Great Lakes News & Rumor ARCHIVE

Great Lakes NEWS & RUMOR Archive

* Report News


Today in Great Lakes History - February 28

INCAN SUPERIOR was launched February 28, 1974

OUTARDE (2) was launched February 28, 1906 as a) ABRAHAM STEARN.

Data from: Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history




Vessel Bought by Transport Desgagnes

02/27:
The Swedish tanker recently purchased by Transport Desgagnes Inc. for operation by Petronav will be renamed PETROLIA DESGAGNES. Her present name is EK-SKY. She is a twin to THALASSA DESGAGNES. EK-SKY completed a few trips to the Great Lakes under her original names of JORAVN and LIDO. Petrolia use to be a small village near Sarnia where the petroleum industry began.

Reported by: René Beauchamp and John Whitehead




Earlier Opening Date for the Welland Canal

02/27:
Seaway Notice No. 2 -- 1998 Opening of the 1998 Navigation Season.
WELLAND CANAL:
Since opening of the Welland Canal does not affect conditions on Lake Ontario, and due to demand for an earlier opening, the Welland Canal will open to navigation on:
March 24, 1998 - 0800 hours (E.S.T.)

MONTREAL - LAKE ONTARIO SECTION:
For the purposes of planning transits through the Seaway, the Montreal-Lake Ontario section will open to navigation on:
March 31, 1998 – 0800 hours (E.S.T.)

Mariners are advised that due to the high water levels on Lake Ontario, the International Joint Commission authorized on February 3, 1998 the implementation of criteria (K). This criteria allows flows to be increased to levels which may affect navigation during the opening period.

A review of the ice conditions, water levels and flows, and consideration of any requests for an earlier opening will be carried out the first week of March. A notice confirming the opening date will be issued on March 5, 1998.

Reported by: The St. Lawrence Seaway Authority




Medusa Corporation Declares Regular Quarterly Cash Dividend

02/27:
On February 23rd the Medusa Corporation announced that its Board of Directors declared a regular quarterly cash dividend of $.15 per common share, payable on March 13, 1998, to shareholders of record as of March 4, 1998.

Reported by: James Neumiller




Today in Great Lakes History - February 27

GOLDEN SABLE was launched February 27, 1930 as a) ACADIALITE.

Data from: Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history




Algosar visits Montreal

02/26:
The tanker ALGOSAR arrived Montreal yesterday. She is the former Imperial St Clair now sailing for Algoma. This is her first visit under her new name.

Reported by: John Whitehead




Flag contest

02/26:
As part of the 7th annual Carferry Festival, The Ludington Area Chamber of Commerce will again be sponsoring a carferry flag design contest. The winning entry will receive a cash prize of $500 and the flag will be flown on the S.S. Badger on her May 15th maiden voyage for '98. The winning flag will also be used as the official '98 Carferry Festival logo. Flag design entries must be submitted to the Ludington Area Chamber of Commerce by 5:00 PM March 6, 1998. For more information and entry rules, contact the chamber at (616) 845-0324.

Reported by: Max Hanley




Today in Great Lakes History - February 26

The completed hull of the BELLE RIVER (b) WALTER J. McCARTHY JR.) was floated off the ways February 26, 1977.

JOSEPH L. BLOCK was launched February 26, 1976.

Data from: Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history




Ice clears as season is ready to start

02/25:
A steady stream of mild days has left virtually no ice on western Lake Superior. Ice inside Duluth-Superior harbor is dark and appears to be rotting, with a large open area where the St. Louis River empties into the harbor basin.

Reported by: Al Miller




LTV shuttle continues

02/25:
The Earl Oglebay was upbound on the Cuyahoga River at 5pm Monday. This is four days in a row of running the LTV shuttle between Cleveland and Lorain. She had completed unloading and was being towed downriver at 1am on the 24th.

Reported by: Rex Cassidy




Oglebay Norton fit-out

02/25:
Oglebay Norton's Middletown and Reserve after end crews are to report for fit out march 7. The Middletown is in Superior WI and the Reserve is in Toledo OH. Have a safe 1998 season!

Reported by: Neil Schultheiss




Probe of CLS owner

02/25:
A story dated February 19 on Yahoo's news page reports that Canada's four opposition parties cast political differences aside on Thursday to issue a joint call for an ethics investigation of Finance Minister Paul Martin.

The parties accused the Liberal minister of an apparent conflict of interest because of a proposed bill which would give tax incentives to foreign shipping firms moving their operations to Canada.

Martin, widely respected internationally and in the Canadian business community for successfully cutting the country's chronic budget deficits, is a multi-millionaire shipowner with extensive foreign holdings. He has put them under ``blind management'' and disclosed all his assets.

The four parties, ranging from socialist to right-wing to Quebec separatist, asked for the establishment of a subcommittee of the Finance Committee to probe the whole matter. They have been stonewalled by the ruling Liberals.

``The finance minister has put himself in a very bad position, a conflict of interest, by sponsoring (bill) C-28, which would allow for major tax exemptions for shipping companies,'' the opposition Bloc Quebecois member Odina Desrochers told Parliament.

Martin, who says he fell in love with ships when he was 10, owns the Montreal-based Canada Steamship Lines (CSL) and a number of affiliated shipping companies based in Liberia, Barbados and elsewhere. Many of his ships are foreign-flagged.

His office on Thursday refused official comment, except to label the whole affair as theatrics ahead of the presentation of the federal budget to Parliament on Tuesday.

The affair has dominated the daily Question Period in the House of Commons for the past couple of days.

Under a barrage of questions on Thursday Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien frequently jumped to his feet to defend Martin, who is widely seen as his possible successor if the Liberals are re-elected for a third term.

``The minister of finance is a man of honesty and integrity and competence and he will deliver his budget next Tuesday,'' Chretien told the House of Commons.

Martin was absent from Parliament at the time.

``The ethics commissioner clearly said that there was no conflict of interest,'' Chretien said. ``Everyone knows that the family of the minister of finance owns ships. There's nothing hidden. They are just trying to destroy the minister of finance because he is hurting the opposition, because he brings in good budgets and the finances of the country are so good.''

Ethics Counsellor Howard Wilson, who was appointed by Chretien to police ethics in the federal government, said Martin had been careful to separate himself from any drafting of bill C-28's maritime provisions and any discussions about the legislation. ``I can be clear,'' Wilson said on Wednesday when called to testify to the Finance Committee. ``There is no substance to the allegations. Mr. Martin has not been in a conflict of interest.''

At a news conference, the opposition parties said they were dissatisfied with Wilson's remarks and that too many questions remain unanswered about whether Martin's companies could profit from the changes proposed in bill C-28.

``We're going on what we think is a prudent and efficient way of doing this,'' said left-wing New Democratic Party member Nelson Riis.

He added that it was essential to begin the investigation immediately ``so we don't go into the budget tabling on Tuesday with a cloud hanging over the integrity of the process as well as the integrity of the minister of finance.''

Reported by: James Neumiller




Today in Great Lakes History - February 25

CREEK TRANSPORT was launched this day in 1910 as a) SASKATOON (1)

Data from: Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history




Block to open Escanaba's 1998 season

02/24:
Unofficial word has the l998 season to begin in Escanaba on March l0, with the arrivial of the MV Joseph L. Block.

Jim Grill




Today in Great Lakes History - February 24

The KINSMAN INDEPENDENT (2) was launched February 24, 1923 as a) RICHARD V. LINDABURY.

Data from: Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history




Earl W. Oglebay on the move

02/23:
The Earl Oglebay appears to be running the LTV shuttle early this year. She was downbound on the Cuyahoga River at 5am yesterday. This is 2 trips in 2 days. She was upbound on the Cuyahoga river at 9pm Saturday evening.

Rex Cassidy




Bubblers on in Escanaba

02/23:
A report on Escanaba radio informed ice fishermen that the ore dock would be starting the bubblers this week to clear ice away from the dock. The season is not far off.

Rod Burdick




Great Lakes Maritime Academy in Ann Arbor

02/23:
Anyone interested in learning more about a career as on officer on Great Lakes vessels is invited to meet with The Great Lakes Maritime Academy representative at the " Washtenaw County College Day" on Thursday, February 26th from 9AM - 11AM. The open house will be held at The Washtenaw County Community College, Student Center Building, 4800 E. Huron Drive, Ann Arbor. Call 1-800-748-0566 ext. 1200 for more information.

Gary Schweitzer




Today in Great Lakes History - February 21

The EDWIN H. GOTT arrived at Two Harbors (her first trip) February 21, 1979 with the loss of one of her two rudders during her transit of Lake Superior. Also the other rudder post was damaged. She was holed in her bow and some of her cargo hold plating ruptured as a result of frozen ballast tanks. Even the MACKINAW suffered damage to her port propeller shaft on the trip across frozen Lake Superior.

The keel of the new bow section for the HILDA MARJANNE was laid on February 21, 1961 while at the same time the tanker hull forward of her engine room bulkhead was being cut away.

Data from: Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history




Former Package Freighter for sale

02/20:
The February issue of Boats & Harbors Lists "For Sale, M/V Woodlands. General Cargo/Package Freighter-RO, 403-60-17. Ready to sail. Fully classified, unrestricted Lloyds A-1." This is the former Canada Steamship Lines package freigher French River, built at Collingwood in 1961. She also sailed on the lakes as Jensen Star and Woodland before assuming St. Vincent registry in 1991. She has been in laid up in Tampa, Florida for the last few years.

Roger LeLievre




Berube reappointed to Canada Ports

02/20:
Canadian Transport Minister David Collenette announced 18 Feb. that Michel Berube of Charlesbourg, Quebec, has been reappointed to the board of directors of the Canada Ports Corp.

Berube served on the board between 1984 and 1986 and returned in 1997. He is an engineer and has been vice president of corporate affairs and director for Ciment Quebec Inc. since 1993 and was executive vice president and director between 1976 and 1992. Berube was also chief executive officer of several businesses, including including Beton Morin Inc. and Verrault Frontenac Inc. between 1984 and 1993.

Berube has also been a consulting engineer of the Association Beton Quebec, a lecturer at the Ecole Polytechnique of the University of Montreal, Laval University and the University of Sherbrooke and an engineer at the research laboratory of the Quebec Ministry of Transport.

A director of the corporation of the Charlesbourg Institute for the Deaf since 1992, Berube is a member of the Canadian Engineering Management Association and the Quebec Order of Engineers, and was a member of the Board of Trade and Industry of Metropolitan Quebec.

Reported by: Steve Schultz

From the weekly electronic publication "The World Maritime News"





Agency rules on foreign-flagged vessels

02/20:
Two applications were made to the Canadian Transportation Agency last fall for operators seeking a Coasting License in order to operate foreign-flagged vessels between Canadian Ports on Lake Ontario.

In decisions handed down during the past week, the Agency ruled against permitting the foreign-flagged ships to operate in direct competition with Canadian-flagged vessels operated by Shaker Cruise Lines of Toronto.

Hydrofoil Jet Lake Cruises proposed using the Katran IV, a Panamanian-flagged Hydrofoil, to link the Niagara Region with Toronto. Waterways Transportation Services proposed using a Maltese-flagged Catamaran between Jordan Harbour and Toronto. Both companies would be competing against Shaker in a market which was reopened to water travel by Captain Ihab Shaker and his 275-passenger m/v Lakerunner (formerly Marine Courier of the Marine Atlantic fleet). Shaker operated his vessel between Port Dalhousie (St. Catharines) and Toronto, and was the focus of a great deal of media attention for the success of his business in it's first year. Shaker Cruise Lines was the lead story on CBC Venture, and was seen most recently in Profit Magazine.

The Agency ruled that since there is a Canadian-flagged vessel already operating in the market, there was sufficient basis for denial of the applications. Copies of the decision are available on the CTA Website.

Captain Shaker is quoted as saying "I do not deny that competition would be healthy for developing the market, but I believe that it is in the best interest of the cross-lake Ferry service on Lake Ontario that operators make a committment to the Industry and flag their vessels Canadian". Captain Shaker, a Deep-sea Master, previously operated a Ferry Service on the Red Sea. Shaker is expanding his fleet and services for the coming season and will commence operations again in April of this year.




Today in Great Lakes History - February 20

On February 20, 1959, the Herbert C. Jackson was launched at Great Lakes Engineering Works in River Rouge, Michigan.

The DES GROSEILLIERS was launched February 20, 1982.

Data from: Jody Aho, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history




Opening of the 1998 Navigation Season

02/19:
The opening of the 1998 navigation season is scheduled to take place on the dates and times indicated below:

Montreal-Lake Ontario
March 31, 1998 - 0800 hours (E.S.T.)

Welland Canal
March 31, 1998 - 0800 hours (E.S.T.)

Vessel transits will be subject to weather and ice conditions. Navigation may be restricted to daylight hours in some areas until lighted navigation aids have been installed.

Mariners are advised that due to the high water levels on Lake Ontario, the International Joint Commission on February 3, 1998, authorized the implementation of criteria (K). This criteria allows flows to be increased to levels which may affect navigation during the opening period.

A review of the ice conditions, water levels and flows, and consideration of any requests for an earlier opening will be carried out the first week of March. A notice confirming the opening date will be issued by March 6, 1998.

The Seaway entities also announce that, for the 1998 navigation season, the clearance date for the Montreal-Lake Ontario Section has been designated as December 20, 1998, 2400 hours.

The "clearance date" is the date by which vessels must report at the applicable callin-in point referred to in subsection 97(3), Part X, of the Seaway Handbook, for the final transit of the Montreal-Lake Ontario Section of the Seaway.

Sault Ste. Marie Locks and Canals
1. Canada The Canadian Sault Ste. Marie Lock is closed to navigation for an indefinite period of time.

2. United States
United States Soo Locks will open March 25.

Reported by: Ron Walsh and The St. Lawrence Seaway Authority




More on the Townsend

02/18:
On February 9th the Paul H. Townsend departed Milwaukee lay up with their storage load for St. Joe, MI. She returned to Milwaukee on the 16th light boat for lay up. They loaded in Alpena 2/13 for St. Joe/Muskegan before returning here.

Reported by: Andy LaBorde




Canada Maritime Services gets award

02/18:
Canada Maritime Services Ltd. has received the St. Lawrence Award from the St. Lawrence Economic Development Council. Canada Maritime Services was cited for "its dynamic development of container traffic in the St. Lawrence Seaway through massive investments in its fleet and its Montreal facilities over the past 12 months."

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





Montreal in 1997

02/18:
Montreal Port Corp. handled 20.7 million metric tons of cargo last year, the seventh year of record growth and up 776,000 metric tons or 3.9 percent from 1996. Montreal Port had net earnings of Canadian$12.3 million, up 4.2 percent. Container cargo totaled 8.2 million metric tons, up 270,000 metric tons or 3.4 percent. A total of 870,368 TEUs were handled compared to 852,530 the year before. 1997 was the fifth consecutive year of increased container handling. General cargo accounted for 700,000 metric tons, up 31.7 percent. Dry bulk accounted for 7.5 million metric tons, an increase of 20.8 percent. The amount of grain doubled to 2.8 million metric tons. Petroleum products decreased.

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





Today in Great Lakes History - February 18

IMPERIAL ST. CLAIR participated in an historic special convoy with DOAN TRANSPORT, which carried caustic soda, led by CCGS GRIFFON arriving at Thunder Bay, Ont. on February 18, 1977. The journey took one week from Sarnia, Ont. through Lake Superior ice as much as six feet thick, and at one point it took four days to travel 60 miles. The trip was initiated to supply residents of the Canadian Lakehead with 86,000 barrels of heating oil the reserves of which were becoming depleted due to severe weather that winter.

The JOSEPH S. YOUNG (1) was towed to the Great Lakes via the Mississippi River and arrived at the Manitowoc Ship Building Co., Manitowoc, WI on February 18, 1957 where her selfunloading equipment was installed. This was the last large vessel to enter the Lakes via the Mississippi. She was the first of seven T2 tanker conversions for Great Lakes service.

Data from: Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history




Salt and Potash Up In '97

02/17:
Shipments of salt from U.S. and Canadian ports on the Great Lakes totaled 8.4 million net tons in 1997, an increase of 3.6 percent (290,000 tons) compared to 1996. During the past 10 years, more than 65 million tons of salt have moved across theGreat Lakes.

Shipments of potash on the Great Lakes in 1997 totaled 767,400 net tons, an increase of 29 percent (172,000 tons)compared to 1996. All Lakes potash shipments originate at Thunder Bay, Ontario.

Reported by: The Lake Carriers' Association

Visit the LCA's home page for complete details and a comparison of past years.





Gemini on the move in Buffalo

02/16:
The tanker Gemini was on her way down the Buffalo River with the tug Mississippi at 2PM on the 15th. She came in on the 14th at 4PM to unload at Mobil Oil on the upper reaches of the "creek". It took about 2 hours to make it all the way down and out to the Harbor.

Brian Wroblewski




Update on the Enerchem fleet

02/16:
The following are inactive and appear to be wintering or possibly just lacking work since Ultramar is now shipping it's oil by rail cars from the Quebec City area. Other Canadian coastal tankers are busy at other St Lawrence ports:

Enerchem Trader, at Quebec since 0130
Enerchem Catalyst at Quebec since 0128
Enerchem Refiner, at Sorel since 0119
Enerchem Asphalt was sold overseas a year ago

John Whitehead




Goderich Shipping Season Ends

02/16:
On Tuesday, February 10th at 7:00 a.m. the CAPTAIN HENRY JACKMAN departed Goderich with a load of salt ending the longest shipping season in history for the Port of Goderich. The 1997 season began on March 18, 1997 in which 215 ships and 3 barges visited Goderich. A total of 183 ships loaded salt, 30 ships loaded and unloaded grain, 3 barges unloaded liquid calcium chloride for dust control and 2 passenger ships. The 1998 season is expected to begin in late March. The shipment of salt concluded due to the mine's expansion which limited the amount of salt available. Ice conditions in the harbour and lakes were not a factor. In 1995 the season concluded on February 7th and was the latest date until this year. The earliest arrival was in 1951 when the first ship arrived on March 15th.

Philip Nash




Oberstar offers bill to restructure St. Lawrence Seaway

02/16:
Rep. James Oberstar, D-Minn., the ranking Democrat on the U.S. House of Representative's House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, has submitted a bill to restructure management of the St. Lawrence Seaway. Under the proposal, a joint Canadian-U.S. organization would take over seaway management with both countries retaining sovereignty in the system and ownership of their assets. A 12-member board would make decisions with six Canadian citizens and six U.S. citizens.

The bill would also create the Great Lakes Development Bank to provide financial assistance to transportation-related businesses. Canada and the United States would be required to contribute U.S.$600 million each in long-term loans for initial capital.

Reported by: Steve Schultz

From the weekly electronic publication "The World Maritime News"





Recent appointments on the North American Great Lakes

02/16:
John Jamian became executive director of the Detroit Wayne County Port Authority on 29 Jan. He served six years as a Republican member of the Michigan House of Representatives, where he was chairman of the House Task Force on Port and Maritime Affairs. He also chaired the U.S.-Canada Relations Committee for the Midwest Council of State Governments. Jamian, 43, is forming an advisory group to address intermodal issues at the port and examine other needs.

The Seaway Port Authority of Duluth in Minnesota has named Steve Raukar to its board of commissioners. He will serve a six-year term. Raukar, 45, is a commissioner for St. Louis County, which includes Duluth. He also serves on 18 other boards, commissions and committees including vice chairman of the Arrowhead Regional Development Commission.

Great Lakes Towing Co. and Tugz International L.L.C. have appointed Joseph P. Starck Jr. as vice president of engineering. He will oversee the company's Cleveland shipyard, maintenance of the tug fleet and construction of Tugz International's six new tractor tugs. Starck has been with Great Lakes Towing for six years.

Reported by: Steve Schultz

From the weekly electronic publication "The World Maritime News"





Former Milwaukee harbormaster dies at 70

02/16:
Swinford was born 16 July, 1927, in Oakland, Ill., and moved to Milwaukee when he was 15. He married the former Rosalie Rytman while on leave from the U.S. Navy in 1945 and later left the Navy to be at home. However, Swinford later joined the U.S. Coast Guard and served about 15 years. He often tested lifesaving equipment such as shark repellent and water distillation systems and was also a "victim" in search and rescue exercises. Swinford became an officer and was placed in charge of security and intelligence at the Port of New Orleans. He also served in the Philippines before retiring as a lieutenant junior grade.

After returning to Milwaukee, he became deputy harbormaster in 1962 and harbormaster a year later. Swinford left in 1972 after the position became political, he said, and became the master of a research vessel for Limnetics, an environmental consulting firm, on Lake Michigan. Swinford also worked seasonally at Wisconsin Dells, Wis., as a pilot aboard the Apollo No. 2, a paddle-wheel steamboat. He finally retired around 1990 after three years as a Milwaukee bridge tender.

Swinford is survived by his wife; a daughter, Jean Kwiatkowski, of Byron, Ill.; and a son, Clayton III, of Milwaukee.

Reported by: Steve Schultz

From the weekly electronic publication "The World Maritime News"





Today in Great Lakes History - February 16

The EDWIN H. GOTT sailed on her maiden voyage February 16, 1979 in ballast from Milwaukee, bound for Two Harbors, MN. This was the first maiden voyage of a laker ever in mid-winter. She was in convoy with three of her fleetmates; CASON J. CALLAWAY, PHILIP R. CLARKE and JOHN G. MUNSON, each needing assistance from the U.S.C.G. MACKINAW to break through heavy ice 12 to 14 inches thick the length of Lake Superior. The GOTT took part in a test project, primarily by U.S. Steel, to determine the feasibility of year around navigation.

The JAMES E. FERRIS was launched February 16, 1910 as the ONTARIO (4).

On February 16, 1977 a four hour fire caused major damage to the crews' forward quarters aboard the W.W. HOLLOWAY while at American Ship Building's Chicago yard.

Data from: Jody AhoAhoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history




Today in Great Lakes History - February 14

The MESABI MINER was launched on this day in 1977 becoming the fourth thousand foot bulk carrier on the Great Lakes and Interlake's second. She had been built under Title XI of the Merchant Marine Act of 1970 at a cost of $45.1 million.

Ford Motor Co., looking to expand its fleet, purchased the JOSEPH S. WOOD on February 14, 1966 for $4.3 million

On February 14, 1973 the LEADALE's forward cabins burned during winter lay-up at Hamilton, Ont. and were later repaired.



Data from: Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history




New Post-Recession Peak For Great Lakes Iron Ore Trade

02/13:
Iron ore shipments from U.S. and Canadian ports on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway totaled 72 million net tons during the 1997 navigation season, the highest level achieved since 1981. In 1981, the Lakes ore trade totaled 83.9 million tons, but the recession that began in 1982 forced the American steel industry to close mills with roughly 40 million tons of annual capacity during the next several years. In 1982, the ore float slumped to 43 million tons, but has gradually rebounded. 1997 marks the fourth year in a row in which the Lakes ore trade has topped 70 million tons.

Reported by: The Lake Carriers' Association

Visit the LCA's home page for complete details and a comparison of past years.





Michigan and the TITANIC

02/13:
With not much happening, I have had time to surf.. I found an interesting story on the Maritime Cabotage Task Force home page, it has to deal with the Efforts to raise saftey standards after the TITANIC Foundering.. It's not Kate Winslet but very interesting reading...

Maritime Cabotage Task Force home page




Today in Great Lakes History - February 13

The POINTE NOIRE was launched February 13, 1926 as a) SAMUEL MATHER (4).

Data from: Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history




Canada Steamship Lines in Australian venture

02/13:
Canada Steamship Lines Inc. and Intercontinental Ship Management Pty. Ltd. have formed a joint venture to operate self-unloading bulk carriers in Australia. Auscan Self Unloaders Pty. Ltd. plans to operate at least one Canada Steamship Lines vessel. Auscan Self Unloaders is is also the preferred contractor to design, build and operate a transhipment barge at Karumba, Australia, for Pasminco's Century Zinc mine in Queensland. It is also working on a a consultancy study with Adelaide Brighton Cement Ltd., which is working with Cleanaway Ltd. on vessels able to handle combined limestone and garbage cargoes.

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





Jackman to the Wall

02/12:
Captain Henry Jackman arrived at Sarnia North Slip alongside the John B. Aird at 05:00 on Tuesday 10th February.

Reported by: Peter




Port of Toledo update

02/12:
On Tuesday 10 FEB.98 the tanker GEMINI went back in service. She was loading a cargo at the B-P Petroleum Company Dock here. she was in temporary layup at the old Interlake Iron Company Dock. The tanker SATURN is now in the small Shipyard drydock for repairs, while the COURTNEY BURTON remains in the large drydock for her 5 year survey. Painting crews have re-painted the hulls of the AMERICAN MARINER, and ST. CLAIR. Sand blasting crews are presently working on several vessels from the Oglebay Norton Fleet,when finished the painting crew will come in and start painting the vessels.

Reported by: J. R. Hoffman




More on Milwaukee-Muskegon ferry

02/12:
The Milwaukee Port Authority has hired Anderson & Roethle, a local research firm, to explore public interest in a high-speed ferry service between Milwaukee and Muskegon, Mich., according to a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel story by Lee Hawkins Jr. on 11 Feb. The Associated Press also contributed information.

The ferry route would take two and a half hours to cross 144 kilometers/90 miles, carrying 50 vehicles and 250 passengers at 30 to 35 knots. The vessel(s) may have a catamaran design with waterjet propulsion and are being referred to as the Turbo Cat. Food and entertainment will likely be included aboard the vessel. The cost is estimated at U.S.$10 million to U.S.$30 million and will probably be privately financed.

The cost for two tickets with a vehicle has been put at U.S.$115 one-way or and U.S.$150 for a four with a vehicle. Operations would be from May to mid-October.

A final report by Anderson & Roethle is expected by March. A decision on whether to move ahead will be made this spring and building the vessel or vessels will take at least a year and a half.

Reported by: Steve Schultz

From the weekly electronic publication "The World Maritime News"





Former Coast Guard station may become environmental center

02/12:
A Milwaukee County Board committee on 10 Feb. recommended that the county's Parks Department begin negotiations to lease a former U.S. Coast Guard station to a group that will spend U.S.$6 million to form an environmental center at the facility.

The county owns the 83-year-old building at 1600 N. Lincoln Memorial Dr. and the Parks, Energy and Environment Committee has authorized discussions for its further use. Under the latest plan for its future use, a public-private group, Great Lakes Future Inc., will convert the site into an "education center that celebrates the uniqueness and significance of fresh water." A visitor to the center will assume the role of a drop of water as it travels through the ecosystem. Tentatively called the Great Lakes Environmental Education Center, the former station will have offices and classrooms while a new structure will have exhibit halls, an auditorium, a cafe, a gift shop and a library. The surrounding land will be landscaped for outdoor learning.

The entire project is estimated to cost U.S.$5.9 million with U.S.$500,000 to U.S.$600,000 in annual operating costs.

Reported by: Steve Schultz

From the weekly electronic publication "The World Maritime News"





Today in Great Lakes History - February 12

RED WING (2) was launched February 12, 1944 as a) BOUNDBROOK

Data from: Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history




1998 season begins

02/11:
The Paul H. Townsend sailed yesterday morning after spending less than two months in lay-up. She will carry two cargos, this early start is due to high demand and mild weather conditions.

Reported by: Marine Historical Society of Detroit




Jackman to enter lay-up today

02/11:
While the Townsend is the first out for 1998, the Capt. Henry Jackman is the last in for 1997. The Jackman arrived at Detroit at 0830 on Monday and was still unloading salt at the Rouge yesterday. She is expected to arrive in Sarnia for layup today.

Reported by: Richard Weiss and Andrew Torrence




Canadian port appointments

02/10:
Canadian Transport Minister David Collenette announced 6 Feb. that Yvon Lamarre of Montreal has been reappointed to the board of directors of the Montreal Port Corp. Lamarre was appointed vice chair in 1994 and holds a master's degree in commerce and economics from the Ecole des hautes etudes commerciales at the Universite de Montreal. He has served as senior advisor of Groupe SNC-Lavalin Inc. since 1995. Lamarre served as chair of the City of Montreal's executive committee and as vice chair of the Montreal Urban Community's executive committee between 1978 and 1986; as vice chair of the community's public security council between 1980 and 1983; as vice president of BIM International Inc. between 1984 and 1986; as senior vice president of Miron inc. between 1987 and 1990; and as publisher of Le Journal de Montreal between 1990 and 1995.

Collenette also announced 6 Feb. that Jacques Portelance of Charlesbourg, Quebec, has been appointed to the board of directors of the Quebec Port Corp. Portelance has a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Ottawa, a bachelor's degree in pedagogy from Laval University and an master of science from University College in Springfield, Mass. He has more than 34 years of experience as a teacher and school administrator and has served as municipal councillor for Charlesbourg since 1984; as chair of the city's finance committee between 1995 and 1996; as vice chair of its economic development committee between 1994 and 1997; and as chair of the Charlesbourg Municipal Housing Bureau between 1984 and 1988.

Reported by: Steve Schultz

From the weekly electronic publication "The World Maritime News"





Today in Great Lakes History - February 10

UHLMANN BROTHERS (2) was launched February 10, 1906 as a) LOFTUS CUDDY

The MARKHAM (Twin Screw Hopper Suction Dredge ) was delivered February 10, 1960 to the Army Corps of Engineers at Cleveland, OH.

Data from: Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history




Algo tanker first report

02/09:
The Canadian Coastal tanker ALGOEAST ex Imperial St Lawrence, ex Le Brave, arrived at Pointe Noire in the Gulf of St Lawrence today Feb08 at 1245 pm,. She will depart for Quebec City.

This is the first run for the tanker under Algoma colors.

Reported by: John Whitehead




Jackman continues late season salt runs

02/09:
The Capt. Henry Jackman was unloading salt in Milwaukee's outer harbor the morning of February 6. Andy LaBorde reports that temperatures were close to 40 degrees and their is a large amount of unused salt all ready on the dock.

Todd Davidson reports that Saturday the 7th the Jackman was eastbound thru the Straits of Mackinaw. She was heading back to Goderich to load a salt cargo for Detroit, due sometime today. Ice conditions were very light to non-existent in the Straits, with open water at the northern end of Lake Michigan. The USCG cutter/tender Biscayne Bay passsed thru the area Friday with no problems.

Reported by: Andy LaBorde, Greg S. and Todd Davidson




Stinson Gets Paint job

02/09:
The George A. Stinson is being painted in American Steam Ship colors while at Sturgeon Bay. American Steam Ship took over operations of the Stinson last season but did not paint her. Even when she sailed under Interlake's colors she was in desperate need of a paint job.

Reported by: Paul G. Wiening and Roger LeLievre




Paterson docked at Ojibway

02/09:
On Saturday, February 7, the M/V PATERSON was tied up at the ADM Terminal in Ojibway, just down river from Windsor. I could not tell if she was loading, unloading or laid up for the winter. She appeared to be sitting pretty low in the water as though she were loaded.

Reported by: Dave Wobser




Carferry crew ready to return

02/09:
The Lake Michigan Carferry Badger, has her crew being called back to work to get her ready for the 1998 season! Some crew memeber are to report starting in early March.

Reported by: Max S. Hanley




Milwaukee group studies new cross lake service

02/09:
In other carferry news, the Muskegon Chronicle reports that a high-speed cross-lake car ferry service between Milwaukee and Muskegon is in the planning stages in Wisconsin.

A final decision by the private investment group on whether to launch the cross-lake service is just months away, but with no starting date. Plans have advanced to the point that local tourism groups are involved in a marketing survey on how the ferries would help their businesses.

The brand-new ferry boat or boats would be of innovative catamaran hull designs and would use the latest maritime technology. Ferries would make the trip between port cities in about 21/2 hours.

Local and Milwaukee officials say the investors are serious and likely have enough financial backing to make the multi-million-dollar service a reality.

They are already spending money on the plan. The investors and the Milwaukee port authority have hired Anderson/Roethle Inc. of Milwaukee to update an old marketing study of high-speed ferry service that should be completed by the end of March, according to Harold E. Whitely of the Milwaukee-based marketing firm.

A final decision on whether to launch the service with at least one new ferry boat will be made this spring.

Officials from Milwaukee and Muskegon will not say when the service would begin operating; it would take at least 11/2 years to build the kind of high seas-capable ferry boat that investors want to buy.

According to the Anderson/Roethle survey, here is what is being proposed:

Muskegon and Milwaukee would be linked by a new water-jet powered catamaran that could carry up to 250 passengers and 50 automobiles. The ship builder says the high-tech design is much faster and more stable than conventional designs.

Nicknamed the "Turbo Cat" by Anderson/Roethle, it would be similar to - but larger than - ships in use as ferries to Mackinac Island, Catalina Island and in the Nantucket area.

The vessel could cruise at speeds of 30 to 35 knots and complete the 90-mile trip in about 21/2 hours. The service envisioned would provide three round trips a day.

Reported by: Steve Vanden Bosch and The Muskegon Chronicle




Upper Great Lakes Industry Days

02/09:
The Great Lakes Captain's Association is holding their Upper Great Lakes Industry Days on February 20-21st. The Meeting of Upper Great Lakes vessel operators, Coast Guard, National Weather Service, and Passenger Vessel Association to discuss services and anticipated issues for the upcoming season. Friday evening will be a Casino night at the Holiday Inn in conjunction with ISMA Lodge 23 and Great Lakes Maritime Academy Alumni Association. For more information please call: (616)946-6649

Reported by: Capt. Dean Hobbs




Win a Trip on the Kaye E. Barker

02/09:
The International Ship Masters' Association Cleveland Lodge #4 is again offering a Chance to win a trip on the Kaye E. Barker to benefit their convention fund. Grand Prize: One Trip for 4 Adults aboard SS KAYE E. BARKER to be taken during September 1998 PLUS $250 toward transportation expenses (Winner must be flexible concerning scheduling and port of departure/return.) Tickets are $5.00 each
Click here for more information and the order form.





Today in Great Lakes History - February 09

EAGLESCLIFFE, loaded with 3,500 tons of grain, sank two miles east of Galveston, TX on February 9, 1983 after the hull had fractured from a grounding the previous day. She began taking on water in her forward end en route to Galveston. To save her the captain ran her into shallow water where she settled on the bottom in 20 feet of water with her bridge and boat deck above water. All 16 crew members and one dog were rescued.

The ALEXANDER LESLIE was launched February 9, 1901 as a) J.T. HUTCHINSON

The HOMER D. WILLIAMS suffered extensive fire damage to her side plating and forward lower cabins during her lay-up at Toledo, OH on February 9, 1971.

Data from: Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history




Today in Great Lakes History - February 08

While in lay-up on February 8, 1984, a fire broke out in the WILLIAM G. MATHER's after accommodations killing a vagrant from Salt Lake City, Utah who had started the fire which caused considerable damage to the galley.

Data from: Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history




Today in Great Lakes History - February 07

HURON (4) was launched February 7, 1914



Data from: Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history




Ranger moved from dry dock

02/06:
On February 1st the M.V. Canadian Ranger was removed from Pascol's dry dock and was placed at the fitout dock. She was helped off the dock by the tugs French River & George N. Carlton

Reported by: Ron Konkol




Shipwreck Festival to open Feb. 21

02/06:
The Great Lakes Shipwreck Festival will be held Feb. 21 at Ford World Headquarters. Tickets are $8-$15. The festival will include a discussion of Lake Ontario wreck sites. Underwater photographer Stephen Frink will discuss what creatures can be found in Michigan lakes. For information, call (734) 769-2458.

Reported by: The Detroit News




North American Vessel/Rail Iron Ore Shipments

02/06:
The January 31 issue of Skillings Mining Review reports in 1997, shipments of North American iron ore to US/Canadian destinations at 76,407,000 gross tons were practically unchanged from 1996, according to American Iron Ore Association members. On the Great Lakes, four of seven US ports handled larger tonnages in 1997, with no Canadian ports on the lower St. Lawrence River showing improvements in shipping ore into the Great Lakes region via the St. lawrence Seaway.

As in 1996, the iron ore shipping terminal with the principal improvement in 1997 was Duluth Missabe & Iron Range Ry's Two Harbors docks at which 12,112,000 gross tons were loaded into vessels for a 2,019,000-ton or 20% gain.

At Presque Isle near Marquette, the Lake Superior & Ishpeming Railroad Co. was second with a 840,000-ton or 12% increase. Third was Northshore Mining Co. handling 4,494,000 tons for a 293,000 or 7% increase at Silver Bay. Fourth was DM & IR's Duluth docks at 6% higher. The remaining three Great Lakes ports were LTV Steel Mining's Taconite Harbor with a 5% decline to 7,055,000 tons, Burlington Northern Santa Fe's Allouez taconite facility with a 12% reduction to 9,556,000 tons, and Sault Ste. Marie Bridge Company's Escanaba facility with a 15% decrease to 6,180,000 tons.

On the lower St. Lawrence, the three Wabush Mines ports dropped 7% to 3,919,000 tons, Quebec Cartier Mining's Port cartier with 16% less shipments into the Great Lakes, and Iron Ore Company of Canada with a drop of 23% down to 2,894,000 tons.

On the other hand, US all-rail moves were 9,478,00 gross tons, off about 1%.

Reported by: Dave Wobser




Port of Milwaukee dredging spoils plan

02/06:
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will examine this spring whether dredging spoils from the Port of Milwaukee could be cleaned and put to use, according to an article by Don Behm in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on 5 Feb. Some ideas for the spoils include using it to cover landfills or the foundation for parking lots. The spoils contain low levels of polyaromatic hydrocarbons and this spring, a section of the site will be exposed to see if the pollutant evaporates. In a second test, sediment will be combined with sewage sludge, wood chips and other materials to see if it can be used as a soil substitute.

Relatedly, the Army Corps of Engineers has decided not to expand the existing spoils disposal area at the south end of Hoan Bridge, which crosses the port. Two years ago, the Army Corps of Engineers said that the area would be filled by the end of the decade but a new study has shown there is about 243,000 cubic meters/320,000 cubic yards of space remaining, enough to handle all spoils from the harbor for the next 20 years. Apparently, the spoils in the disposal area settled more than expected. Further, annual accumulation of sediment in the harbor has decreased. The Army Corps of Engineers estimates that dredging will have to be done every four years with 38,000 cubic meters/50,000 cubic yards of spoils collected each time.

Reported by: Steve Schultz

From the weekly electronic publication "The World Maritime News"





Today in Great Lakes History - February 06

The LORNA P. was damaged by fire ignited by a welder's torch on February 6, 1974.

ALVA C. DINKEY was launched February 6, 1909

The HALLFAX was launched February 6, 1962

On February 6, 1904 the ) PERE MARQUETTE 19 went aground on Fox Point, WI approaching Milwaukee, WI in fog. Engulfed in ice and fog, she quickly filled with water.

Data from: Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history




Great Lakes Maritime Academy in Toledo

02/05:
Anyone in the Toledo area who is interested in learning more about the great career opportunities available through GLMA, is invited to an imformational open house. This open house will be held at the AMO headquarters at 1 Maritime Plaza, Downtown Toledo, Thursday, February the 12th from 8-10pm.Call 1-800-748-0566 ext. 1200 for more information.

Reported by: Gary Schweitzer




Lakes water levels

02/05:
International Joint Commission Seeks Relief for Shoreline Communities in Setting Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Flows

The International Joint Commission today invoked criterion (k) of its Orders of Approval for Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River regulation based on high water supplies to Lake Ontario and a recommendation by its International St. Lawrence River Board of Control.

Under high water supply conditions, criterion (k) gives precedence to shoreline property owners on Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River from the Thousand Islands to past Montreal when setting flows through the international hydropower project at Massena, New York and Cornwall, Ontario.

The Board of Control's recommendation was based on the determination that water "supplies of the past, as adjusted" have been exceeded. Criterion (k) is an extraordinary measure that is invoked when Lake Ontario water supplies exceed those experienced prior to 1954. Water supplies to Lake Ontario in January 1998 were the highest January supplies on record.

Since fall, the Board of Control's strategy has been to release more water from Lake Ontario than would have been called for under the current regulation plan, known as Plan 1958-D, whenever it could do so without adversely affecting other interests. Though the water level of Lake Ontario is high, it would presently be 0.56 metres (1.8 feet) higher had the project not been built.

The International St. Lawrence River Board of Control and the International Joint Commission acted on criterion (k) at this point in time to set clear priorities and provide the authority that may be needed to achieve them. Invoking criterion (k) has no immediate effect on flow releases, because the Board of Control is presently setting flows that will allow a stable ice cover to form. Forming a stable ice cover helps prevent underwater ice blockages that can restrict flows. Once the ice cover is formed, the Board of Control will release flows as high as possible without causing downstream flooding, as permitted under the winter operations provision of the Commission's Orders of Approval. However, at the conclusion of winter operations, criterion (k) provides the authority to release higher flows as necessary to achieve the specified priorities.

The level of Lake Ontario is presently at 75.02 metres (246.13 feet) above sea level (IGLD 1985), which is approximately 0.44 metres (1.4 feet) above its long term average for this time of year. The inflow to Lake Ontario from Lake Erie will remain high for the foreseeable future because of high water levels on Lake Erie. The outlook for the rest of the year, however, depends on several factors and is highly uncertain. If the Board of Control were to strictly follow Plan 1958-D, Lake Ontario would peak at 75.84 metres ( 248.82 feet) at the end of June under a high precipitation scenario or at 75.02 metres (246.13 feet) at the end of April under a low precipitation scenario. It must be noted, however, that the Board of Control will be releasing significantly more water than the plan calls for at every available opportunity. In addition, projections of the peak lake level are likely to change over time. For example, projections made just one month ago have changed dramatically because of the unusually high precipitation that occurred during the month of January.

Water levels that will actually occur this year under criterion (k) operations will depend on several factors, including precipitation and temperature in the Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River basin, the extent to which flows in the St. Lawrence River are constrained by ice conditions, flooding conditions downstream, particularly during the spring runoff from the Ottawa River basin, and the potential for serious adverse effects to any other interest, including commercial navigation.

Under criterion (k), the Board of Control will continue to monitor conditions upstream and downstream to determine the appropriate flow through the power project. The Commission and its Board of Control will continue to carefully consider conditions on Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River to determine the appropriate duration of criterion (k) operations.

The International Joint Commission was created under the Boundary Waters Treaty of 1909 to help prevent and resolve disputes over the use of waters along the Canada-United States boundary. Its responsibilities include approving certain projects that would change water levels on the other side of the boundary. If it approves a project, the Commission's orders of approval may require that flows through the project meet certain conditions to protect interests in both countries.

The International St. Lawrence River Board of Control was established by the Commission in its 1952 Order of Approval. Its main duty is to ensure that outflows from Lake Ontario meet the requirements of the Commission's Orders. The Board also develops regulation plans and conducts special studies as requested by the Commission.

Reported by: John Whitehead and Ron Walsh




Today in Great Lakes History - February 05

The ASHLAND in a critically leaking condition barely made Mamonel Colombia on February 5, 1988 where she was scrapped.

Data from: Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history




Port of Toledo update

02/04:
On Sunday 1 Feb 98 the AMERICAN REPUBLIC was removed from the Shipyard drydock and went back into winter layup status at CSX no. 2 Dock. On Monday 2 Feb 98 the COURTNEY BURTON entered the Ship yard drydock for her 5 year survey, and misc. hull repairs.The BURTON will be in drydock for several weeks.Because of the mild winter so far in this area, paint crews are repainting quite a few of the ASC fleet and Oglebay Norton fleet vessels that are presently in layup here.

Reported by: J. R. Hoffman




Toronto Harbor Commission changes

02/04:
Harold Peerenboom was elected as chairman of the new board of the Toronto Harbor Commission on 30 Jan. He succeeds Charles Parmelee, whose two-year term expired. Peerenboom, of Toronto, has been a board member since August 1995 and is president of Mandrake Management Consultants, a management personnel search firm.

The board also confirmed John Morand, formerly Toronto's commissioner of Urban Development Services, as director of strategic planning. Morand has been chief administrative officer of Kingston, Ontario, and was a senior diplomat for the Canadian Department of External Affairs. He also held the chair of the American Economic Development Council.

The meeting was the first since the City of Toronto appointed three new members to the board: Councillors Tom Jakobek (the city's budget chair), Norm Kelly and Jack Layton.

Reported by: Steve Schultz

From the weekly electronic publication "The World Maritime News"





Today in Great Lakes History - February 04

The two sections of the a) WILLIAM J. DE LANCEY (b PAUL R. TREGURTHA) were joined at Lorain and float-launched on February 4, 1981 as Hull #909.

Data from: Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history




Federal Marine Terminals starts Cleveland operation

02/03:
Federal Marine Terminals Inc. announced 30 Jan. it has established stevedoring and warehouse operations at the Port of Cleveland. Robert Allee, a Federal Marine Terminals employee who previously worked in Albany, N.Y., has been appointed general manager of the new terminal. The address is 700 Erieside Ave., Cleveland, Ohio, 44114. The telephone number is 216-781-2081 and facsimile is 216-781-2089.

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





Groupe Desgagnes, Petro-Nav buy tanker

02/03:
Groupe Desgagnes Inc. and its partially-owned subsidiary Petro-Nav has purchased the Ek-Sky (9,712-dwt double-hull tanker built in 1975). The ship was registered in Sweden and operated by Ektank A.B.

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





LCA Speech on-line

02/03:
Be sure to stop by the Lake Carriers' Association home page to read the text from the President of the LCA's recent speech at the Ship Masters’ Annual Convention

Reported by: Lake Carriers' Association




Oglebay Norton Reports Record Net Income Per Share for 1997

02/02:
In a year marked by record performances, Oglebay Norton Company reported last week that net income per share for 1997 reached an all-time high of $3.40. Overall, income from continuing operations for 1997 was $18,356,000 on revenues of $145,185,000, compared to $11,039,000 on revenues of $129,697,000 for 1996. Net income for 1997 was $16,252,000, compared to $15,557,000 ($3.19 per share) for 1996. The record results for the year were generated by outstanding performances in the Company's Marine Transportation and Industrial Sands business units, both of which achieved record shipments and sales. In addition, the Company reported an after-tax gain of $3,400,000 on the sale of its Rock Creek coal property, which closed in November.

Income from continuing operations for the fourth quarter for 1997 was $5,989,000 on revenues of $43,221,000, compared to $3,813,000 on revenues of $39,537,000 for the same quarter in 1996. Net income for the fourth quarter of 1997 was $3,814,000 ($.80 per share), compared to $5,257,000 ($1.09 per share) for the same quarter in 1996. In the fourth quarter of 1997, the Company reported an after-tax loss of approximately $2,200,000 with respect to its discontinued Engineered Materials business unit, and recognized a charge against earnings in connection with supplemental retirement benefits to its former President and Chief Executive Officer. For 1996, the Company reported net income and a gain on the sale of discontinued iron ore operations of $1,100,000 for the fourth quarter and $4,500,000 for the full year.
According to R. Thomas Green, Jr., Chairman, ``The confluence of several positive factors -- strong customer demand, exceptional weather conditions, high water levels, and moderate fuel prices -- enabled our well-run Marine Transportation division to generate its outstanding results. The rebounding Southern California economy, coupled with strong demand in the oil and gas markets we serve, contributed substantially to the record-breaking sales and operating income of our Industrial Sands business unit.'' Mr. Green added, ``We have classified our Engineered Materials business unit as a discontinued operation as a result of our determination to sell that unit and, under the leadership of our new President and CEO, John Lauer, to focus our growth efforts on industries in which we can achieve a position of market leadership.''

In other news, Oglebay Norton Company's Board of Directors declared a regular dividend of $.20 per share, payable on March 31,1998 to stockholders of record on March 10, 1998.
Oglebay Norton Company is a Cleveland, Ohio-based company engaged in Great Lakes marine transportation and material handling, and the mining and marketing of industrial sands. It serves the steel, oil and gas, ceramic, chemical, glass, electric utility and construction industries.

Reported by: James H. Neumiller




American Steamship Achieves Improved Results

02/02:
American Steamship Company, GATX's Great Lakes shipping subsidiary, earned $9.4 million for 1997 compared to earnings of $6.8 million for 1996. This improved performance reflects improved operational performance generated from better vessel utilization, cost control, strong demand for the commodities moved on the Great Lakes, and favorable weather conditions. For the fourth quarter of 1997, American Steamship reported earnings of $2.4 million compared to earnings of $2.7 million for the year ago period.

Demand remained strong throughout 1997 due to both the favorable economy and the increase in demand for shipping tonnage on the Great Lakes. American Steamship's fleet of ten self-unloading vessels transported 26.4 million tons of product in 1997 versus 24.6 million tons in 1996.

In addition, the results for 1997 included a $1.3 million after-tax gain related to a transaction in which American Steamship partnered with GATX Capital in a third-party vessel financing and remarketing. This transaction was previously announced with 1997's second quarter results.

Reported by: James H. Neumiller




Medusa Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year Earnings

02/02:
Medusa Corporation reported net income of $13.1 million for the fourth quarter of 1997, an 18% decline from $16.0 million in 1996's fourth quarter (before an extraordinary item). As previously announced, the 1997 fourth quarter reflects a pretax charge of $4.0 million ($2.7 million after tax), principally related to certain environmental matters at its Charlevoix, Michigan cement plant. For the fourth quarter, earnings per share were $.79 (diluted) compared with $.93 a year earlier. Excluding the environmental charge of approximately $.16 per diluted share, fourth quarter 1997 earnings would have been $.95 per diluted share. (Per share amounts reflect the adoption of FAS 128 during the fourth quarter.)

Continued strong construction activity in the U.S. lifted cement consumption to record levels in 1997. Medusa expects its cement plants will continue to run full out in 1998. Record production was recorded at three of Medusa's four cement plants in 1997 resulting in record output for the company as a whole. Medusa Corporation produces and sells portland and masonry cements; mines, processes, and sells aggregates, home and garden and industrial limestone products; and provides construction services for highway safety. Medusa operations are principally in the eastern half of the United States.

Reported by: James H. Neumiller




Rouge Earnings

02/02:
ROUGE INDUSTRIES INC. earned $22.4 million, or $1.02 per share, on sales of $1.3 billion for the year ended Dec. 31, 1997.

Sales were 2.6 percent higher than 1996. Earnings per share were slightly less than the $1.07 per share in 1996, primarily due to lower selling prices and higher costs for purchased slabs.

For fourth quarter 1997, the Dearborn steel producer reported a net loss of $4.5 million compared to a net loss of $8.5 million in fourth quarter 1996. The losses in both fourth quarters resulted primarily from costs associated with relining blast furnaces.

Reported by: Detroit Free Press




Informal poll

02/02:
Jody Aho is wondering what others think of the John G. Munson's whistle.. Jody thinks it has the best sounding horn (at least the most distinctive) of any Great Lakes boat and would like other's thoughts. Please e-mail Jody and let him know what you think




Today in Great Lakes History - February 02

On February 2, 1981 ARTHUR SIMARD grounded in the St. Lawrence River on her way from Montreal to Sept Iles, Que. with a cargo of diesel oil and suffered extensive bottom damage.

The SAMUEL MATHER (6) (a) PILOT KNOB (1) had her keel laid February 2, 1942.

Data from: Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history




Today in Great Lakes History - February 01

On February 1, 1990 the MESQUITE was officially decommissioned.

In February 1951 the b) CHARLES M. WHITE was towed from the James River with two other C4s, LOUIS McHENRY HOWE and SCOTT E. LAND, to the Maryland Dry Dock Co., Baltimore, MD to be converted to a Great Lakes bulk carrier according to plans designed by J.J. Henry & Co., New York, NY.

Data from: Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great LakesShips We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history





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