The new PUT-IN-BAY is scheduled to begin service in the early summer of 1997.


Reported by: Marine Historical Society of Detroit
Report comes from the Novemeber issue of the Detroit Marine Historian






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