Great Lakes NEWS & RUMOR Archive

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Tugs Phyllis & Margaret Yorke

Apparently these two tugs (formerly Canadian National Railway tugs at sarnia, ON.) have been sold offshore. They are reportedly to leave McKeil's dock for Sorel under tow early in October where they will be hoisted aboard an unidentified ship for delivery to Nigeria. They purportedly will be used there to push cement barges.

Reported by: Jerry Steele

Socanav Under Bankruptcy Protection

Socanav Inc., the largest Canadian tanker operator, has been placed under bankruptcy protection. In addition, all 11 vessels owned by Socanav have been sold to Gorse Down Canada for U.S.$8.2 million. Gorse Down Canada is a subsidiary of Star Maritime Services (U.S.A.) Inc., based in Miami.

Reported by: Steve Schultz

Oakglen Fitted Out

Oakglen was fitting out on Monday September 23 in Owen Sound, Ontario after being laid up for a month and a half.

Reported by: Jim Mann

E.M. Ford has sailed her last

Information from the Saginaw River Marine Historical Society meeting indicates that the E.M. Ford has sailed her last. The Ford is currently in use as a transfer and storage barge at the LaFarge Dock in Saginaw. Appearently they are transferring cargo from the Integrity to the silo and then to the Ford.

Reported by: Lon Morgan

New Peak For Great Lakes Shipping

Shipments of iron ore, coal and stone from Great Lakes ports reached a new post-recession peak in August - 17,113,946 net tons. The previous post-recession peak was July of this year when the major dry-bulk trades totaled 16,740,333 net tons.

Reported by: Lake Carriers' Association
Visit the LCA's page for a complete break down of tonnage

Closing of the 1996 Navigation Season - St. Lawrence Seaway

The St. Lawrence Seaway Authority plans to close the seaway by 20 December. Projects during the closure include work on the Welland Canal and the section between Montreal and Lake Ontario. A computerized control system will be installed at the St. Lambert Lock.

Reported by: Steve Schultz

U.S. Coast Guard launches second new coastal buoy tender

The U.S. Coast Guard launched its second Ida Lewis-class Coastal Buoy Tender at 1100 14 Sept. at Marinette Marine Corp., Marinette, Wis. Joyce Downey, wife of U.S. Deputy Secretary of Transportation Mortimer L. Downey, christened the Katherine Walker (WLM 552). Mortimer L. Downey was the pricipal speaker. WLM 552 is named for Katherine Walker, who was the keeper of Robbins Reef Light in New York harbor from 1886 to 1919. She is credited with saving the lives of 50 people who were shipwrecked. The Coast Guard's Vice Commandant, Adm. Richard D. Herr, also attended. WLM 552 was ordered in February 1995 and will be commissioned in February 1997.

Reported by: Steve Schultz

Fall Grain Rush

The fall grain rush hit full stride in Duluth-Superior on Sept. 19 as 11 vessels loaded grain or waited for their turn at elevator berths. As the day began, Olympic Miracle, Handymariner, Rixta Oldendorf and Kalisti lay at anchor on Lake Superior while Federal Calumet arrived and dropped anchor at Duluth's inner anchorage. Also waiting at various layby berths were Kinsman Independent, Quebecois and Canadian Voyageur. Under the spouts that morning were Canadian Prospector at Harvest States elevator, Luna Verde at Peavey Connors Point and Wartanes at Cargill.

Reported by: Duluth Shipping News

Cement Shortage Felt

Due to the strike, a small concrete supplier near Rice Lake, WI is said to be out of cement already and was forced to close down. I talked to a friend who has a farm repair service and was in the middle of a project when he found out about the shortage. He was upset about the possible delay. Last I knew, they were trying to find a supply of bagged cement to enable them to finish the job. A large commercial project that was supposed to be completed next week is also being delayed, costing the contractor.

Reported by: Greg Meier

E.M. Ford used for storage

The E.M.Ford is now in Saginaw to be used to store cement in addition to the silos there.

Reported by: Bud Schroder

More News on the Cement Boat Strike

As of Sept. 14 a for hire ad has been taken out in the Alpena News for mates and engineers of any tonnage and horsepower in an effort to crew the boats of the Inland Lakes Mngt./Andrie fleet. As there has been a total walkout by the officers, federal court has ruled that I.L.M./Andrie is refusing to bargain in accordance with fedaral law. at this determination, seafarers union will no longer cross the AMO-MEBA picket line, and 1 boat load of coal destined for the Lafarge plant has been turned away.

Reported by: Bud Schroder

Construction Delayed due to Cement Boat Strike

Reconstruction of a major street in Superior has been delayed four days because of a shortage of cement caused by the strike against the Inland Lakes Management fleet.

Reported by: Duluth Shipping News

Nicolet Follow Up

The Nicolet arrived on either the 30th or 31st of August. As of Monday Sept. 2nd she was all tied up in Port Maitland waiting for the torch.

Reported by: Gerald F. Steele

Duluth/Superior News

Grain traffic in the Twin Ports took a definite upswing in early September. On Sept. 9, LT Odyssey was loading at AGP in Duluth, Lake Ontario was loading at Cargill and Algontario was at Harvest States. At the General Mills layby dock was Kinsman Independent while Asia Trader and DS Pioneer lay at anchor on the lake. Due in Sept. 9 were salties Polydefkis, Luna Verde and Lake Carling.

After about a week of undergoing boiler repairs at Fraser Shipyards, Halifax departed the yard Sept. 8 to load at the DMIR ore dock in Duluth.

Reported by: Duluth Shipping News

George A. Stinson aground

The George A Stinson ran aground the morning of the Sept. 5 off Gros Cap. She was anchored for heavy fog that had closed the river and evidently ventured too close to shore. Besides fog delays that day, vessels were further backed up by a malfunctioning gate on the MacArthur Lock. Meanwhile, word at the locks indicates that futrher automation of the machinery is having mixed results. In particular, a laser light system that was installed to facilitate gate openings and closings doesn't work when there is a 1,000-footer in the locks. The ship's hull blocks the beam.

Reported by: Roger LeLievre

Stewart J. Cort flying new colors

The Stewart J. Cort is flying a new houseflag .... red with a white opening at the center that includes the familiar I-beam in red, bisected horizontally by the word "Litton" in black. Does this mean a change in the Cort's management?

Reported by: Roger LeLievre

New Tug/Barge and the future of the Lafarge fleet?

The cement tug/barge Integrity is out and running, operated by the Andrie interests (for LaFarge?) Word is that Andrie may take over the Inland Lakes Management fleet and that the existing cement boats may eventually be replaced by the much cheaper tug/barge combinations. The Paul H. Townsend and E.M. Ford where recently on the drydock at Sturgeon Bay, possibly for inspection as a precursor to the move.

Reported by: Roger LeLievre

Cuyahoga's first trip under that name to Soo

The Cuyahoga made her first trip under that name to Soo, Mi. during the first week of September. She arrived at the Carbide Dock at 11 p.m. Sept. 3 to unload road salt, and departed downbound at 7 a.m. the following day, much to the chagrin of area boatwatchers.

Reported by: Roger LeLievre

Cement Boat Strike

As of 4:00 p.m. Sept. 4 all licensed officers of the Inland Lakes Mngt.fleet left their vessels in response to a contract dispute with new owners Andrie Towing. AMO-MEBA is responding as a go between.

Reported by: Daniel Booth and B. Schroder

New Cargo Record for Cement

The new LaFarge cement barge INTEGRITY, pushed by the tug JACLYN M. has set a new record for the amount of cement carried in one trip. The total of 16,889 tons beats the old record of 13,700 set by the Alpena in 1994

Reported by: N. Schultheiss
For more cargo records visit the Facts & Figures section.

New Record Cargo Record for Lake Superior Iron Ore Trade

The 1,000-foot-long M/V BURNS HARBOR has set a new record for the iron ore trade from Lake Superior. On August 22, the ship loaded 64,435 gross tons (72,167 net tons) of taconite pellets at the Burlington Northern dock in Superior, Wisconsin.

Reported by: Lake Carriers Association
For more cargo records visit the Facts & Figures section.

Close call in Welland Canal

The Ziemia Gnieznienska was upbound Monday (8/26) morning and about to make its way through the opening between the two leaves of Homer bridge (bridge 4) when it developed engine trouble. The ship dropped anchors and came to rest 20 feet from the bridge. Removal of the ship was delayed temporarily while officials checked to make sure the ship's dragging anchors had not disrupted any submerged cables which pass under the canal in the area. The ship was then assisted by two tug boats to the wall below lock 3 where repairs could be made. Only one other ship was delayed due to the malfunction of Ziemia Gnieznienska's engines.

Reported by: Launy Paul

Edward L. Ryerson - self-unloader?

Rumor: I was recently in Sturgeon Bay, WI, where the local gentry were discussing the possibility that the Ryerson would be converted to a self-unloader and sail again for Inland. It appears that the actual owner of the Ryerson was opposed to converting the ship (for aesthetic reasons?), but she recently passed away and discussions regarding conversion have resurfaced. I cannot tell you how far these discussions have gone, but here's hoping that the Ryerson will sail again.

Reported by: Vern Sondak

Port Colborne, Ontario News

Algoma's Algoway was Loading stone at warf 12. They were having trouble with the gears of the unloading boom as the boom must be moved so that complete loading of the vessel takes place.

At the same time Patersons Cartiadoc was unloading grain at warf 19 Maple Leaf Mills---Port Colborne. It could only unload a partial load beacause the warf can only accomodate full loads from smaller vessels. The mill has been serviced exclusively by the smaller Mantadoc in the past few years and before that P and H's Beechglen.

Reported by: J. Joseph Van Volkenburg

Barge INTEGRITY docks in Milwaukee

The new LaFarge cement barge INTEGRITY, pushed by the tug JACLYN M. arrived today at the new Milwaukee LaFarge cement terminal. The barge, built this year at Bay Shipbuilding in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, entered service two weeks ago. Having already passed up through the Soo, the INTEGRITY loaded a cargo for delivery to the new LaFarge Terminal in Milwaukee.

Both the barge and the new terminal are to be officially commissioned in ceremonies planned for August 28. The INTEGRITY is the largest cement barge on the lakes, with a carrying capacity in excess of 14,000 tons. She is painted in the light cream color of the Inland Lakes Management Company cement carriers, however she carries a LaFarge logo in black with a green stripe amidships on her hull.

The tug, JACLYN M., is likewise painted in cream. Both vessels have light green trim, including the visors of both of the tug's regular pilot house as well as its elevated house.

The combination sailed its maiden voyage August 6 when the unit left Bay Shipbuilding in Sturgeon Bay for Alpena to load cement for Green Bay.

Reported by: Paul G. Wiening

Date Set for Nicolet Tow

The Nicolet is scheduled to be towed out of the Hans Hanson dock on Tuesday August 27th bound for Canada and the cutters torch. Last month she was sold to International Marine Salvage of Port Maitland, Ontario. This ship has been in Toledo since the end of 1990 and leaves many a good story to be told.

Reported by: JVincPep

Canadian Navigator to be converted to a self-unloader

Port Weller Dry docks has been awarded a contract which calls for the Canadian Navigator to be converted to a self-unloader over the winter (96-97).

Reported by: Launy Paul

Duluth Superior News

After a long absence from the Twin Ports, the Fred R. White Jr. is now seemingly a constant caller. The vessel has made several trips Duluth and Superior this summer. The most recent is set for Aug. 15, when the vessel is due to unload stone at the Reiss Inland dock in Duluth before proceeding to Silver Bay to load taconite pellets.

Indiana Harbor is scheduled for an unusual shuttle this week. The vessel is due to load coal Aug. 14 at Midwest Energy Terminal in Superior. It's then scheduled to proceed to Silver Bay to unload at the power plant there before returning to Superior to take on taconite pellets at the BN ore dock.

Paul H. Townsend has been in drydock at Fraser Shipyards in Superior for the past week. The vessel appears to be receiving quite a few new shell plates on both sides of the hull amidships. A large area on both sides has been sandblasted free of paint and some sort of large lean-to type structure has been erected over the portion of the hull undergoing work on the port side.(Paul Townsend's work in Fraser Shipyards apparently is being doing in conjunction with its 5-year inspection.)

The Oglebay Norton tied up at Duluth's port terminal for about a day to undergo repairs to its bowthruster. It was interesting to watch the work. Crewmen ballasted the stern of the boat so that the bowthruster tunnel was raised completely clear of the water. Then workers entered the tunnel from outside the hull (the tunnel appears to be about 7 or 8 feet in diameter) and made repairs to a faulty hydraulic pump.

It's interesting to see how much below-the-waterline work is done on 1,000-footers without their entering a drydock. We probably get 1,000-footers here 5 to 10 times a year that need quick repairs to thrusters, rudders or propellers and the work is down by raising the bow or stern through ballasting.

Reported by: N. Schultheiss

July 30, 1996

Coal fire Posed Danger to Crew, Coast Guard Says

(Whitefish Point) -- The Coast Guard says a fire aboard the coal freighter H-M Griffith put the 28-member crew in grave danger. The temperature in the hold yesterday was so hot that the 730-foot ship's steel bulkheads glowed. Crewmen ended up dumping more than three-thousand tons of burning coal into Lake Superior.

A coal fire in a cargo hold is among the most dangerous of ship fires. Once started, coal is virtually impossible to extinguish and can smolder for weeks.Coast Guard Petty Officer Jack Crumbaugh says the crew was in a lot of danger because if the fire had gotten severe, it could have blown up the ship.

The Canadian vessel was headed south toward Sault Ste. Marie when the fire was discovered shortly before noon. It was loaded with nearly 32-thousand tons of coke, a highly carbonized residue used for making steel. Officials believe some of the cargo was loaded in an advanced stage of oxidation, which caused it to spontaneously combust aboard ship.

The problem is fairly common on lengthy ocean voyages but rare for ships making a Great Lakes passage. That's according to Captain John Pace, vice-president of fleet management for Canada Steamship Lines in Montreal. That company owns the Griffith.

Captain Steve Pauley ordered the crew to flood the tunnel surrounding the cargo hold to help reduce the temperature. The crew then began cooling the burning cargo with water hoses as it was run along conveyor belts normally used to load and unload the ship.

Meanwhile, the Coast Guard dispatched the 140-foot cutter Katmai Bay from Sault Ste. Marie and two helicopters from Traverse City in case anyone needed to be rescued.

Instead, the crew decided to dump the 3-thousand-63 short tons, or 6-point-1 (m) million pounds, of burning coke into the lake. No injuries were reported. The ship was inspected last night at the Soo Locks, but Curumbauigh says there was no structural damage and only minor distortions to some of the metal gates that keep the cargo on the conveyor belts.

The ship left the locks bound for Lake Erie shortly after 4 a.m. today (7/31/96). Normally, cargo dumping on any of the Great Lakes is prohibited. But a Michigan Department of Environmental Quality official says dumping the coke would not pollute Lake Superior.

Reported by: alt.great-lakes newsgroup post

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