Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping News Archive

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Port Reports -  September 30

Twin Ports – Al Miller
Twin Ports vessel traffic Saturday included Mesabi Miner loading iron ore pellets at CN ore dock. Saltie Lubie was at the Peavey elevator, one of the few vessels to call there this season. Cinnamon was anchored out on the lake waiting for the CHS elevator.

Buffalo, N.Y. – Brian W.
The English River completed unloading and departed Lafarge Saturday evening.


Coast Guard clears activity at ArcelorMittal Burns Harbor dock

9/30 - The U.S. Coast Guard cleared ArcelorMittal Burns Harbor to use unaffected sections of a dock after it partially collapsed Tuesday under the weight of material stored on it. The Coast Guard required the company to complete an inspection of the entire dock wall as a precautionary measure.

Multiple third-party engineers ArcelorMittal hired told the company the remaining dock space was in satisfactory condition, ArcelorMittal spokeswoman Mary Beth Holdford said in a statement issued Friday. Normal loading and unloading operations have resumed on the unaffected portion of the dock.

"There has been no impact on production or our ability to serve our customers," Holdford said. "Additionally, the waterway remains navigable, with no impact on Port of Indiana operations." The partial dock collapse was caused by the weight of mill scale stored on the ground at the facility. No injuries or pollution were reported from the collapse.

NWI Times


Bluenose II relaunch draws thousands

9/30 - Lunenburg, N.S. — Onlookers clapped and small boats sounded their horns as the newly restored Bluenose II made its historic relaunch as a light drizzle gave way to a Nova Scotia sunrise early Saturday morning. Thousands of Nova Scotians and visitors from across Canada donned rain gear and clutched coffees as the 43-metre vessel made its slow descent into the Lunenburg harbour.

The event marked the famed schooner’s official return to the water after an extensive two-year, $15.9 million restoration. Ottawa covered $4.9 million of the cost and the province paid the rest. The schooner’s entire hull and much of its deck made from Douglas fir have been replaced.

Premier Darrell Dexter was among the crowd that gathered along the waterfront, the same spot where the original Bluenose was launched more than 90 years ago.

“The excitement and anticipation leading up to today speaks of our love of the ocean and our ability to thrive by it,” Dexter said as the vessel made its way down the slipway and into the ocean.

“Future generations of Nova Scotians will now know what it means to have the same pride as their parents, their grandparents and their great-grandparents before them.”

More than 100 boats — from canoes to yachts — bobbed in the waters surrounding the Bluenose II as divers disappeared beneath the surface to detach the supports and chains holding the vessel to a transfer carriage. The schooner towered over the others, even without its two masts, canvas sails and rigging, which will be installed in the coming months. Some of the small boats sounded horns.

People, young and old, huddled under umbrellas aloft a hill and a ripple of applause could be heard as a tugboat pulled the vessel across the harbour towards the town’s fisheries’ museum.

Among the thousands of onlookers was Charles Tanner, who was a crew member on the original Bluenose. Tanner was 19-years-old when he worked aboard the acclaimed ship and recalled fishing along the Grand Banks.

Tanner, 92, said the latest incarnation of the Nova Scotia’s sailing ambassador is much different from the first version of Bluenose II, built in 1963 by the Oland family of Halifax to promote sales of Schooner beer. This time, the shipbuilders were able to step back as they worked on the vessel along Lunenburg’s waterfront, and Tanner said that makes all the difference.

“The other Bluenose II was built ... in a building, and it’s all right in a building, but you can’t stand and look at it and see what she looks like,” said Tanner, who was born in Lunenburg.

But Tanner was modest about her return to the water, noting it’s something that he’s witnessed hundreds of times.

“It’s nice to see this happening,” said Tanner, sporting a Bluenose ball cap. “I don’t how many I’ve towed down here and put on the slip and took them back off again day in and day out. It doesn’t mean so much to me, but for the younger people, it’s really something to look at.”

The Bluenose II is a replica of the original Bluenose, a fishing and race schooner designed by William J. Roue that won worldwide acclaim for its graceful lines and flat-out speed.

The restoration was carried out by the Lunenburg Shipyard Alliance, Lunenburg Industrial Foundry and Engineering and Covey Island Boatworks, a news release said.

Canadian Press


Today in Great Lakes History -  September 30

On September 30, 1896, SUMATRA (wooden schooner-barge, 204 foot, 845 gross tons, built in 1874, at Black River, Ohio) was loaded with railroad rails in tow of the steamer B.W. ARNOLD in a storm on Lake Huron. The SUMATRA was blown down and foundered off the Government Pier at Milwaukee. Three of the crew was lost. The four survivors were rescued by the ARNOLD and the U.S. Lifesaving Service. The SUMATRA was owned by the Mills Transportation Company.

The 660-foot forward section of the BELLE RIVER (Hull#716) was side launched on September 30, 1976, at Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, by Bay Shipbuilding Co. Renamed b.) WALTER J. McCARTHY, JR. in 1977.

The ARTHUR SIMARD entered service on September 30, 1973, sailing to Montreal, Quebec, to load gasoline.

GOVERNOR MILLER was towed down the Welland Canal on September 30, 1980, in tow of TUG MALCOLM, STORMONT and ARGUE MARTIN on her way to Quebec City.

ROBERT C. STANLEY departed light on her maiden voyage from River Rouge, Michigan, on September 30, 1943, bound for Two Harbors, Minnesota, to load iron ore.

On September 30, 1986, the Canadian Coast Guard vessel CARIBOU ISLE struck a rock in Lake Huron's North Channel and began taking on water. C.C.G.S. SAMUEL RISLEY arrived and helped patch the ship. The pair the departed for Parry Sound, Ontario.

On September 30, 1888, AUSTRALIA (wooden schooner, 109 foot, 159 gross tons, built in 1862, at Vermilion, Ohio) was carrying cedar posts from Beaver Island to Chicago when she encountered a gale. She was laid on beam ends and sprung a leak. She headed for shelter at Holland, Michigan, but struck a bar and foundered in the mouth of the harbor. The wreck blocked the harbor until it was removed on October. 5 Her crew was rescued by the U.S. Lifesaving Service.

On September 30, 1875, AMERICAN CHAMPION (wooden scow-schooner, 156 tons, built in 1866, at Trenton, Michigan) dropped anchor to ride out a gale near Leamington, Ontario, on Lake Erie. The chains gave way and she struck a bar and sank to the gunwales. The crew of eight spent the night in the rigging and the next day a local woman and her two sons heroically rescued each one.

1906: The first FAYETTE BROWN ran into the pier entering Lorain, became disabled and stranded on the beach. The ship was refloated with considerable damage. It last operated as c) GLENMOUNT in 1923 and was scrapped about 1928.

1913: CITY OF LONDON sank off Point Pelee, Lake Erie after a collision with the JOE S. MORROW. The hull was later dynamited as an obstacle to navigation.

1964: DUNDRUM BAY was a pre-Seaway visitor to the Great Lakes on charter to the Hall Corporation. The vessel was driven aground on this date as f) ESITO near Necochea, Argentina, while traveling in ballast. The hull broke in two and was a total loss.

1965: PROTOSTATIS, a Greek Liberty ship, went aground on Traverse Shoal, Lake Ontario, while enroute from Detroit to Genoa, Italy, with a cargo of scrap. The vessel was lightered and refloated with the aid of tugs. It went to Kingston to anchor and reload in the shelter of Wolfe Island.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Jody Aho, Ahoy & Farewell II, Father Dowling Collection, and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.


Port Reports -  September 29

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Kaye E. Barker arrived Friday afternoon at the Upper Harbor to load ore.

Grand Haven, Mich. - Dick Fox
St. Marys Challenger came in for its third visit of the season with a load for the St. Marys Terminal in Ferrysburg at about 8 a.m. Friday. Tuesday afternoon, the Manitowoc brought in a load of coal for the Grand Haven Board of Light and Power Plant on Harbor Island.

Sandusky - Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
John J. Boland completed her loading at the NS coal dock on Sandusky Bay Friday and sailed for Marysville, Mich. Taking the Boland’s place under the coal loader was Algosoo, loading for Hamilton, Ont. Waiting for the Algosoo to sail was the Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin. At Marblehead, the Interlake tug Dorothy Ann and barge Pathfinder were loading.


Famous icebreaker to be repaired at Port Weller

9/29 - Port Weller, Ont. – The Canadian icebreaker CCGS Amundsen, the ship on the back of Canada’s $50 bill, will find a temporary home at the Port Weller dry docks where it will undergo repairs. Details of the contract for the local shipyard will be announced at a press conference at Seaway Marine and Industrial Inc. on Lakeshore Road Monday at 9:30 a.m., but the contract is expected to have a significant economic spin-off for the docks.

Seaway Marine had been bidding on the contract to repair the Coast Guard ship, which is best known for a year-long research mission to the Arctic in 2003, when it was home to 44 crew and 38 researchers. During its tour in the north, some 225 scientists from eight countries ran experiments on the ship on a rotation. Part of the mission saw the ship being deliberately stuck in the ice and acting as a fixed research base during six months of darkness.

St. Catharines Standard


Canada to honor 6 Americans killed in 1913 storm

9/29 - Buffalo, N.Y. – Nearly a century after they died when their floating lighthouse sank in Lake Erie during a violent storm, six American servicemen are being honored by a Canadian community. A memorial plaque honoring the crew of Light Vessel 82 will be unveiled Saturday morning during a public ceremony at Waterfront Park in Fort Erie, Ontario, across the Niagara River from Buffalo.

The captain of LV-82 and his five-man crew of lighthouse tenders remained on station during a storm on Nov. 10, 1913 to warn other ships of the dangerous rocks and shoals off the Buffalo shore. LV-82 eventually sank in 35-foot waves and 80-mph winds.

The crew served with the U.S. Lighthouse Service, which merged with the U.S. Coast Guard in 1939. Representatives of the U.S. Coast Guard and Canadian Coast Guard plan to attend the ceremony, along with members of the local community who worked on the memorial.

"The story of LV-82 is one of duty, courage and ultimate sacrifice," said Rick Doan, a Fort Erie resident and member of the LV-82 historical group. "It's an important piece of local history and it will finally be publicly memorialized so that these heroes will not be forgotten."

LV-82's crew included Capt. Hugh M. Williams of Manistee, Mich.; Chief Engineer Charles Butler of Buffalo; Assistant Engineer Cornelius Leahy of Elyria, Ohio; Mate Andrew Leahy from Elyria; Seaman William Jensen of Muskegon, Mich., and cook Peter Mackey of Buffalo.

The vessel was later raised from the lake bottom. An old black-and-white photograph shows LV-82's battered hull, minus its superstructure, tied to a Buffalo pier around 1915.

Lorain Morning Journal


Museum offers a chance to ride vessel as it moves to new location

9/29 - Toledo, Ohio – On Saturday Oct. 20, the Col. James M. Schoonmaker Museum Ship will move from International Park in Toledo to its new berth at the new national museum of the Great Lakes. The new berth has been under construction for the past five months and will cost an estimated $3,000,000. Dredging and sheet piling are the largest expenses related to the new site according to Christopher Gillcrist, Executive Director of the Great Lakes Historical Society.

The Schoonmaker will leave International Park near 11 a.m. and will dock at the new museum site sometime around 3 p.m. Plenty of time is being given to getting the boat off the old dock and into the new one, said Gillcrist. The boat will be towed down the Maumee River, past the Martin Luther King Street Bascule Bridge, past the proposed marina district development site and ultimately to the 1710 Front Street location. The boat will be backed into the slip via a dredged channel from the main shipping channel.

The Great Lakes Historical Society, which is creating the new National Museum of the Great Lakes, has invited supporters, dignitaries and others to experience the last move of the Schoonmaker. Guests will dine on bruschetta, turkey cranberry muffins, beef tenderloin, hot crab dip, spanakopita, bourbon chicken, asparagus puffed pastry, twice-stuffed baby redskin potatoes, baked brie and assorted mini desserts. Swingmania, a jazz big band, will entertain the crowd throughout the trip.

The Society, as part of its annual fundraiser, offered the general public an opportunity to travel with on the boat to those who purchases 10 or more raffle tickets to the Luck of the Lakes Raffle. According to Gillcrist, 11 people have done so. Now, the Society is extending the offer through October 10. Any person who purchases 10 or more raffle tickets will be allowed to board the Schoonmaker with a guest for the move. Contact the Society at 440-967-3467, extension 6 for more details.

Gillcrist pointed out that guests on board will have the opportunity to become part of history. Guests on the Schoonmaker that day will be allowed to sign the original VIP Guest Log Book of the boat. This log book has the names of every guest who sailed on the Schoonmaker from 1911 to 1965. “Since this is her last sail, we thought those on board should get an opportunity to put their names in history,” he said.


Today in Great Lakes History -  September 29

September 29, 1930, for the first time in the history of Pittsburgh Steamship Company, the boats of the fleet loaded more than one million tons in a seven-day period. The 64 Pittsburgh boats loaded 1,002,092 tons of cargo between 9/23 and 9/29.

The J. H. SHEADLE (Hull#22) of the Great Lakes Engineering Works, was launched September 29, 1906, for the Grand Island Steamship Co. (Cleveland-Cliffs Iron Co., Cleveland, Ohio, mgr.) Renamed b.) F. A. BAILEY in 1924, c.) LA SALLE in 1930. Sold Canadian in 1965, renamed d.) MEAFORD, and e.) PIERSON INDEPENDENT in 1979. She was scrapped at Santander, Spain, in 1980.

Henry Ford II, 70, of Grosse Pointe, Michigan, passed away on September 29, 1987. Mr. Ford's namesake was the Ford Motor Company self-unloader.

On September 29, 1986, the Polish tug KORAL left Lauzon, Quebec with the JOHN E. F. MISENER and GOLDEN HIND enroute to Cartagena / Mamonal, Columbia, for scrapping.

September 29, 1892 - The ANN ARBOR NO 1 was launched.

On 29 September 1872, ADRIATIC (3-masted wooden schooner-barge, 139 foot, 129 net tons, built in 1865, at Clayton, New York as a bark) was in tow of the tug MOORE along with three other barges in Lake Erie in a heavy gale. She became separated from the tow and foundered. The entire crew of 7 was lost. The wooden schooner DERRICK was used in salvage operations. On 29 September 1854, she had just positioned herself above the wreck of the steamer ERIE off Silver Creek, New York on Lake Erie when she went down in a gale. She had spent the summer trying to salvage valuables from the wreck of the steamer ATLANTIC.

On 29 September 1900, the steamer SAKIE SHEPARD was re-launched at Anderson's shipyard in Marine City. She had been thoroughly rebuilt there during the summer.

1974 J.A.Z. DESGAGNES and HAVRE ST. PIERRE collided while trying to pass on the St. Lawrence. The former often visited the Great Lakes but was scrapped in Croatia as e) A. LEGRAND in 2003-2004. The latter, originally a Dutch coastal vessel, worked on the St. Lawrence and around Eastern Canada but was deleted from Lloyds Register in 1999.

1982 ATLANTIC SUPERIOR went aground off Wellesley Island in the American Narrows of the St. Lawrence. This new member of the Canada Steamship Lines fleet was released October 1 and repaired at Thunder Bay. It was back on the Great Lakes in 2012.

EASTERN FRIENDSHIP first came to the Great Lakes in 1986. It had been stranded off the coast of Bangladesh as d) TONY BEST since April 10, 1993. While refloated on June 21, the anchors dragged on July 24 and the ship went aground again. The hull later cracked and the ship sank on this date in 1993.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Max Hanley, Russ Plumb, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.


Port Reports -  September 28

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Basic Marine’s tug Nickelena and barge arrived at the Lower Harbor Thursday morning. Marquette's Mining Journal reported that the barge cargo, an electrical transformer, was destined for the Empire Mine after being unloaded at the Lower Harbor Shiras Dock. At the Upper Harbor, Tug Victory and Barge James L. Kuber loaded ore.

Sandusky and Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
John J. Boland was loading at the NS coal dock in Sandusky Thursday night. On the Marblehead Peninsula, the Calumet - a mid-afternoon arrival - continued to load at the Lafarge Corp. stone dock.

Buffalo, N.Y. - Brian W.
John J. Boland came in around 11 p.m. Wednesday night for the Gateway Metroport Main Dock in Lackawanna. She was still there at 7 a.m. Thursday, tied up at the North end of the pier face.

Toronto, Ont. - Jens Juhl
After almost five days on the hook in the Port Weller anchorage the Orsula (ex Federal Calumet) arrived in Toronto with a cargo of sugar from Brazil. Group Ocean's twin screw tugs Ocean Golf and LaPrairie assisted in docking the handy-size bulker at Redpath.


Updates -  September 28

News Photo Gallery


Today in Great Lakes History -  September 28

On September 28, 1980, BURNS HARBOR entered service, departing Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, bound for Superior, Wisconsin, to load pellets.

THOMAS WILSON left Toledo on September 28, 1987, in tow of the tug TUSKER for overseas scrapping. WILSON had been laid up since December 16, 1979.

On 28 September 1891, THOMAS PARSONS (2 mast wooden schooner, 135 foot, 350 tons, built in 1868, at Charlotte, New York) was carrying coal out of Ashtabula, Ohio, when she foundered in a storm a few miles off Fairport in Lake Erie.

On 28 September 1849, W.G. BUCKNER (wooden schooner, 75 foot, 107 tons, built in 1837, at Irving, New York) was carrying lumber in a storm on Lake Michigan when she sprang a leak, then capsized. The man to whom the cargo belonged was aboard with his wife and five children. One child was washed overboard while the wife and three children died of exposure. The schooner ERWIN took off the survivors plus the bodies.

1921: The W.H. RITCHIE caught fire and sank at Port Arthur, ON where it had become a bulk grain transport vessel. The remains were uncovered during dredging work in 1961.

1946: The BRIG. GEN. M.G. ZALINSKI, built at Lorain in 1919 as a) LAKE FROHNA and later operated inland in the package freight trade as b) ACE, hit the rocks off Pitt Island, British Columbia. The vessel was enroute from Seattle to Whittier, Alaska, with a cargo of army supplies, and sank in 20 minutes. All on board were rescued by the tug SALLY N. and taken to the fishing village of Butedale.. The hull was located in June 2011 and is upside down.

1960: CHICAGO TRIBUNE and SHENANGO II were both damaged in a collision in the St. Clair River off Marysville.

1973: FRANK R. DENTON and FEDERAL SCHELDE (i) collided in the St. Mary's River with minor damage to both ships. The former was scrapped at Ashtabula in 1985-1986. The latter began Seaway service when new in 1968, returned as b) C. MEHMET in 1977 and was delivered to the scrappers at Nantong, China, on March 16, 1999.

1998: ANDROS TRANSPORT, a Fortune Class cargo ship, first came through the Seaway in 1978. Flooding occurred in the engineroom in the Caribbean off Trinidad as d) GRIGOROUSSA on this date while traveling in ballast. The crew of 15 were removed and the ship was towed into Port au Spain. It was declared a total loss, sold to Mexican shipbreakers, and arrived at Tuxpan, under tow for dismantling on December 4, 1998.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Mike Nicholls, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series


Port Reports -  September 27

Toledo, Ohio - F. Wilson
The Saginaw arrived in Toledo in the early afternoon Wednesday and continued to unload at Kraft Foods through late evening.

Sandusky, Marblehead and Huron, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Bands of rain repeatedly pummeled Ohio's North Coast Wednesday as activity picked up again at three prominent Western Lake Erie ports. The tug Bradshaw McKee and barge Cleveland Rocks loaded at the Lafarge Corp. stone dock on the Marblehead Peninsula, while at Sandusky the Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin loaded at the NS coal dock. At Huron, the John G. Munson off-loaded another Stoneport-loaded cargo at the Huron Lime Co. dock.

Toronto, Ont. - Jens Juhl
Tuesday night the Wigeon did the required end-for-end turnaround in order to complete discharging cargo out of holds 5 and 6. Redpath is currently stockpiling sugar for the winter at terminal 52 with sugar being trucked about 3km around the east end of the harbor. Careful examination of the Wigeon's stern reveals that the Cypriot-flagged vessel's original port or registry was Hamburg.


Damage assessment continues in dock collapse

9/27 - Burns Harbor, Ind. – Damage assessments have to be completed on a collapsed ArcelorMittal Burns Harbor dock and the Canadian freight ship that delivered cargo to the facility Tuesday.

The Marine Safety Unit Chicago of the U.S. Coast Guard said the collapse of a dock Tuesday was caused by the weight of mill scale at the facility. The mill scale shifted, causing the dock to cave in. The incident was reported to the marine safety unit about 6 a.m. Tuesday.

The partial collapse of the pier caused the Algoma Transport, operated by Algoma Central Corp., to ground at the dock, and the Coast Guard worked Tuesday with a salvage master from North American Marine to safely free the grounded vessel. By Wednesday evening, AIS showed Algoma Transport had been freed and was headed for Chicago.

"The situation could have been much worse, and we're thankful that there haven’t been any personnel casualties as a result of the dock collapse," said Cmdr. Jason Neubauer, commanding officer of Marine Safety Unit Chicago, in a news release.

Lt. Leslie Downing, of the Marine Safety Unit Chicago, said ArcelorMittal was working to conduct a structural assessment of the pier. Downing said the Coast Guard issued a notice to mariners to exercise caution near the area of the dock collapse and slow their speeds when traveling to prevent further damage.

No injuries or pollution were reported from the collapse. Algoma Central and ArcelorMittal did not respond to additional requests for comment Wednesday.

NWI Times


CAW reaches first agreement with Algoma

9/27 - St. Catharines, Ont - The CAW has reached a first tentative agreement with Algoma Great Lakes Shipping Inc. CAW Local 4401 represents more than 350 unlicensed seafarers sailing on Algoma's Great Lakes bulk shipping fleet. This is the first agreement between the company and union following the 2011 sale of the Upper Lakes Shipping Fleet to Algoma Central Corporation.

Ratification will be conducted by secret ballot mail-in vote over the coming weeks. Information meetings about the new contract will be held on board Algoma CAW vessels as well as in Thorold, Ontario, as well as Clarenville and Gander, Newfoundland, in the near future.

"Our goals in these first contract negotiations with Algoma were to secure commitments by Algoma to renew the fleet, bargain fair compensation and preserve our health benefits," said CAW Local 4401 President Jim MacDougall. "With the support of our membership and the CAW, we were able to achieve these goals."

All members of the CAW Local 4401 Executive Committee are unanimously recommending acceptance of the new Agreement and are pleased that a first contract with Algoma was reached without a disruption to shipping.

The previous collective agreement, which expired in April 2011, was set to legally terminate on September 25, 2012, and would have allowed the union to strike or the company to lock out the workforce if a new agreement was not completed by that date.

Negotiations were delayed to 2012 in order to facilitate an orderly transition of operations from Upper Lakes Shipping Inc. to Algoma Central Corporation.

The new four-year agreement provides wage increases of three percent retroactive to April 1, 2011 and two per cent retroactive to April 1, 2012 as well as a minimum three per cent wage increase with additional cost of living inflation protection in the last two years of the contract. Comprehensive health and related benefits and an updated defined contribution pension plan have been maintained for the duration of the new contract.

Details of the agreement and the vote will be released following the completion of these meetings and receipt of the mail in ballots.

CAW Local 4401 has a hiring hall located in St. Catharines and represents more than 350 members sailing on the Great Lakes for Algoma Great Lakes Shipping Inc.

Canadian Auto Workers Union (CAW)


Today in Great Lakes History -  September 27

September 27, 1959: The West Neebish Channel, through which downbound traffic normally passes, was temporarily closed to permit dredging to the maximum Seaway depth of 27 feet. Two-way traffic was instituted in the Middle Neebish Channel until dredging was completed.

On 27 September 1877, the HIPPOGRIFFE (wooden schooner, 295 tons, built in 1864, at Buffalo, New York) had just left Chicago for Buffalo, loaded with oats, on a fine day with clear weather. The crew saw EMMA A. COYNE (wooden schooner, 155 foot, 497 tons, built in 1867, at Detroit, Michigan) approaching from a long way off loaded with lumber. The two vessels' skippers were brothers. The two schooners collided about 20 miles off Kenosha, Wisconsin. The COYNE came along side and picked up the HIPPOGRIFFE's crew a few minutes before that vessel rolled over and dove for the bottom.

The CITY OF GENOA arrived with the first cargo of iron ore for the new factory at Zug Island. Reported in the The Detroit Free Press on September 28, 1903.

The H. M. GRIFFITH experienced a smoky conveyor belt fire at Port Colborne, Ontario on September 27, 1989. Repairs were completed there.

The ROGER M. KYES proceeded to Chicago for dry-docking, survey and repairs on September 27, 1976. She struck bottom in Buffalo Harbor September 22, 1976 sustaining holes in two double bottom tanks and damage to three others.

The GEORGE M. HUMPHREY under tow, locked through the Panama Canal from September 27, 1986, to the 30th on her way to the cutter’s torch at Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

The tanker IMPERIAL COLLINGWOOD (Hull#137) was launched September 27, 1947, at Collingwood, Ontario by Collingwood Shipyards Ltd. for Imperial Oil Ltd., Toronto, Ontario. Renamed b.) SEAWAY TRADER in 1979, sold off the Lakes in 1984, renamed c.) PATRICIA II, d.) BALBOA TRADER in 1992.

September 27, 1909 - The ANN ARBOR NO 4 entered service after being repaired from her capsizing at Manistique, Michigan the previous May.

On 27 September 1884, WALDO A. AVERY (wooden propeller, 204 foot, 1,294 gross tons) was launched at West Bay City, Michigan. Her construction had been subcontracted by F. W. Wheeler & Co. to Thomas F. Murphy.

On 27-29 September 1872, a big storm swept the lower lakes. On Lake Huron, the barges HUNTER and DETROIT were destroyed. The tug SANDUSKY rescued the 21 survivors from them. The schooner CORSAIR foundered off Sturgeon Point on Saginaw Bay at 4 p.m. on Sunday the 29th and only 2 of the crew survived. The barge A. LINCOLN was ashore one mile below Au Sable with no loss of life. The barge TABLE ROCK went ashore off Tawas Point and went to pieces. All but one of her crew was lost. The schooner WHITE SQUALL was sunk ten miles off Fish Point -- only one crewman was saved. The schooner SUMMIT went ashore at Fish Point, 7 miles north of Tawas with two lives lost.

1911: The water-logged wooden steamer THREE BROTHERS was beached off South Manitou Island, Lake Michigan. The cargo of lumber was salvaged but the 23 year old vessel was left to rot.

1912: The wooden steamer GEORGE T. HOPE, loaded with 2,118 tons of iron ore, foundered in Lake Superior near Grand Island when it began leaking in heavy weather. All on board were saved.

1934: SASKADOC departed Erie, Pa., for the short run to the Welland Canal with 7,500 tons of coal and the hatches left open. The vessel encountered a storm on the lake, developed a list and arrived 11 hours late.

1943: NORMAN B. MACPHERSON, a small canaller in the Upper Lakes fleet, went aground on Hammond Shoal in the American Channel of the St. Lawrence near Alexandria Bay, N.Y.

1969: OPHELIA was a Great Lakes caller before the Seaway opened. The West German freighter also made 16 trips inland from 1959 to 1964. It was under Greek registry when it was abandoned off Sibu, Sarawak, with a fire in the engine room, on this date in 1969. The vessel was enroute from Sibu to Kuching, China, and the hull drifted aground as a total loss.

1991: OGDENSBURG was built as a barge to ferry rail cars across the St. Lawrence between Prescott and Ogdensburg. The vessel had joined McKeil as a regular deck barge in 1988 and broke loose in a storm on this date in 1991 while working off Blanc Sablon, Q.C. carrying heavy construction equipment. Refloated, the hull was towed to Hamilton and became one of three former railway barges rebuilt as a floating drydock.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Max Hanley, Russ Plumb, Mike Nicholls, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.


Dock wall collapses under cargo weight at ArcelorMittal Burns Harbor

9/26 - Portage, Ind. – An ArcelorMittal dock wall at the Port of Indiana Burns Harbor was crushed under the weight of cargo off-loaded from a ship there early Tuesday morning, officials said. No one was injured in the incident.

According to Chris Roggy with the U.S. Coast Guard's Michigan City station, the Coast Guard received a call around 5:30 a.m. saying a cargo ship was off-loading a shipment onto the dock when the structure collapsed under the weight of the load.

Iron ore concentrate was being off-loaded from the Algoma Transport, operated by Algoma Central Corp. when the incident took place, said Jim Pounds, vice president of operations for the St. Catharines, Ontario-based dry-bulk carrier. Pounds said the vessel carried about 26,000 tons of product, which is a typical shipment for the company to make. He said the incident "is as much a surprise to us as it is to them," referring to ArcelorMittal.

The ship was listing slightly to the starboard side just before noon. A tug boat was positioned at the front of the ship preparing to upright the vessel, a source with knowledge of the incident said.

Mary Beth Holdford, a spokeswoman for ArcelorMittal, said the incident had, "no impact on production or our ability to serve our customers."

"Additionally, the waterway is navigable, with no impact on Port of Indiana operations," Holdford said in a statement. "No damage has been reported to the vessel."

"The material was contained to the dock surface and did not enter the waterway," Holdford said. "As a precautionary measure, ArcelorMittal has notified the appropriate agencies of the incident."

Holdford said ArcelorMittal is waiting for the Coast Guard to inspect the ship.

Lt. Leslie Downing, spokeswoman for the Marine Safety Unit of the U.S. Coast Guard in Chicago, said investigators were en route to the scene around 8:30 a.m. Downing said additional details can not be released, as the investigation is ongoing.

NWI Times


Port Reports -  September 26

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Herbert C. Jackson unloaded stone into the hopper and Michipicoten loaded ore on Tuesday at the Upper Harbor.


Wind power extends the Badger's sailing season

9/26 - Ludington, Mich. – The proliferation of wind power in the Midwest has created economic opportunities for many sectors of our economy including the transportation of wind tower components. Lake Michigan Carferry has recently reached an agreement with a manufacturer, GE, to extend the Badger's sailing season until November 2 to transport an additional 60 tower sections. The SS Badger has transported more than 300 over-sized wind tower loads so far this year.

To encourage passenger travel during the Badger's extended season, LMC will be offering a 40% discount on passenger and vehicle fares from Oct. 15 to Nov 2. According to Pat McCarthy, VP of Shore Operations for Lake Michigan Carferry, "The extension of our sailing season is a great benefit for our customers, our employees and our port cities."

Crews transporting the wind towers find it necessary to spend a day or more in the port cities of Ludington, and Manitowoc, Wisconsin, as a result of the over-dimensional permitting process. Ludington's Mayor John Henderson states, "The extension of the Badger's sailing season shows the important role that the Badger plays as the short cut across Lake Michigan. The movement of wind towers between Wisconsin and Michigan is a great example of how important the Badger is to our industrial economy as well as our tourism industry."

"Our company has provided cost effective transportation for hundreds of wind towers over the last few years. We appreciate the business opportunity and feel good about playing a significant role in helping grow renewable energy in our country." McCarthy adds.

"Manitowoc has been involved in the growing green energy industry for several years," said Manitowoc Mayor Justin Nickels." Our own Tower Tech company manufactures wind towers locally and has shipped many of them on the Badger in recent years. Thanks to the S.S. Badger, Tower Tech is able to ship these towers across the lake in an easier, quicker fashion."

Many of these truckloads are 150 feet long and weigh over 150,000 pounds. To view the transportation of these massive wind towers visit the Badger's YouTube channel at

Information pertaining to the special reduced passenger fares are available by visiting or by calling toll free 1-800-841-4243. The Badger's normal departure times will be continued. - (weather permitting).

Departing from Ludington at 9 am (ET) arriving in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, noon (CT) Departing from Manitowoc, Wisconsin, at 2 pm (CT) arriving in Ludington, MI 7 pm (ET)

To date, the Badger has moved over 1,000 commercial vehicles in 2012, alleviating regional roadways of more than 80,000,000 lbs. of truck traffic.

Ludington Daily News


On the Great Lakes, low waters and high anxiety

9/26 - This summer’s drought has continued to draw down water levels in Lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron (hydrologically speaking, Michigan and Huron are the same body of water). New forecasts suggest that water levels in the two lakes may soon hit an all-time low, aggravating an economic quandary: with such low levels, cargo ships have to forgo millions of dollars of freight.

Last month 25 senators signed a letter calling on the federal Office of Management and Budget to devote more money to dredging the nations harbors. Federal taxes on ship cargo in coastal systems, including the Great Lakes, flow into a Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund, from which money is appropriated for operations and maintenance of harbors and ports, they noted.

Despite a balance of more than $8 billion, recent appropriations have averaged only $800 million, according to the letter.

“You hear the Great Lakes called a blue water highway,” said Chuck May, chairman of the Great Lakes Small Harbor Coalition, a dredging advocacy group. “I say to them what good is a superhighway if you don’t have any on or off ramps?”

Temporary or even permanent harbor closings could become more common if drought conditions continue. Last December, shipments to two ports in Michigan were canceled because shallow waters forced them to shut down.

When water levels approached record highs in 1997, the largest lake freighters were hauling 71,000 tons of cargo at a time. But all that tonnage weighs a ship down, and cargo loads declined after lake levels began a rapid decline in the late 1990’s.

“By the start of the 2000 navigation season, the biggest ships were lucky if they had 60,000 tons on board,” said Glen Nekvasil of the Lake Carriers Association, the trade group representing vessel operators in the Great Lakes that are registered under the United States flag. “So that’s when things really started to become critical.”

Since 1999, annual average water levels have been consistently below the historic averages recorded since 1860 in Lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron. A major research question for scientists is whether that trend will persist. Levels in Lakes Ontario and Erie have not fallen over the same period according to data from the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory, and similar troughs during the 1930’s and 1960’s could suggest that this is a natural cycle.

But if the data are the beginning of a new normal, climate change could be the culprit, researchers say. Higher temperatures and receding ice cover might increase the rate of evaporation faster than precipitation and runoff can replenish the lakes.

Temperature-based computer models do suggest an increase in evaporation over the last 30 years, but researchers are only now verifying those results with direct measurements by gauges on remote lighthouses throughout the lakes.

At any rate, Great Lakes harbors are becoming shallower. The Army Corps of Engineers dredges more than two million cubic yards of mud and sand from Great Lakes ports each year, scooping out sediment flushed into the harbors by erosion along riverbanks and lakeshores. But the dredging has not kept up with demand.

Climate change could further complicate those operations by periodically increasing precipitation in the region. Lake Erie saw one of its largest-ever seasonal water level rises between February and June 2011 as result of record rainfall. More than 17 million cubic yards of excess sediment already clog the ports, with that amount expected to grow to 21 million cubic yards by 2015.

The 2012 federal budget calls for dredging on only 16 of the 63 federally maintained ports on the lakes. Even the top-priority harbors, those with about 90 percent of the commercial traffic, are adequately dredged only 35 percent of the time, according to estimates by the Army Corps of Engineers.

To industry representatives and port residents like Mr. May of the Great Lakes Small Harbor Coalition, it is an avoidable crisis. Mr. May started up the organization in 2007 after the sailboat Barracuda sank in his hometown while returning to Chicago after the annual yacht race to Mackinac Island. The ship gashed its keel in four feet of water after seeking refuge from storm conditions on Lake Michigan in a harbor that was supposed to have 18 feet of clearance.

“That’s when I got on the phone with other harbor communities,” Mr. May said, “and found out we all had the same problem.”

Ships delivering 500,000 tons of coal to a power plant in Dunkirk, N.Y., for example, began to skirt bottom so often that the port stopped receiving coal trade in 2005. The cargo now travels there by rail instead, albeit with a greater carbon footprint.

New York Times


Research buoy shows offshore winds

9/26 - Wind speed in the middle of Lake Michigan appears to be some of the best in the state for developing wind energy. That’s according to preliminary data from a research buoy that’s been anchored there all summer.

It’s pretty common knowledge that it’s windy out here off the Lake Michigan shore. But exactly how windy, and when, and what direction, details about bats and birds; none of that information has been available until now.

“I suspect that will ramp up some levels of interest in what we’re doing,” said Arn Boezaart.

Boezaart heads the Michigan Alternative and Renewable Energy Center that’s operating the buoy. He revealed the preliminary data at the center’s annual business meeting Monday afternoon.

“I think we’re demonstrating that we now have the ability to go out onto the Great Lakes and do a very credible and scientifically relevant job of measuring wind speeds, wind capacity that others can use to make whatever decisions they might,” Boezaart said.

Early data show the average offshore wind speed is at least 22 miles an hour. Wind farms have been built on land in Michigan where wind speeds average around 17 miles an hour.

The data also shows some bats traveled near the buoy; around 37 miles off shore west of Muskegon. Michigan State University researchers tell Boezaart it’s the first real hard data that shows bats travel that far offshore. The buoy is also collecting data about birds.

The research buoy will continue collecting data through December. Ultimately it could determine whether an offshore wind farm is viable in Lake Michigan.

But the process for building an offshore wind farm isn’t clear and no plans are in the works yet.

Michigan Radio


Updates -  September 26

Weekly Website Updates
News Photo Gallery


Today in Great Lakes History -  September 26

September 26, 1930, the schooner OUR SON, originally launched in 1875, sank during a storm on Lake Michigan about 40 miles WSW of Big Sable Point. Seventy-three year old Captain Fred Nelson the crew of OUR SON were rescued by the self unloader WILLIAM NELSON.

September 26, 1937, the Canadian Seaman's Union signed a tentative wage contract. Sailors would continue a two watch system (working 12 hours every 24 hours) and be paid the following monthly wages: Wheelsmen and Oilers - $72.50, Watchmen and firemen - $67.50, Second Cooks - $52.50, deckhands and coal passers - $50.00, porters - $45.00, Chief Cooks on the Upper Lakes - $115.00, and Chief Cooks on Canal boats $105.00.

September 26, 1957, Taconite Harbor, Minnesota loaded its first cargo of 10,909 tons of taconite pellets into the holds of the Interlake steamer J. A. CAMPBELL.

On 26 September 1892, JOHN BURT (3-mast wooden schooner, 138 foot, 348 gross tons, built in 1871, at Detroit, Michigan) was carrying grain in a strong northwest gale. Her rudder broke and she was blown past the mouth of Oswego harbor and was driven hard aground. Two died when the vessel struck. The U.S. Lifesaving Service rescued the remaining five crewmembers. The vessel quickly broke up in the waves.

The CHI-CHEEMAUN cleared the shipyard on September 26, 1974.

The H. M. GRIFFITH was christened on September 26, 1973 at Collingwood for Canada Steamship Lines.

The C.C.G.S. GRIFFON (Hull#664) was launched September 26, 1969 by Davie Shipbuilding Ltd., Lauzon, Quebec for the Canadian Coast Guard.

ROGER M. KYES returned to service on September 26, 1984, she had grounded off McLouth Steel and ended crosswise in the Detroit River's Trenton Channel a month before. She was renamed b.) ADAM E. CORNELIUS in 1989.

The BELLE RIVER was sideswiped by the Liberian FEDERAL RHINE, of 1977, at Duluth on September 26, 1985. Both vessels received minor damage.

On 26 September 1914, MARY N. BOURKE (wooden schooner-barge, 219 foot, 920 gross tons, built in 1889, at Baraga, Michigan) was docked at Peter's Lumber Dock in St. Mary's Bay, 15 miles north of St. Ignace, Michigan. The crew was awakened at 9:30-10:00 p.m. by smoke coming from her hold and they escaped. The BOURKE burned to the waterline and the fire spread ashore, destroying the dock and a pile of lumber.

At 3 a.m., 26 September 1876, the steam barge LADY FRANKLIN burned while moored near Clark's dock, about three miles from Amherstburg, Ontario in the Detroit River. One life was lost. This vessel had been built in 1861, as a passenger steamer and ran between Cleveland, Ohio and Port Stanley, Ontario. In 1874, she was converted into a lumber freighter, running primarily between Saginaw, Michigan and Cleveland. The burned hull was rebuilt in 1882.

1979: MAHONI, an Indonesian registered freighter, went aground on the west coast of Taiwan and is abandoned by the crew. The ship was refloated in June 1980 and sold to Taiwanese shipbreakers for scrapping at Kaohsiung. It had been a Seaway saltie as b) CLARI beginning in 1968 and returned as c) ARNIS in 1970.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Russ Plumb, Mike Nicholls, Ahoy & Farewell II, Father Dowling Collection, and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.


Port Reports -  September 25

Twin Ports – Al Miller
Monday morning traffic included Tecumseh loading at CHS berth 1, Paul R. Tregurtha at Midwest Energy Terminal and CSL Niagara at CN ore dock. Burns Harbor was due at the BNSF ore dock in Superior.

Marquette, Mich. – Rod Burdick
Michipicoten and Kaye E. Barker loaded ore at the Upper Harbor on Monday.


Algobay rename to honor former Algoma Central chairman

9/25 - Transport Canada is listing a new name for the Algoma Central Corp. self-unloader Algobay. The vessel has, or is about to be renamed Radcliffe R. Latimer. Mr. Latimer served as the chairman of Algoma Central Corp. from Jan.15, 2003 and its director since 1982, and served as its corporate director since 1979. He also served as a director of Hydro One Inc. and of Apac Minerals, Inc. Algobay was built at Collingwood, Ont., 1978 and rebuilt in 2009 in China.

Kent Malo


RCMP calls death of crewmember on board Umiavut a homicide.

9/25 - The RCMP say a crewmember who died aboard the cargo ship Umiavut that was en route to Montreal from Nunavut was a homicide victim. Police say 30-year-old Francois Hebert of Quebec City was found dead in his cabin aboard the Umiavut on Sunday after he didn't report for work.

When the cargo ship anchored offshore at Blanc Sablon, Que., the Surete du Quebec, Quebec's provincial police force, secured the vessel for the RCMP and Hebert’s body was flown to St. John's, Newfoundland for an autopsy. Investigators say it's been determined the homicide occurred while the vessel was travelling in waters off the coast of Labrador.

The Mounties did not release Hebert’s cause of death. No arrests have been made and the vessel has resumed its trip to Montreal.

The Canadian Press


Great Lakes museum gets under way at Toledo

9/25 - Toledo, Ohio – More than two years after the Great Lakes Historical Society and the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority announced plans to bring a maritime history museum from Vermilion, Ohio, to Toledo, ground was broken Monday morning for the $10 million project.

Much of the ground being broken will be in the Maumee River in preparation for the arrival of the museum ship Col. James M. Schoonmaker and on the land along the new slip where a maritime park is planned. The National Museum of the Great Lakes itself will take shape inside the Toledo Maritime Center at the north end of the Marina District.

Chris Gillcrist, executive director of the Great Lakes Historical Society, said the Schoonmaker is expected to be moved into its new slip next to the museum Oct. 20. Workers still must build a sheet pile wall along the shore where the museum ship will be moored and complete dredging of the river so that the ship can be moved from its current location. Mr. Gillcrist is excited. “To be able to look down the tunnel and see a light and not think it’s a train headed toward you is a good thing,” he said.

The Ohio Cultural Facilities Commission provided $6,075,000 for the project, the balance of which is being paid for with private fundraising. Mr. Gillcrist said the historical society hopes to raise $2.5 million to $3 million.

“Because of the money that we’ve secured from the state of Ohio, we are already funded at about 83 percent of the total goal,” Mr. Gillcrist said. “If you think of what’s already been given for restoration of the [Schoonmaker] and what’s already been spent by the society out of its own resources, we need to raise about 17 percent of the final money.”

The Great Lakes Historical Society will have spent nearly $500,000 by years’ end on design work for the new museum, which will feature more than 50 interactive exhibits as well as original artifacts in nearly 10,000 square feet of exhibit space, he said.

Robin Whitney, Toledo’s commissioner of engineering services and a member of the museum's planning committee, said she believes the museum in combination with the ship and the park will "be a great addition to the community," boosting both tourism and education efforts.

"There's just such a positive benefit to all of this," Ms. Whitney said. "We've had the Boyer, which is rechristened the Schoonmaker, on our shoreline on the Maumee for several years, but now we're going to be able to position that museum ship right next to a national museum... It will be a great amenity on our waterfront."

Mr. Gillcrist said the museum will be national in scope. "When we say the word 'national' we think this museum will cover topics across the Great Lakes from Alexandria Bay up in Ontario to Duluth, he said. This is not just a Lake Erie museum."

The museum also will examine the critical role the Great Lakes played in the development of the United States. And, while its scope is national, it also is designed to weave Toledo stories through the exhibits, he said. When people come to the museum they can sort of follow the Toledo thread in Great Lakes history as well as the big picture.

The museum is expected to open next summer.

Toledo Blade


Efforts underway to save historic Chief Wawatam engine

9/25 - St. Ignace, Mich. – The City Council of St. Ignace had originally planned on scrapping the former Straits of Mackinaw train ferry Chief Wawatam’s engine, but persistence from Doug Taylor and Chuck Cullip from the group Friends of the Chief Wawatam convinced the city manager and city council that it should be saved. The council has voted unanimously to sell the engine to The Friends of the Chief for $1. The Friends of the Chief plan on sandblasting and painting the engine to be put on display on the waterfront in a protected building. All of this will be done with donations and a possible grant. The Friends of the Chief are planning a host of fundraising events to procure money for this project. Find out more at


Updates -  September 25

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Today in Great Lakes History -  September 25

In tandem tow, the MENIHEK LAKE and LEON FALK JR. arrived at Vigo, Spain, on September 25, 1985. The MENIHEK LAKE was scrapped at Vigo, and the FALK was towed to Gijn, Spain, for scrapping.

The HENRY C. FRICK departed Bay City on her maiden voyage on September 25, 1905 and rammed and damaged the Michigan Central Railroad Bridge at Bay City.

On 25 September 1869, COMMENCEMENT (2-mast wooden schooner, 75 foot, 73 tons, built in 1853, at Holland, Michigan) was carrying wood in her hold and telegraph poles on deck from Pentwater, Michigan, for Milwaukee when she sprang a leak 20 miles off Little Sable Point on Lake Michigan. The incoming water quickly overtook her pump capacity. As the crew was getting aboard the lifeboat, she turned turtle. The crew clung to the upturned hull for 30 hours until the passing steamer ALLEGHENY finally rescued them. COMMENCEMENT later washed ashore, a total wreck.

1922: AUBE, on her first trip back under this name, went aground off Carleton Island, while carrying 65,000 bushels of grain. Tugs released the stranded vessel the following day.

1978: FRANQUELIN (ii) went aground in the Seaway below Beauharnois. Once refloated, the ship went to Canadian Vickers in Montreal for repairs and was caught there in a labor dispute.

1980: DERWENTFIELD, a British flag freighter, first came through the Seaway in 1975. The ship grounded on this date as c) CAVO ARTEMIDI off Brazil, while enroute from Vitoria, Brazil, to Rotterdam, Holland, with a cargo of pig iron and broke in two as a total loss.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.


Presque Isle heads to shipyard for repairs

9/24 - The Presque Isle passed upbound Vantage Point this morning 08:35 heading for repairs in Sturgeon Bay, Wis. While unloading at Zug Island Saturday, the Presque Isle damaged its boom by striking a bridge crane on the dock.

Frank Frisk


Port Reports -  September 24

Twin Ports – Al Miller
Lee A. Tregurtha made a rare appearance Sunday at the Graymont dock in Superior to unload limestone. When finished it was to proceed to Silver Bay to load iron ore pellets. CSL Niagara was expected to arrive late at night for the CN ore dock.

Green Bay, Wis.
BBC Austria, on her maiden voyage to the Great Lakes, is due in the Port of Green Bay Monday morning. She is carrying a turbine from Italy and a generator from England whose final destination is Rothschild, Wis. We Energies and Domtar Paper have partnered in the construction of a first in the nation, 100 percent renewable, biomass fired boiler powerplant at Domtar's Rothschild location. The powerplant will produce 50MW of power for the grid, and also supply steam for Domtar's pulp and paper operations at the site. The biomass powerplant under construction since last year is expected to be up and running by the fall of 2013.

Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Interlake’s tug Dorothy Ann and barge Pathfinder were preparing Sunday night to load again at the Lafarge stone dock on the Marblehead Peninsula. The pair had loaded Saturday at the dock and sailed downbound.


Updates -  September 24

News Photo Gallery
Service note: we had a problem with our webcam server this morning, it has been returned to service.


Today in Great Lakes History -  September 24

The EDMUND FITZGERALD's first cargo of taconite pellets was loaded September 24, 1958 at Silver Bay, Minnesota for Toledo, Ohio.

The PERE MARQUETTE 22 entered service September 24, 1924.

In early morning fog on the St. Clair River on September 24, 1962, the J L REISS was hit three glancing blows by U.S. Steel's SEWELL AVERY. The AVERY had lost control just below Robert's Landing and crossed the channel from the Canadian side and struck the J.L. REISS which was proceeding slowly by radar on the U.S. side.

On September 24, 1952, the CHARLES L. HUTCHINSON entered service. This vessel was renamed b.) ERNEST R. BREECH when it was sold to the Ford Motor Company in 1962, and it was given its present name, c.) KINSMAN INDEPENDENT, when it was sold to Kinsman Lines in 1988. Sold Canadian in 2005, and renamed d.) VOYAGEUR INDEPENDENT. She sails today as the motorship e.) OJIBWAY.

On September 23, 1991, J.W. MC GIFFIN rescued several people in a 24-foot pleasure craft off Presque Ile State Park. The group had been disabled since the day before. They were taken aboard the McGIFFIN and their boat taken under tow. The MC GIFFIN was rebuilt with a new forward section and renamed b.) CSL NIAGARA in 1999.

September 24, 1924 - The PERE MARQUETTE 22 arrived at Ludington, Michigan on her maiden voyage.

On 24 September 1902, H.A. BARR (3 mast wooden schooner, 217 foot, 1,119 gross tons, built in 1893, at W. Bay City, Michigan) was in tow of the 'saltie' THEANO with a load of iron ore in a storm 30 miles off Port Stanley in Lake Erie. She broke her tow line in giant waves and foundered. THEANO rescued her crew.

On 24 September 1879, the tug URANIA was towing the schooner S V R WATSON into Sand Beach at about noon when the schooner struck the tug amidships, cutting a hole in the hull and sinking her in three fathoms of water. No lives were lost.

1901: M.M. DRAKE was towing the schooner barge MICHIGAN across Lake Superior when the latter began to sink. The steamer came alongside to take off the crew when a towering wave bashed the two vessels together resulting in heavy damage. Both vessels went down but all but one sailor were rescued by the passing ships NORTHERN WAVE and CRESCENT CITY.

1915: WESTERN STAR ran aground on Robertson Rock, Georgian Bay, while enroute to Little Current with a cargo of coal. The ship was badly damaged and early attempts to refloat the freighter failed. It was not released until September 18, 1917, and was rebuilt at Detroit. The ship returned to service as b) GLENISLA in 1918 and was scrapped at Hamilton as c) PRESCOTT in 1962-1963.

1937: NEEBING foundered with the loss of 5 lives in western Lake Superior while towing the barge COTEAU in a heavy storm. The crane equipped ship was approaching the Nipigon Strait, with a load of gravel for Red Rock, ON at the time. Nine sailors were rescued.

1947: MILVERTON, downbound with a cargo of coal, and TRANSLAKE, upbound with crude oil, collided near Iroquois, ON. The latter got caught in the current and veered to port resulting in the collision. The former, one of the few oil-burning canal ships, had the fuel lines rupture, caught fire, drifted downstream and grounded at the head of Rapide Plat. The ship burned for two days and eleven sailors were killed. Despite the heavy damage, MILVERTON was refloated, repaired and later sailed as c) CLARY FORAN and d) FERNDALE (i) before being scrapped at Hamilton in 1963.

1952: BAYTON was loading at Pool 4A Elevator at the Canadian Lakehead when there was an explosion at the elevator and chunks of concrete rained down on the deck of the Colonial Steamship Co. (Misener) steamer. One person was killed and nine more were injured.

2008: DRAGOMIRESTI was a Romanian freighter that first visited the Seaway in 1992 to load a food aid cargo in Thunder Bay for Sudan & Yemen. The ship was driven aground as j) CHUN JIANG, about 22 miles from Macao in Typhoon Hagupit. The crew were removed by helicopter.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Max Hanley, James Neumiller, Jody Aho, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.



Presque Isle damages boom while unloading Saturday

9/23 - While unloading at Zug Island Saturday, the Presque Isle damaged its boom by striking a bridge crane on the dock. The vessel appeared to be shifting and was pushed down the dock by the current. The vessel made a radio call for assistance from any available tugs in the area at the time of the incident. The 1000-foot tug and barge came to rest at the end of the dock. Saturday evening they moved to Nicholson’s Dock with a partial load remaining in her holds. It is unknown what caused the incident or if a trip to the ship yard will be necessary.

Allan Parks


Port Reports -  September 23

Calcite, Mich. - Denny Dushane
H. Lee White was due to arrive Saturday during the late evening to load at the North and South Docks. There are no vessels scheduled for Sunday. Both John G. Munson and John J. Boland are due at 5 p.m. Monday, with the Munson loading from the North Dock and the Boland at both the North and the South Dock.

Stoneport, Mich. - Denny Dushane
Two vessels loaded cargoes on Saturday, Algosteel and Great Lakes Trader. There are three vessels due to load on Sunday – Joseph H. Thompson and Buffalo in the morning, followed in the late evening by Herbert C. Jackson. For Monday there are no vessels scheduled. Due Tuesday is Algoma Progress in the mid-afternoon. Wednesday has as many as five vessels due, including Pathfinder, Lewis J. Kuber, Algosteel, Joseph H. Thompson and John G. Munson.

Toledo, Ohio - Denny Dushane
Kaye E. Barker arrived at the CSX Dock in Toledo on Saturday at about 5:45 a.m. and was due to start loading at 7 a.m. Following the Barker was John J. Boland, due to arrive on Saturday at about 9 p.m.. to load. Due on Sunday is the James L. Kuber in the early morning along with the Algosoo a little bit later. Manistee is due in the late afternoon Sunday to load coal at the CSX Dock. Due at the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock is Algosteel on Sunday in the evening and she will also return on October 5 during the late afternoon.

Huron, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Cason J. Callaway deposited a Stoneport cargo on the dock at the Huron Lime Co. Saturday evening and sailed for Meldrum, Bay Ont.

Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Late Saturday afternoon, the Manistee went to anchor in South Passage. She was expected to begin loading when Pathfinder and Dorothy Ann cleared the stone dock. The tug Bradshaw McKee and barge Cleveland Rocks loaded overnight Friday at the Lafarge Corp. stone dock on the Marblehead Peninsula and sailed downbound Saturday morning. A short time later, the Interlake barge Pathfinder and tug Dorothy Ann arrived at the dock to load.


Today in Great Lakes History -  September 23

September 23, 1922, the 306-foot NEPTUNE loaded the first Head-of-the-Lakes cargo of pig iron at Zenith Furnace, Duluth, Minnesota. The 5,000 tons of malleable pig iron was delivered to Buffalo, New York.

September 23, 1975, HERBERT C. JACKSON lost power while upbound on Lake Superior. She was towed back to the Soo by the USS straight decker D. G. KERR.

September 23, 1952, the steamer CHARLES L. HUTCHINSON became the first boat christened at Cleveland since the early years of World War II. The 644 foot HUTCHINSON, Captain T. A. Johnson, was the new flagship of the Pioneer fleet and one of 35 boats in the three fleets operated by Hutchinson & Co. Renamed b.) ERNEST R. BREECH in 1962, c.) KINSMAN INDEPENDENT in 1988. Sold Canadian in 2005, and renamed d.) VOYAGEUR INDEPENDENT. She sails today as the motorship e.) OJIBWAY.

On 23 September 1910, the BETHLEHEM (steel propeller package freighter, 290 foot, 2,633 gross tons, built in 1888, at Cleveland, Ohio) was carrying general merchandise when she went ashore in a gale on the SW side of S. Manitou Island in Lake Michigan. Lifesavers and the crew unloaded her over several days. Although battered by several storms while ashore, she was eventually pulled free and repaired. She lasted until 1925, when she was scrapped.

The scow WAUBONSIE was launched at the Curtis yard in Fort Gratiot, Michigan on 23 September 1873. 1935: HURRY-ON was a Great Lakes visitor in 1934 when it loaded bagged flour at Port Colborne. The ship was lost off Port Hood Island, near Judique, NS, after developing leaks and a list. The lifeboat swamped twice and five were lost.

1961: CRYSTAL JEWEL, inbound for London in thick fog, was in a collision with the B.P. Tanker BRITISH AVIATOR. The Captain was seriously injured and his daughter was killed. The vessel first visited the Great Lakes in 1960 and was enroute from Duluth to London with a cargo of grain at the time of the accident. The vessel grounded and, after being released, was taken to Rotterdam where the entire mid-ship superstructure was replaced. The ship made many more trips through the Seaway and returned as b) MELTEMI in 1970. It was scrapped at Busan, South Korea, after arriving as d) TETA on July 17, 1979.

1980: The FERNLEAF first visited the Seaway in 1965 and returned as b) AALSUM in 1974. The ship was detained at Basrah, Iraq, in 1981 as c) INICIATIVA on this date in 1980 and declared a total loss in December 1981. It was salvaged in 1993 and renamed d) DOLPHIN V but perhaps only for a trip to the shipbreakers. The vessel arrived at Gadani Beach December 27, 2003, and dismantling began at once.

2000: Vandals attacked the museum ship NORGOMA at Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., breaking windows, light fixtures and setting off fire extinguishers, leaving an estimated $15,000 in damage.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Russ Plumb, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.


Port Reports -  September 22

Osahwa, Ont. - Andre Blanchard
Friday was busy at Oshawa's harbor. The heavy-lift vessel Stellaprima has been docked since Sept. 19. Also in port were tugs Jerry G (stationed there), Molly M 1, and Americo Dean. Dean Construction Scow # 2 was dredging the entrance to the harbor. Around 3 p.m., crowds were forming on the pier as the HMCS Ville de Quebec arrived and docked with the assistance of tugs Jerry G and M.R. Kane, which departed for Toronto after HMCS Ville de Quebec was successfully docked.

Seaway - Rene Beauchamp
Expected in Hamilton on Sept. 24 is the small tanker Melisa-D, registered in Sierra Leone since July and reported owned by Upper Lakes Group since last month. Provmar Fuels is the manager. On Friday morning, she was off the Gaspe Peninsula. IMO No. 9277058.


Great Ships ballast testing lauded

9/22 - The 1,000-foot Great Lakes freighter Indiana Harbor is somewhere on Lake Michigan, maybe heading back to the Twin Ports to pick up a load of coal or taconite. Deep within the boat, a system is pumping lye into the ballast water on board to kill invasive species that might be hitchhiking to the next port.

When the lye has done its job, the treatment system then uses carbon dioxide to neutralize the lye, so when millions of gallons of ballast water are released no harm is done to the lake’s ecosystem.

So far, the experimental system seems to be working — both to kill living organisms in the ballast and managing to keep up with the boat’s massive ballast pumps that can move water at 60,000 gallons per minute to keep the ship stable and level as it loads and unloads.

It’s exactly that kind of system that conservation and environmental groups and, increasingly, state and federal governments have been clamoring for on board Great Lakes ships. And it’s exactly the kind of system that gets its first critical testing at the Great Ships Initiative laboratory in Superior.

The Great Ships Initiative built the $3.6 million dockside testing facility in 2006 — with a combination of state, federal and private money — not to develop but to test systems intended to kill organisms in ballast water. It’s the only facility in the world that specializes in testing ballast treatments for freshwater, not saltwater, ships.

The distinction is huge, said Tom Anderson, vice president of operations for American Steamship Co., owners and operators of the Indiana Harbor and 13 other Great Lakes freighters.

“We’re talking minutes to do what a saltwater ship may have hours or days to do. We have to move 60,000 gallons of ballast water per minute. No other kind of ship comes close to that,” Anderson said Thursday while touring the Great Ships Initiative facility in Superior. “We need a treatment system that will keep up with that pace. … So far, I’m really encouraged by how the process is working.”

Allegra Cangelosi, director of the Great Ships Initiative, said 15 ballast systems have been tested there over the past six years, including the treatment system now being tried out on the Indiana Harbor.

“Our role is about trying out solutions … so we can get to routine ballast water treatment on all Great Lakes ships that works,” Cangelosi said. She thinks a ballast treatment system that will fit into and work well on Great Lakes freighters will be available within two to three years for widespread use.

“The good news is that everyone is working together to find the answer,” she said. “It takes time. … But we’re getting closer.”

On Thursday, scientists from several nations gathered in the Twin Ports to hear about Great Ships Initiative research to see if systems can be used to monitor microbes in the water, like the fish-killing VHS virus, before they start killing fish. The answer appears to be yes.

“Our research demonstrates that microbe monitoring is feasible and cost-effective,” Cangelosi said.

Other efforts at the Superior facility include research by University of Wisconsin-Superior scientists to see exactly how many of the living organisms ballast treatment must kill to stop the spread of a species. It’s likely no system can be 100 percent effective, but scientists want to see if 90, 95 or 99.9 percent is enough to thwart a new introduction.

The answer may be critical not just to keep the next invader from arriving but also to keep lakers moving as an integral part of the region’s transportation system and economy.

“Nothing is more important that this to keep the Great Lakes open to world commerce,” said Yvonne Prettner Solon, Minnesota lieutenant governor, at Thursday’s event.

While Great Lakes freighters obviously don’t introduce foreign species like zebra mussels, ruffe, goby or spiny water fleas from overseas — those likely come to North America on saltwater vessels — the lakers are likely responsible for spreading the foreign species around within the Great Lakes. And no other port on the lakes sees as much ballast water form lakers than Duluth-Superior because of the sheer number of great Lakes freighters that come and go.

Minnesota, Wisconsin, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Coast Guard have developed ballast treatment regulations set to be phased in over the next decade.

Duluth News Tribune


Great lakes Shipyard performs emergency repairs on USCG barge

9/22 - Cleveland, Ohio – The United States Coast Guard Cutter Mobile Bay of Sturgeon Bay, Wis., has departed Great Lakes Shipyard after completion of drydocking and repairs to the bow thruster on it’s 120-foot aids to navigation (ATON) barge. The barge was hauled out on Sept. 17, using the shipyard’s 770-ton Marine Travelift.

The shipyard immediately removed the bow thruster and disassembled it in the shop for repairs. Upon completion, the unit was reinstalled and tested, and the tug and barge departed just three days later.

The USCGC Mobile Bay is one of the nine cutters in the Coast Guard’s fleet of Bay-class icebreaking tugs. In addition to ice breaking and buoy tending, its other services include Maritime Law Enforcement, Search and Rescue, Environmental Pollution Response, and Homeland Security.


Salties that visited Seaway go for scrap

9/22 - Marine News, the monthly journal of the World Ship Society, reported the following Seaway salties going for scrap in the September 2012 issue.

FAR EAST arrived for scrapping at Xinhui China, on March 6, 2012. The ship came to the Great Lakes as a) GOLDEN PINE in 1981.

LUOAY-K arrived at Aliaga, Turkey, on July 20, 2012 for scrapping by Izmir Geri Donusum Ltd. The Japanese built ship had been a Seaway trader for the first time as a) MANTHOS in 1989.

RAKS first visited the Seaway as SOPHIA II in 1978 and returned as b) SOPHIA M. in 1979, c) BELLE ETOILE in 1984 and e) RAYS for two trips in 2000. The vessel arrived at Mumbai, India, on September 28, 2011, and was beached for dismantling on November 2, 2011.

We acknowledge the annual publication “Seaway Salties,” compiled by Rene Beauchamp, as an excellent resource and his book “50 Years of Seaway Salties” has provided us with the years that the above ocean ships first came to the Great Lakes.

Submitted by: Barry Andersen and Skip Gillham


25th Annual Gales of November celebrates, explores Lake Superior Maritime Heritage

9/22 - Duluth, Minn. – Mark your calendars and register now to attend the 25th annual Gales of November, the Lake Superior Marine Museum Association’s annual maritime conference and fundraiser. The two-day educational, fundraising and networking event begins Friday, Nov. 2, with a joint luncheon with the Duluth-Superior Propeller Club at Grandmas Sports Garden, 425 Lake Ave. South in historic Canal Park in Duluth. The luncheon’s keynote speaker, Bob Krumenaker, National Park Service Superintendent at the Apostle Islands, will present “Managing the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore: A Behind the Scenes Look at the Challenges of Maintaining Maritime Heritage.” Friday afternoon provides various tour options including behind-the-scenes tours at of the Lake Superior Maritime Collections at the University of Wisconsin-Superior, Superior Public Museum’s Fairlawn Mansion and at the Great Lakes Aquarium. The day concludes with an Opening Gala reception, sponsored by Lake Superior Magazine, at the Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center in historic Canal Park.

Gales of November festivities resume at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 3 at the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center. The day is filled with maritime-related educational presentations, a trade show, an interactive maritime activities area, a silent auction, and an opportunity to win the summer 2013 “Cruise of a Lifetime” raffle on the 1,000-foot Edwin H. Gott. Saturday’s keynote luncheon presentation features Dr. James Delgado, Director of Maritime Heritage, Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA,) presenting The Great Museum Beneath the Seas.

Tickets to Gales of November are required. Details and registration information can be found at


Today in Great Lakes History -  September 22

On September 22, 1958, the EDMUND FITZGERALD entered service, departing River Rouge, Michigan for Silver Bay, Minnesota on its first trip. The FITZGERALD's first load was 20,038 tons of taconite pellets for Toledo. The vessel would, in later years, set several iron ore records during the period from 1965 through 1969.

While in ballast, the ROGER M. KYES struck bottom in Buffalo Harbor September 22, 1976, sustaining holes in two double bottom tanks and damage to three others, whereupon she proceeded to Chicago for dry docking on September 27, 1976, for survey and repairs. Renamed b.) ADAM E. CORNELIUS in 1989.

While being towed from Duluth, Minnesota by the Canadian tug TUSKER on September 22, 1980, the D. G. KERR rammed into the breakwater at Duluth causing $200,000 in damages to the breakwater. The tow apparently failed to make the turning buoy leaving Duluth Harbor.

On September 22, 1911 the HENRY PHIPPS collided with and sank her Steel Trust fleet mate, steamer JOLIET, of 1890, which was at anchor on the fog-shrouded St. Clair River near Sarnia, Ontario. The JOLIET sank without loss of crew and was declared a total loss. The PHIPPS then continued her downbound journey and collided with the Wyandotte Chemical steamer ALPENA, of 1909, but incurred only minor damage.

The T.W. ROBINSON and US.265808 (former BENSON FORD) departed Quebec City in tow of the Polish tug JANTAR bound for Recife where they arrived on September 22, 1987. Scrapping began the next month in October.

MATHILDA DESGAGNES was freed from polar ice in the Arctic on September 22, 1988, by the West German Icebreaker Research Vessel POLARSTERN.

September 22, 1913 - The ANN ARBOR No. 5 struck bottom in the Sturgeon Bay Canal and damaged her rudder and steering gear. After undergoing repairs at Milwaukee, she was back in service the following October.

On 22 September 1887, ADA E. ALLEN (wooden propeller steam barge, 90 foot, 170 gross tons, built in 1872, at Walpole Island, Ontario.) caught fire while moored at Amherstburg, Ontario. She was cut loose and set adrift to prevent the fire from spreading ashore. She drifted to Bois Blanc (Bob-Lo) Island and burned to a total loss.

On 22 September 1882, Mr. H. N. Jex accepted the contract to recover the engine and boiler from the MAYFLOWER, which sank in the Detroit River in 1864. He was to be paid $600 upon delivery of the machinery at Windsor, Ontario. He succeeded in raising the engine on 12 October and the boiler shortly thereafter.

1917: The wooden steamer WILLIAM P. REND, a) GEORGE G. HADLEY, foundered off Alpena while carrying livestock. All 9 crewmembers were rescued.

1951: The Liberty ship THUNDERBIRD visited the Seaway in 1959. Earlier, on this date in 1951, the ship received major bow damage from a head-on collision with the Chinese freighter UNION BUILDER (built in 1945 at Brunswick, GA as a) COASTAL RANGER) at the entrance to Colombo, Ceylon. THUNDERBIRD was also a Great Lakes trader as d) NEW KAILING in 1964 and scrapped at Kaohsiung, Taiwan, in 1967.

1979: OCEANIC KLIF first visited the Seaway in 1971. The ship stranded near Las Palmas, Canary Islands, while on a voyage from Kamsar, Guinea, West Africa, to Port Alfred, QC with calcinated bauxite and was abandoned by the crew.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Max Hanley, James Neumiller, Jody Aho, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.


Port Reports -  September 21

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
After unloading western coal at the Lower Harbor Shiras Dock during the night, John J. Boland moved to the Upper Harbor late Thursday morning for an ore load. Herbert C. Jackson took Boland's spot at the Shiras Dock to unload stone.

Lorain, Ohio - Jim Bobel
The Algoway arrived off Lorain about 5 p.m. Thursday, she circled in the Lake Erie before entering the Black River with a load of Potash.

Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
The barge Cleveland Rocks and tug Bradshaw McKee began loading Monday night at the LaFarge stone dock on the Marblehead Peninsula.

Toronto, Ont. - Jens Juhl
Tug Ocean Golf assisted the Redhead from Redpath about 6 a.m. Thursday. At 7:30 a.m. Wigeon arrived from the Port Weller anchorage. Conditions in the harbor were a bit windy with winds SSE 15 knots gusting to 21. Even with two tug assist it took the 37,249 dwt bulker almost an hour of backing and filling before it lined up just right for the Redpath dock.


Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Ahoy & Farewell II, Historical Collections of the Great Lakes, B.G.S.U. and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.

Today in Great Lakes History -  September 21

On 21 September 1892, the whaleback steamer JAMES B. COLGATE (steel propeller whaleback freighter, 308 foot, 1,713 gross tons) was launched by the American Steel Barge Co. (Hull #121) at W. Superior, Wisconsin. She only lasted until 1916, when she foundered in the "Black Friday Storm" on Lake Erie with the loss of 26 lives.

ALGOWAY left Collingwood on her maiden voyage in 1972, and loaded salt for Michipicoten, Ontario, on Lake Superior.

On 21 September 1844, JOHN JACOB ASTOR (wooden brig, 78 foot, 112 tons, Built in 1835, at Pointe aux Pins, Ontario but precut at Lorain, Ohio) was carrying furs and trade goods when she struck a reef and foundered near Copper Harbor, Michigan. She was owned by Astor’s American Fur Company. She was reportedly by the first commercial vessel on Lake Superior.

On 21 September 1855, ASIA (2-mast wooden schooner, 108 foot, 204 tons, built in 1848, at Black River, Ohio) was carrying corn from Chicago for Buffalo when she collided with the propeller FOREST CITY off the mouth of Grand Traverse Bay. ASIA went down in deep water in about 10 minutes, but her crew just had enough time to escape in her boat. The schooner HAMLET picked them up.

1907: The passenger ship PICTON, a) CORSICAN caught fire and burned at the dock in Toronto. The hull was later converted to a barge and was, in time, apparently abandoned near the Picton Pumping Station.

1907: ALEX NIMICK, a wooden bulk freighter, went aground near west of Vermilion Point, Lake Superior, and broke up as a total loss. The vessel was enroute from Buffalo to Duluth with a cargo of coal and six lives were lost

1921: The 3-masted schooner OLIVER MOWAT sinks in Lake Ontario between the Main Duck and False Duck Islands after a collision with KEYWEST on a clear night. Three lives were lost while another 2 sailors were rescued from the coal-laden schooner.

1924: The whaleback self-unloader CLIFTON, the former SAMUEL MATHER, foundered in Lake Huron off Thunder Bay while carrying a cargo of stone from Sturgeon Bay to Detroit. All 25 on board were lost.

1946: A second typhoon caught the former Hall vessel LUCIUS W. ROBINSON as b) HAI LIN while anchored in the harbor at Saipan, Philippines, on a voyage to China.

1969: AFRICAN GLADE, a Seaway caller in 1963, lost power in the Caribbean as c) TRANSOCEAN PEACE and was towed into Port au Spain, Trinidad. The repaired ship departed for Durban, South Africa, in April 1970 only to suffer more boiler problems enroute. The vessel was sold for scrapping at Kaohsiung, Taiwan, later in the year.

1977: HELEN EVANS suffered steering problems and went aground on Whaleback Shoal while upbound with iron ore in the St. Lawrence. There was minor damage and the vessel was released September 23.

1982: CALGADOC left the Great Lakes in 1975 and saw service in the south as b) EL SALINERO. The ship sank on this date in 1982 on the Pacific off the coast of Mexico.

1985: ELTON HOYT 2ND struck the 95th St. bridge at Chicago and headed to Sturgeon Bay for repairs.

1988: The small tug MARY KAY sank in a Lake Ontario storm enroute from Rochester to Oswego. The former b) CAPT. G.H. SWIFT had recently been refitted and went down after a huge wave broke over the stern. It had seen only brief service on Lake Ontario after arriving from the Atlantic in 1987.

1993: The tug DUKE LUEDTKE sank in Lake Erie about 12 miles north of Avon Point when the ship began taking water faster than the pumps could keep up. One Coast Guardsman was lost checking on the source of the leak when the vessel rolled over and sank.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.


Port Reports -  September 20

Duluth, Minn. – Al Miller
Wednesday morning’s vessel traffic included John G. Munson outbound on St. Louis Bay with a cargo of iron ore pellets bound for Conneaut and James R. Barker loading coal at Midwest Energy Terminal destined for Taconite Harbor. American Integrity was fueling at the port terminal and waiting to load at Midwest Energy with coal it will carry to St. Clair and Monroe. Aggersborg was loading at CHS elevator berth 1. Later in the day, Kaministiqua arrived and anchored out on the lake to wait for its turn at Midwest Energy Terminal, where it will load coal destined for Quebec.

Marquette, Mich. – Rod Burdick
Wednesday at the harbors in Marquette, Kaye E. Barker unloaded stone into the hopper during the morning and loaded ore in the afternoon and evening. John J. Boland arrived off the Lower Harbor in the late afternoon with western coal for the Shiras Dock but anchored due to high winds. High winds forced many vessels to take the south route to the Soo or western Lake Superior ports. Vessels passing Marquette included H. Lee White, Buffalo, Arthur M. Anderson, Stewart J. Cort and Hon. Paul J. Martin.

Ludington, Mich. – Ludington Daily News
Lake Michigan Carferry did not sail Wednesday due to high winds and seas. Winds were forecasted to reach 45 knots with 12 to 16-foot wave height. Passengers who were scheduled for Wednesday’s crossings were offered a 20 percent discount for sailing on Thursday.


Police investigating sudden death of crew member of supply vessel

9/20 - A 26-year-old male crew member of the supply vessel Umiavut was found dead in his cabin after failing to report for duty Sunday morning, the RCMP in Forteau, Labrador, said in a news release.

The vessel had been in transit from Nunavut to Montreal when the death was reported. When the vessel anchored off shore at Blanc Sablon, the Surete du Quebec secured the vessel for the RCMP which now conducting the investigation. The body of the deceased was flown to St. John's for autopsy.

The Western Star


Obituary: Raymond C. Spooner worked on ferry Ranger III

9/20 - Ray Spooner passed away September 17 at his home in Mohawk, Michigan. He was an able-bodied seaman with the National Park Service at Isle Royale National Park since 2007, sailing onboard the USNPS Ranger III. Prior to that, he sailed as an AB with the American Steamship Company.


Today in Great Lakes History -  September 20

John Jonathon Boland was born on 20 September 1875, in New York. Along with Adam E. Cornelius, he formed the partnership of Boland and Cornelius in 1903, and was one of the founders of the American Steamship Company in 1907. He died in 1956.

On September 20, 1986, vandals started a $5,000 fire aboard the laid up NIPIGON BAY at Kingston, Ontario, where she had been since April 1984.

GEORGE A. STINSON's self-unloading boom was replaced on September 20, 1983. The boom had collapsed onto her deck due to a mechanical failure on the night of April 19, 1983, at Detroit, Michigan. No injuries were reported. She continued hauling cargoes without a boom until replacement. She was renamed b.) AMERICAN SPIRIT in 2004.

On September 20, 1980, EDGAR B. SPEER entered service for the U.S. Steel Fleet.

CHARLES E. WILSON sailed light on her maiden voyage from Sturgeon Bay September 20, 1973, bound for Escanaba, Michigan, to load ore. She was renamed b.) JOHN J. BOLAND in 2000.

CHARLES M. WHITE was christened at Baltimore, Maryland, on September 20, 1951.

On 20 September 1873, W. L. PECK (2 mast wooden schooner-barge, 154 foot, 361 gross tons) was launched at Carrollton, Michigan.

On 20 September 1856, COLONEL CAMP (3-mast wooden bark, 137 foot, 350 tons, built in 1854, at Three Mile Bay, New York) was carrying wheat to Oswego, New York, when she collided with the wooden steamer PLYMOUTH and sank in just a few minutes. No lives were lost.

1970: MARATHA ENDEAVOUR, enroute from Chicago to Rotterdam, broke down in the Atlantic and sent out a distress call. The ship was taking water but survived. The 520 foot long vessel had been a Seaway trader since 1965 and returned as b) OLYMPIAN in 1971. The ship arrived at Huangpu, China, for scrapping as c) HIMALAYA on January 9, 1985.

1980: The Canadian coastal freighter EDGAR JOURDAIN was built at Collingwood in 1956 as MONTCLAIR. The ship had been a pre-Seaway trader to the lakes and returned as b) PIERRE RADISSON in 1965, c) GEORGE CROSBIE in 1972 and d) EDGAR JOURDAIN beginning in 1979. It was wrecked at Foxe Basin, off Hall Beach in the Canadian Arctic, after going aground. The ship was abandoned, with the anchors down, but disappeared overnight on December 15, 1982, while locked in shifting pack ice. It is believed that the vessel was carried into deeper water and, at last report, no trace had ever been found.

1982: BEAVERFIR served Canadian Pacific Steamships as a Seaway trader beginning in 1961. The ship stranded off Barra de Santiago, El Salvador, as d) ANDEN in a storm on this date in 1982 after dragging anchor. Sixteen sailors from the 26 member crew perished.

2011: MINER, a) MAPLECLIFFE HALL, b) LEMOYNE (ii), c) CANADIAN MINER broke loose of the tug HELLAS and drifted aground off Scaterie Island, Nova Scotia, while under tow for scrapping at Aliaga, Turkey. The ship was a total loss and, in 2012, was waiting to be dismantled and removed.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.



Port Reports -  September 19

Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
The tug Bradshaw McKee and her barge Cleveland Rocks were loading Tuesday evening at the Lafarge Corp. stone dock on the Marblehead Peninsula. Western Lake Erie was buffeted throughout the day and into the evening by heavy winds and periods of driving rain.


Steel production rises 25,000 tons in Great Lakes states

9/19 - Raw steel production in the country's Great Lakes region was 610,000 tons in the week that ended Saturday, according to estimates from the American Iron and Steel Institute. Production was up 25,000 tons from the week prior. Raw steel from Indiana and the Chicago area typically represents the majority of production in the Great Lakes region.

Production in the Southern District was estimated at 666,000 tons during the period that ended Sept. 15, down from about 674,000 tons a week earlier. Domestic mills produced more than 1.8 million tons of steel last week, down 2.3 percent from the same period in 2011.

U.S. steel mills operated 73.5 percent of the available production capacity last week, which is up from a 73.3 percent production rate a week earlier. An estimated 70.6 million tons of steel has been produced so far in 2012 at domestic steel mills, compared to about 67.4 million tons made through the same time frame last year.

The Times of Northwest Indiana


New date set for Ojibwa offload

9/19 - “Ojibwa is coming ashore on Nov. 14th!” Those were the words of a very happy Dan McNeil, Project Ojibwa coordinator and retired rear admiral. That is the date that the 300-foot-long Oberon-class submarine HMCS Ojibwa will be moved overland and placed on her permanent foundations in Port Burwell, Ont.

The massive move will mark the culmination of the first phase of Project Ojibwa – to acquire, move and mount the decommissioned submarine. Several weeks of work are still required in the Heddle Shipyard in Hamilton where Ojibwa has been undergoing preparations since June.

“The biggest job still to be completed is the attachment of the two sets of cradles,” said Rick Heddle, president of Heddle Marine Services. The permanent exhibit cradles, weighing some 38 tons, will distribute the weight of the submarine on the foundations. The “off-load” cradles, themselves weighing 25 tons, will be used by Mammoet Canada for the overland transport and then be removed when the submarine is securely on the foundation.

Once in Port Burwell, work will begin to transform Ojibwa into an interactive museum. There will be months of cleaning, painting and restoration to prepare her for tours next year.

“Some of our challenges involve simulating secret systems removed by DND because they are still being used in today’s submarines. People shouldn’t underestimate how advanced these submarines were or the important part that they played for Canada and NATO during the Cold War,” remarked McNeil.

The museum has set a 10-day window for Ojibwa to travel from Hamilton to Port Burwell. “Our primary motivators are safety and mitigating the risk,” remarked Heddle. “Conditions on Lake Erie are always a concern, especially at this time of year. We will watch the weather and conditions on the lake carefully and react when we see a suitable window.”

The Project Ojibwa web site will have up-to-date information on the timing of the move


Agencies team up for SWAT exercise on carferry Viking

9/19 - Green Bay, Wis. – From the water, the Viking looms large. From the top of the nearly 90-year-old carferry, it's a long way to the water. But for nearly 30 members of SWAT teams from Brown and Marinette county sheriff's departments and the Marinette police department, there is only one way to board this ship.

The SWAT team positions a ladder wherever necessary to board a ship quickly and quietly in a dangerous situation. "It's not very big, but they're extremely strong. They're secured in a couple different safety points, so they really can't come off," said Sergeant Todd Schoen, Marinette Police Department.

"If you have a barricaded or suicidal (subject) that's taken people hostage, they're going to be watching the gangplank and watching those areas from the land side. So we need to be able to get on there, on to the ship from the water side without them knowing it," said Sergeant Dan Sandberg of the Brown County SWAT team.

But perhaps the most challenging part is boarding the ship from down there on that tiny ladder. It's 35 feet. Each rung is just wide enough to support one foot. They have nothing but muscles to pull themselves up, with just water below to break a fall.

"It's be very difficult when you're actually fully geared up and in a situation where the next time you peek over the edge you might be facing a gun barrel or somebody that wants to take you out. So at that point and time, it definitely changes the whole scope of it," Sergeant Scott Ries, Marinette Police department, said.

As more ships pass through the Great Lakes region, the three departments realize the possibility of encountering a situation like that, needing to respond together. So for the first time, the three teams train as one, learning skills first taught by ex-Navy SEALs.

"What really works well is getting these teams together and individuals together, learning the different tactics each team knows and bringing that so we can actually work together," Sandberg said.

While this environment is much different than anything these officers are used to, preparation is key. "It's local for us. We see these ships and deal with these boats and people that come in from the Great Lakes, so it's a great opportunity to train together," Ries said.



USS Brig Niagara sets sail for home after Navy Week

9/19 - Buffalo, N.Y. – She's a beauty. That was the prevailing opinion Buffalonians had cutting through Lake Erie's waters Monday upon a reconstruction of the US Brig Niagara - the flagship Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry commanded to victory in the pivotal War of 1812 Battle of Lake Erie - during a pair of day sails aboard the historic vessel.

The crew and officers of the Niagara shared the identical sentiment about the Queen City after concluding an exceedingly successful run of days docked at Canalside as part of Navy Week, which officially wrapped up with Niagara's return to Erie, Pa., on Monday night.

"It is nine ports so far this year, Buffalo was so much our favorite," said Claudia Bankert, a volunteer crew member aboard the Niagara who said the city lived up to its motto as the "City of Good Neighbors." "They've extended that to us and really made us part of the city by hosting us in the most friendliest fashion."

The Niagara - a certified U.S. Coast Guard sailing school vessel - made its first voyage to Buffalo in about a decade. After enjoying a week as part of Navy Week with more than 3,000 people boarding the ship Saturday alone and selling out both day sails Monday, Bankert said she looks to a quick return voyage. "The historical knowledge in the city is quite impressive. And, not just the knowledge - the interest," said Bankert, acknowledging that visitors in Buffalo seemed to most appreciate the ship's authenticity. "It's history. You can touch and feel and smell that this is the real thing. It's like stepping back in time 200 years. This is the real thing. There's nothing fake about this ship."

That was what lured folks like Brian Rollason - who traveled down from Barrie, Ont. - to board the ship as "students" for the nearly four-hour instructional day sails Monday. They were invited to participate with the crew in helping set sail and tacking the ship while out on Lake Erie. They felt the shock of a two-pound black powder cartridge packed and a loaded by a gun crew and then fired off the side of the ship from a 32-pound carronade. And they got a detailed account of Perry's strategic victory - replete with maps - in the Battle of Lake Erie from Niagara Capt. Wesley Heerssen Jr.

"Whether it is American or not, it gives me an appreciation of what life was like on a ship like this," said Rollason, a War of 1812 buff and a descendant of British rifleman Robert Wagstaff, who was wounded at the Battle of New Orleans. "Just to actually feel what it was like - you can smell the rope all over the ship."

That's just one element that has Ardrey Manning traveling to Erie about once a week to volunteer aboard the Niagara. Buffalo's sole volunteer representative aboard the vessel, which also attracts volunteers from Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Erie, Manning fell in love with the Niagara about a dozen years ago. This stop was especially meaningful to her.

"I can show off Buffalo and show off my ship," Manning said. " I’m so thrilled Buffalo's waterfront is becoming so vibrant. They can't say enough about it."

Buffalo News


Lake St. Clair insulated from declining lake levels

9/19 - Reports recently released by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers show that while certain lakes in the Great Lakes basin are on the verge of reaching record lows; Lake St. Clair appears to be safe from the possible future list.

Although by February 2013 the Corps is predicting water levels in Lake St. Clair to be at about 572.8 feet, which is about 6.5 feet below the historical average of the lake. Chief Hydrologist in the Corps' Detroit office Keith Kompoltowicz said this lake bounces back much easier from low water levels. Other lakes in the Great Lakes basin, particularly Lake Michigan and Lake Huron, do not feel the effects of a heavy rain or two like Lake St. Clair does because of their depth and size.

"Lake St. Clair is smaller so it responds much quicker to heavy rain," Kompoltowicz said.

For example, while Kompoltowicz said the hydraulic body of water lakes Michigan and Huron are on the verge of reaching record lows this November if the dry spell throughout the state and region continues for the next few months, Lake St. Clair has experienced relatively average water levels. This doesn't mean though the hot and dry summer hasn't affected the lake and its ecosystems.

Clay Township Phragmites Advisory Board Project Coordinator Chuck Miller said just from living on the shores of Lake St. Clair on Harsens Island he has seen the mud banks grow as the water levels decrease.

"Phragmites tends to follow the water levels," he said of the invasive species that aggressively overtakes shallow, wet and flat terrains. "It is to be expected that they will continue to dominate."

Just over a month after rows of them were cut away by state personnel, Miller said there is already evidence that they are coming back with a vengeance.

While Phragmites may thrive because of the low water levels, Michigan Department of Natural Resources Lake Erie Basin Coordinator Todd Kalish said the fish population isn't often as lucky. He said while there are natural die offs annually, low precipitation, which in turn affects lake levels, can have long-term effects.

"When you have less water that means water temperatures in the cold water streams," Kalish said.

Kalish said warmer temperatures cause stress on fish because it is not only a change in their environment but also causes more plant growth. The more plant growth there is means more oxygen is taken from the water, comprising an essential element the fish need as well.

While Kalish noted the fish die offs in the Great Lakes over the summer were something they typically see, he said the true effects of the lower lake levels and warmer, dryer summers can only be truly analyzed with long-term data.

"What we really need to look at is long-term trends," he said. "It's kind of a bigger picture sort of deal."

Kompoltowicz said in terms of seeing a bigger picture for lake levels, like if there is a 15 or 30 year cycle to them, there isn't enough data to come to any type of conclusion. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has only been collecting data on levels in the Great Lakes since 1918 according to their website. The Voice


4th annual fundraising cruise for the SS Columbia Sept. 23

9/19 - On Sept. 23, cruise the Detroit River from 2-5 pm (boarding starts at 1:30 pm). Complimentary pizza delivered by the JW Westcott II mail boat. Tickets are $40; call Lori 248-5467-9712.


Today in Great Lakes History -  September 19

On September 18, 1855, SEBASTOPOL (wooden side-wheel steamer, 230 foot, 863 tons, built in 1855, at Cleveland, Ohio) was sailing on Lake Michigan in a gale. Her cargo included copper, tin, lead and iron ingots, safes and general merchandise. Her skipper misread the shore lights while she was coming in to Milwaukee and she stranded 500 feet from shore, broadside to the storm waves which pounded her to pieces. Most of the crew and 60 passengers were saved with the help of small boats from shore, but about 6 lives were lost. This was the vessel's first year of operation. Her paddlewheels were 50 feet in diameter.

On September 18,1679, GRIFFON, the first sailing ship on the upper Lakes, left Green Bay with a cargo of furs. She left the explorer Robert Cavelier, Sieur de la Salle, behind. GRIFFON never reached her planned destination.

The E J BLOCK, a.) W. R. WOODFORD of 1908, returned to service on September 18, 1946, as the first large bulk freighter powered by a diesel-electric power plant and one of the first equipped with commercial radar on the Great Lakes. She lasted until scrapped at Ramey's Bend in 1988.

On September 18, 1959, the HENRY FORD II ran aground in the St. Marys River and damaged 18 bottom plates.

On September 18, 1958, the BEN MOREELL, a.) JAMES MAC NAUGHTON collided with and sank the car ferry ASHTABULA in the harbor at Ashtabula, Ohio. Captain Louis Sabo was in command of the ASHTABULA.

LAKE WINNIPEG was the first vessel to enter the Nipigon Transport fleet. She loaded her first cargo of 22,584 gross tons of iron ore clearing Sept Isles, Quebec., on September 18, 1962, bound for Cleveland, Ohio.

The Pere Marquette carferry CITY OF MIDLAND 41 (Hull#311) was launched on September 18, 1940, at Manitowoc, Wisconsin. She was built by Manitowoc Shipbuilding Corporation at a cost of $2 million. She was named after Midland, Michigan, for one of the Pere Marquette Railway's biggest customers, Dow Chemical Co. She was christened by Miss Helen Dow, daughter of Willard H. Dow, president of Dow Chemical Co. Converted to a barge in 1998, renamed PERE MARQUETTE 41.

On September 18, 1871, E. B. ALLEN (wooden schooner, 111 foot, 275 tons, built in 1864, at Ogdensburg, New York) was carrying grain when she collided with the bark NEWSBOY and sank off Thunder Bay Island in Lake Huron.

On September 18, 1900, the large steamer CAPTAIN THOMAS WILSON was taken from her launch site on the Black River in Port Huron out to the St. Clair River. The tug HAYNES was at the bow and the tug BOYNTON at the stern. It took an hour and a half to maneuver through the various bridges. Newspapers estimated that a couple thousand persons watched the event. Once the WILSON made it to the St. Clair River, she was towed to Jenks Shipbuilding Company where she was completed and received her machinery.

1901: The wooden steamer SATURN, formerly the CITY OF OWEN SOUND, sank in Lake Huron off Sauble Beach. The vessel was loaded with coal and enroute from Cleveland to Owen Sound when it went down.

1903: The wooden freighter A.A. PARKER, loaded with iron ore, began leaking and foundered in a storm about 4 miles off Grand Marais, MI. All on board were saved. The wreck, located in 2001, has been extensively filmed by the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society.

1907: A fire broke out in the steering room of the wooden steamer MAJESTIC on Lake Erie while the ship was upbound near Long Point, and in ballast, from Buffalo to Toledo. The blaze spread quickly but was fought by the crew and sailors from the passing CHARLEMAGNE TOWER JR. The effort was to no avail and, while the hull burned to the waterline and sank, all on board were rescued.

1969: GRAND HAVEN, idle at Cleveland since the spring of 1965 after a failed effort to provide Lake Erie service carrying rail cars and truck transports to Canada, sank at the dock. The hull was raised November 6, sold to United Metals, and arrived at Hamilton under tow between the tugs HERBERT A. and G.W. ROGERS on November 29, 1969.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Max Hanley, Father Dowling Collection, 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.


Port Reports -  September 18

Grand Haven, Mich. - Dick Fox
The tug Undaunted and Pere Marquette 41 came in about 2 a.m. Monday morning with a load for Verplank's Dock in Ferrysburg. It was observed outbound at about 8:30 a.m.


Today in Great Lakes History -  September 18

On September 18, 1855, SEBASTOPOL (wooden side-wheel steamer, 230 foot, 863 tons, built in 1855, at Cleveland, Ohio) was sailing on Lake Michigan in a gale. Her cargo included copper, tin, lead and iron ingots, safes and general merchandise. Her skipper misread the shore lights while she was coming in to Milwaukee and she stranded 500 feet from shore, broadside to the storm waves which pounded her to pieces. Most of the crew and 60 passengers were saved with the help of small boats from shore, but about 6 lives were lost. This was the vessel's first year of operation. Her paddlewheels were 50 feet in diameter.

On September 18,1679, GRIFFON, the first sailing ship on the upper Lakes, left Green Bay with a cargo of furs. She left the explorer Robert Cavelier, Sieur de la Salle, behind. GRIFFON never reached her planned destination.

The E J BLOCK, a.) W. R. WOODFORD of 1908, returned to service on September 18, 1946, as the first large bulk freighter powered by a diesel-electric power plant and one of the first equipped with commercial radar on the Great Lakes. She lasted until scrapped at Ramey's Bend in 1988.

On September 18, 1959, the HENRY FORD II ran aground in the St. Marys River and damaged 18 bottom plates.

On September 18, 1958, the BEN MOREELL, a.) JAMES MAC NAUGHTON collided with and sank the car ferry ASHTABULA in the harbor at Ashtabula, Ohio. Captain Louis Sabo was in command of the ASHTABULA.

LAKE WINNIPEG was the first vessel to enter the Nipigon Transport fleet. She loaded her first cargo of 22,584 gross tons of iron ore clearing Sept Isles, Quebec., on September 18, 1962, bound for Cleveland, Ohio.

The Pere Marquette carferry CITY OF MIDLAND 41 (Hull#311) was launched on September 18, 1940, at Manitowoc, Wisconsin. She was built by Manitowoc Shipbuilding Corporation at a cost of $2 million. She was named after Midland, Michigan, for one of the Pere Marquette Railway's biggest customers, Dow Chemical Co. She was christened by Miss Helen Dow, daughter of Willard H. Dow, president of Dow Chemical Co. Converted to a barge in 1998, renamed PERE MARQUETTE 41.

On September 18, 1871, E. B. ALLEN (wooden schooner, 111 foot, 275 tons, built in 1864, at Ogdensburg, New York) was carrying grain when she collided with the bark NEWSBOY and sank off Thunder Bay Island in Lake Huron.

On September 18, 1900, the large steamer CAPTAIN THOMAS WILSON was taken from her launch site on the Black River in Port Huron out to the St. Clair River. The tug HAYNES was at the bow and the tug BOYNTON at the stern. It took an hour and a half to maneuver through the various bridges. Newspapers estimated that a couple thousand persons watched the event. Once the WILSON made it to the St. Clair River, she was towed to Jenks Shipbuilding Company where she was completed and received her machinery.

1909 LACKAWANNA lost steering and sank in the St. Clair River with a hole in the starboard bow after a collision with the wooden schooner CHIEFTAIN off Point Edward.

1918 BUFFALO, formerly the Great Lakes package freighter a) TADOUSAC, b) DORIC, was torpedoed by U-117 and sunk off Godfrey Light and Trevose Head, Cornwall, UK

1942 ASHBAY traded on the Great Lakes for Bay Line Navigation from 1923 until 1935 when it was sold for Brazilian coastal service. The ship was sunk by gunfire from U-516 on this date at the mouth of the Marowyne River, Brazil, as c) ANTONICO and 16 lives were lost.

1942 NORFOLK, enroute from Surinam to Trinidad, was hit, without warning, by two torpedoes from U-175, on the starboard side near the British Guiana Venezuela border. The Canada Steamship Lines ship went down in minutes. Six lives were lost was well as the cargo of 3055 tons of bauxite destined for Alcoa.

1958 ASHTABULA sank in Ashtabula harbor after a collision with the inbound BEN MOREELL. All on board were rescued but there were later two casualties when the Captain committed suicide and an insurance inspector fell to his death while on board.

1970 HIGHLINER was heavily damaged amidships as d) PETROS in a fire at Tyne, UK. The vessel was not repaired and, after being laid up at Cardiff, was towed to Newport, Monmouthshire, for scrapping on June 12, 1972.

1978 The British freighter DUNDEE was a pre-Seaway trader into the Great Lakes and returned through the new waterway on 14 occasions from 1959 to 1962. It foundered in the Mediterranean as g) VLYHO near Falconera Island after an engineroom explosion caused leaks in the hull. The vessel was enroute from Chalkis, Greece, to Tunis, Tunisia, at the time.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Max Hanley, Father Dowling Collection, 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.


Port Reports -  September 17

St. Joseph, Mich. - Greg Barber
Sunday morning saw a flurry of activity, with the Sam Laud coming in around 11:30, Alpena around noon, and Mississagi showing up a hour later and going to anchor waiting for the Laud.

Sandusky and Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Herbert C. Jackson loaded Sunday at the NS coal dock on Sandusky Bay. At the Lafarge Corp. stone dock on the Marblehead Peninsula, the tug-barge Invincible and McKee Sons loaded.

Buffalo, N.Y. - Brian W.
On Sunday, the first of the government vessels visiting town, USCG Katmai Bay, departed around 7 p.m. The rest of the fleet will go out one by one Monday morning. All three Navy ships are headed for the Welland Canal on their way back to the Atlantic Ocean.

Welland Canal
Sunday was busy on the Welland Canal. Upbound traffic included Fraserborg, Great Republic, Strandja, Peter R. Cresswell and Vega Desgagnes. Downbound vessels included Algomarine, Flevoborg, CSL Laurentien, Federal Asahi, Federal Yukon, Norman McLeod/Everlast and Algobay.

Toronto, Ont. - Jens Juhl
The Maltese flagged Strandja (ex Federal Yangtze) departed Redpath Sunday morning. The Redhead arrived from the Port Weller anchorage with a cargo of sugar. Stephen B. Roman delivered a load of cement to Essroc and departed Sunday for the canal.


Capt. Raymond J. Robert worked for Upper Lakes Shipping

9/17 - The St. Catharines Standard of Sept. 15 reported the passing of Captain Raymond J. Robert on Sept. 11 in St. Catharines at the age of 83. The obituary noted he had worked for Upper Lakes Shipping and Port Weller Dry Docks and had been captain of the dry dock tug James E. McGrath.


Updates -  September 17

News Photo Gallery


Today in Great Lakes History -  September 17

On September 17, 1898, KEEPSAKE (2-mast wooden schooner, 183 foot, 286 gross tons, built in 1867, at Newport [Marine City], Michigan) was carrying coal from Ashtabula when she was struck by a terrible storm on Lake Erie. Her rudder was damaged, a sail torn away and her bulwarks were smashed. The CITY OF ERIE saw her distress signals at 3:30 a.m. and came to help. With the CITY OF ERIE's searchlight shining on the doomed schooner, a huge wave swept over the vessel taking away everything on deck and snapping both masts. The crew, some only half dressed, all managed to get into the lifeboat. They rowed to the CITY OF ERIE and were all rescued. Three days later, the other lifeboat and some wreckage from the KEEPSAKE were found near Ashtabula by some fishermen.

GRIFFON (Hull#18) was launched September 17, 1955, at St. Catharines, Ontario by Port Weller Drydocks Ltd. for Beaconsfield Steamship Ltd., Montreal, Quebec. Renamed b.) FRANQUELIN in 1967, c.) EVA DESGAGNES in 1987. Sold foreign in 1989, renamed d.) TELCHAC, scrapped at Tuxpan, Mexico, in 1992.

On September 17, 1985, PATERSON suffered a crankcase explosion as she was bound for Quebec City from Montreal. She was repaired and cleared on September 21. Renamed b.) PINEGLEN in 2002.

On September 17, 1830, WILLIAM PEACOCK (wood side wheel steamer, 102 foot, 120 tons, built in 1829, at Barcelona, New York) suffered the first major boiler explosion on Lake Erie while she was docked in Buffalo, New York. 15 - 30 lives were lost. She was rebuilt two years later and eventually foundered in a storm in 1835, near Ripley, Ohio.

On September 17, 1875, the barge HARMONY was wrecked in a gale at Chicago, Illinois, by colliding with the north pier which was under water. This was the same place where the schooner ONONGA was wrecked a week earlier and HARMONY came in contact with that sunken schooner. No lives were lost.

On September 17, 1900, a storm carried away the cabin and masts of the wrecked wooden 4-mast bulk freight barge FONTANA. The 231-foot vessel had been wrecked and sunk in a collision at the mouth of the St. Clair River in the St. Clair Flats on August 3,1900. She had settled in the mud and gradually shifted her position. She eventually broke in two. After unsuccessful salvage attempts, the wreck was dynamited.

Tragedy struck in 1949, when the Canada Steamship Lines cruise ship NORONIC burned at Pier 9 in Toronto, Ontario. By morning the ship was gutted, 104 passengers were known to be dead and 14 were missing. Because of land reclamation and the changing face of the harbor, the actual site of Noronic's berth is now in the lobby of the Harbour Castle Westin hotel.

1909: The towline connecting the ALEXANDER HOLLEY and SIR WILLIAM FAIRBAIRN broke in a Lake Superior storm and the former, a whaleback barge, almost stranded on Sawtooth Shoal. The anchors caught in time and it took 5 hours to rescue the crew.

1980: HERMION began Great Lakes trading shortly after entering service in 1960. The vessel stranded as d) AEOLIAN WIND, about a half mile from Nakhodka, USSR, during a voyage from North Vietnam to Cuba. The ship was refloated on October 8, 1980, and scrapped in 1981 at Nakhodka.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, James Neumiller, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.


Baie St. Paul update

9/16 - As previously reported, Baie St. Paul carried out sea trials off the mouth of the Yangtze River last week. Upon completion of those trials she headed back up the Yangtze to her builder's shipyard at Jiangyin, where she remains. For a time during her sea trials she had the coastal port city of Zhoushan listed as her next destination, but it does not appear as if she made a stop there before returning to the yard.


John “The Legend” Selvick spent most of his life on tugs

9/16 - John Marshall Selvick, 60, of Brussels, Wis., passed away at his home on September 13, after a battle with cancer. He worked most of his life as a tugboat captain. He owned Calumet River Fleeting in Chicago and the Door County Fire Boat, and he most recently became known as the "Legend" on the show, "Great Lakes Warriors" on the History Channel. One of the oldest working tugboats on the Great Lakes, built in 1898, is named after him.

Mr. Selvick served his country in the U. S. Army and was a merchant mariner. He was a member of the Sturgeon Bay Yacht Club and a past member of the Sturgeon Bay Elks. He loved to play cards, watch football, boating, and spending time with his granddaughter. He also enjoyed wintering in Florida, fishing, and he loved his dogs.

Survivors include his wife, Kim; his parents, Yvonne and William Selvick, Sturgeon Bay; a brother, Steven (Theresa) Selvick, Sturgeon Bay; three sisters, Sharon (Roger) Opiela, Institute; Susan (James) Londo, Sturgeon Bay; Carla Ford, Fort Walton Beach, FL; a step-son, Nathan (Krista) Schley, Sturgeon Bay; a step-daughter, Nicole Schley, Merrillville, IN: two step-grandchildren, Audrie and Aiden Schley; nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by a brother, Melvin Selvick.

Funeral Services will be 10:30 a.m. Monday at Bay View Lutheran Church in Sturgeon Bay, the Rev. Tim Malek officiating. Friends may call at the Forbes Funeral Home from 2 to 6 p.m. on Sunday and then after 9:30 a.m. Monday at the church until time of services. On-line condolences may be offered at

Green Bay Press-Gazette


Port Reports -  September 16

Sturgeon Bay, Wis.
Paul R. Tregurtha departed Bay Shipbuilding Saturday after hull and rudder repairs, necessary thanks to a grounding in the St. Marys River last month, were completed. She is reported headed to Superior, Wis.

Welland Canal
A slow traffic day included the upbound Virginaborg, the new Polsteam saltie Luba, Algoma Spirit (with two salutes at Lock 7 for gathered Boatnerds from Capt. Seann O'Donoughue) and Saguegay. The cement barge St. Marys Cement II was downbound in the morning. After dark, the Rt. Hon Paul J. Martin and Mapleglen were downbound and Federal Weser was upbound.


Today in Great Lakes History -  September 16

On September 16, 1893, HATTIE EARL (wooden schooner, 96 foot, 101 gross tons, built in 1869, at South Haven, Michigan) was driven ashore just outside the harbor of Michigan City, Indiana, and was pounded to pieces by the waves. No lives were lost.

At about 8:30 a.m. Sunday, September 16, 1990, the inbound motor ship BUFFALO passed close by while the tanker JUPITER was unloading unleaded gasoline at the Total Petroleum dock in the Saginaw River near Bay City, Michigan. As the BUFFALO passed the dock's aft pilings broke off and the fuel lines parted which caused a spark and ignited the spilled fuel. At the time 22,000 barrels of a total of 54,000 barrels were still aboard. Flames catapulted over 100 feet high filling the air with smoke that could be seen for 50 miles. The fire was still burning the next morning when a six man crew from Williams, Boots & Coots Firefighters and Hazard Control Specialists of Port Neches, Texas, arrived to fight the fire. By Monday afternoon they extinguished the fire only to have it re-ignite that night resulting in multiple explosions. Not until Tuesday morning on the 18th was the fire finally subdued with the assistance of the U.S. Coast Guard's BRAMBLE and BRISTOL BAY. The tanker, which was valued at $9 million, was declared a total constructive loss, though the engine room was relatively untouched. Unfortunately the fire claimed the life of one crew member, who drowned attempting to swim ashore. As a result the Coast Guard closed the river to all navigation. On October 19th the river was opened to navigation after the Gaelic tugs SUSAN HOEY and CAROLYN HOEY towed the JUPITER up river to the Hirschfield & Sons Dock at Bay City (formerly the Defoe Shipyard) where a crane was erected for dismantling the burned out hulk. Her engines were removed and shipped to New Bedford, Massachusetts, for future use. The river opening allowed American Steamship's BUFFALO to depart the Lafarge dock where she had been trapped since the explosion. JUPITER's dismantling was completed over the winter of 1990-91. Subsequent investigation by the NTSB, U.S. Coast Guard and the findings of a federal judge all exonerated the master and BUFFALO in the tragedy.

Parrish & Heimbecker Ltd. purchased all nine of the Soo River's fleet on September 16, 1982, for a reported C$2.5 million and all nine returned to service, although only four were running at the end of the season.

The NORISLE went into service September 16, 1946, as the first Canadian passenger ship commissioned since the NORONIC in 1913.

On September 16, 1952, the CASON J. CALLAWAY departed River Rouge, Michigan, for Duluth, Minnesota, on its maiden voyage for the Pittsburgh Steamship Co.

On September 16, 1895, ARCTIC (2 mast wooden schooner, 113 foot, 85 gross tons, built in 1853, at Ashtabula, Ohio) was rammed and sunk by the steamer CLYDE in broad daylight and calm weather. ARCTIC was almost cut in half by the blow. The skipper of CLYDE was censured for the wreck and for his callous treatment of the schooner's crew afterwards. Luckily no lives were lost.

On September 16,1877, the 46 foot tug RED RIBBON, owned by W. H. Morris of Port Huron, Michigan, burned about 2 miles below St. Clair, Michigan. Capt. Morris ran the tug ashore and hurried to St. Clair to get assistance, but officials there refused to allow the steam fire engine to go outside the city. The tug was a total loss and was only insured for $1,000, half her value. She had just started in service in May of 1877, and was named for the reform movement that was in full swing at the time of her launch.

On September 16, 1900, LULU BEATRICE (2-mast wooden schooner, 72 foot, 48 gross tons, built in 1896, at Port Burwell, Ontario) was carrying coal on Lake Erie when she was wrecked on the shore near the harbor entrance at Port Burwell in a storm. One life was lost, the captain's wife.

1892 The wooden propeller VIENNA sank in foggy Whitefish Bay after beiing hit broadside by the wooden steamer NIPIGON. The latter survived and later worked for Canada Steamship Lines as b) MAPLEGRANGE and c) MAPLEHILL (i) but was laid up at Kingston in 1925 and scuttled in Lake Ontario in 1927.

1901 HUDSON was last seen dead in the water with a heavy list. The steeel package freighter had cleared Duluth the previous day with wheat and flax for Buffalo but ran into a furious storm and sank in Lake Superior off Eagle Harbor Light with the loss of 24-25 lives.

1906 CHARLES B. PACKARD hit the wreck of the schooner ARMENIA off Midddle Ground, Lake Erie and sank in 45 minutes. All on board were rescued and the hull was later dynamited as a hazard to navigation.

1937-- The large wooden tug G.R. GRAY (ii) of the Lake Superior Paper Co., got caught in a storm off Coppermine Point, Lake Superior, working with GARGANTUA on a log raft and fell into the trough. The stack was toppled but the vessel managed to reach Batchawana and was laid up. The hull was towed to Sault Ste. Marie in 1938 and eventually stripped out. The remains were taken to Thessalon in 1947 and remained there until it caught fire and burned in 1959.

1975 BJORSUND, a Norwegian tanker, visited the Seaway in 1966. The 22--year old vessel began leaking as b) AMERFIN enroute from Mexico to Panama and sank in the Pacific while under tow off Costa Rica.

1990 JUPITER was unloading at Bay City when the wake of a passing shipp separated the hose connection spreading gasoline on deck. An explosion and fire resulted. One sailor was lost as the ship burned for days and subsequently sank.

2005 Fire broke out aboard the tug JAMES A. HANNAH above Lock 2 of the Welland Canal while downbound with the barge 5101 loaded with asphalt, diesel and heavy oil. City of St. Catharines fire fighters help extinguish the blaze.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Jody L. Aho, James Neumiller, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.



Port Reports -  September 15

Twin Ports – Al Miller
Friday morning vessel traffic included Cason J. Callaway steaming up St. Louis Bay toward Hallett Dock 5, where it was to unload limestone. Algoma Quebecois was preparing to depart the Holcim terminal after unloading cement, Vikingford was loading at General Mills elevator in Duluth and American Mariner was loading at General Mills elevator in Superior.

Marquette, Wis. - Rod Burdick
Herbert C. Jackson arrived late Thursday evening at the Upper Harbor to unload western coal from Superior into the hopper. An ore load and departure followed Friday morning. Jackson was the first vessel at the Upper Harbor for the week.

Sturgeon Bay, Wis. - Jim Conlon
Paul R. Tregurtha was towed out of the drydock at Bay Shipbuilding Friday at 5 p.m. and was expected to depart Sturgeon Bay over the weekend. Bottom repairs from the grounding in the St. Marys River have been completed, also a five-year survey and a new paint job was done. Four Selvick tugs pulled her out into the bay.

Alpena, Mich. - Ben & Chanda McClain
On Thursday the Alpena was at Lafarge loading cement. The tug Invincible and barge McKee Sons arrived early Friday morning and tied up at Lafarge to unload coal. Vessels expected in port for Saturday include fleetmates Samuel de Champlain and barge Innovation and the tug G.L Ostrander and Integrity.

Sandusky, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin eased under the loading chute at the NS coal dock at midmorning.


Oil and the ghost of 1920: Examining the Jones Act

9/15 - The surge of new American shale oil heading down pipelines to the Gulf Coast will do two things: It will depress oil prices at points along the route, presenting a big opportunity for refineries and consumers to enjoy a windfall of cheaper fuel.

And it will test a protectionist shipping law that may impede these gains. Most people probably have never heard of the Jones Act. It is either essential for national security or a vast barnacle on the hull of U.S. growth, depending on your point of view.

The Jones Act, known formally as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, requires that any shipment from one U.S. port to another be carried on vessels built in the U.S., owned by U.S. citizens, and operated by a U.S. crew. The restrictions, in part, reflected Washington's post-World War I desire to have a guaranteed merchant marine. But there's a price for that. The law can drive up the cost of coastal and inland shipping, push traffic onto rail and trucks, and create other dislocations.

"You have to ask what's good for the country," says Tom Allegretti, the CEO of American Waterways Operators, a trade group for ship owners. The Jones Act, he says, boosts the economy by keeping roughly 74,000 maritime jobs in the U.S., helps national security by making a fleet available for the military, and assures homeland security by keeping transportation in the hands of U.S. citizens.

"Opening that trade to foreign vessels and crews going through the internal arteries, going by [a] stadium in Pittsburgh? It would be mindless to repeal the law," he says.

"That's ludicrous," responds Sen. John McCain, a hawk on national security who has tried, and failed, to revoke the law. "Thousands of foreign ships put into our ports and don't present a problem to our national security." He says the law is just "protectionism" for the shipping industry and unions. "These arguments are laughable."

Some 40,000 vessels, tankers, freighters, ferries, tugs, barges are governed by the Jones Act, many of them committed to specific runs, such as Alaska to California.

Ed Morse, an energy expert at Citigroup, says the Gulf Coast will soon be "super saturated" with oil from fields such as the Bakken in North Dakota and the Eagle Ford in Texas. Refineries in the Northeast want to replace their expensive imports with that oil. But, he says, the tight supply of Jones Act ships and their rates are "a problem."

John Demopoulos of Argus Media, which tracks pricing, estimates that foreign-flagged carriers could move oil from the Gulf Coast to the Northeast for about $1.20 a barrel, compared with $4 a barrel on U.S. ships.

Already the Northeast refineries are turning to more costly rail transport (sufficient West-East pipelines don't exist). Questions about ship availability also prompted Washington to waive the Jones Act last year when it released oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and during operations after Hurricane Katrina. Authorities needed substantial and fast action, and they called in foreign ships.

Similarly, during a decline in refining capacity in the Northeast earlier this year, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said refined products from other locales might not easily reach the market.

"Vessel constraints" were top of mind, as were "Jones Act vessel rates, which seem to run two to three times foreign-flag ship rates," the agency said. "But since Jones Act vessels are not readily available, actual transportation costs might have to be considerably higher than current rates to bid scarce vessels away from their current business."

Jim Henry, president of the Transportation Institute, which represents ship owners, says "supply and demand will rule here." If the market needs more ships, "we'll construct new vessels to meet the demand. You can build ships in American shipyards very competitively."

But demand is already here. Rail lines are seeing a jump in requests to move oil to the East. As for the competitive pricing of America's protected shipyards, just ask Bob Kunkel. A marine engineer, he sought to start a business moving cargo on the East Coast on special container ships. He needed four new vessels.

Mr. Kunkel said the ships cost about $35 million to $50 million to build in Europe. But under the Jones Act, he'd need to buy American. The U.S. price: more than $100 million per ship. He shelved his business plans.

And there are other disjunctures: GE wanted to ship a big wind turbine to Kenya from the U.S., part of a potentially larger export deal. Its export financing from the U.S. required using an American ship. But GE says few Jones Act ships could handle the large load, and the cost was so high – 20 percent of the cost of the turbine – that the company shipped the machine from its German plant instead.

Similarly, Hancock Lumber near Portland, Maine, has for years been trying to ship its product from Maine to Puerto Rico. The company says it can't find a U.S. ship to handle the business.

"We're still incurring the high cost of trucking the lumber from our saw mills to Florida and barging it from there," Hancock's Kevin Hynes says.

As for the oil that's gathering in the Gulf Coast, this bulletin: Recently, the newly commissioned tanker American Phoenix, built by BAE Systems in Mobile, Ala., sailed to Bayway, N.J., from Corpus Christi, Texas. It offloaded a valued cargo: Eagle Ford shale oil.

There was buzz in maritime circles about the load. That's because the Phoenix and its rare delivery are for the moment at least an exception that proves the rule.

Wall Street Journal


Updates -  September 15

News Photo Gallery


Today in Great Lakes History -  September 15

On 15 September 1886, F. J. KING (wooden schooner, 140 foot, 280 tons, built in 1867, at Toledo, Ohio) was carrying iron ore from Escanaba, Michigan, to Chicago, Illinois. She sprang a leak and sank in a heavy southwesterly gale three miles off Rawley Bay, Wisconsin. Her crew reached shore in the yawl. Her loss was valued at $7,500.

The A. H. FERBERT of 1942 was towed out of Duluth by the Sandrin tug GLENADA September 15, 1987; they encountered rough weather on Lake Superior and required the assistance of another tug to reach the Soo on the 19th. On the 21st the FERBERT had to anchor off Detour, Michigan, after she ran aground in the St. Marys River when her towline parted. Her hull was punctured and the Coast Guard ordered repairs to her hull before she could continue. Again problems struck on September 24th, when the FERBERT went hard aground at the Cut-Off Channel's southeast bend of the St. Clair River. Six tugs, GLENADA, ELMORE M. MISNER, BARBARA ANN, GLENSIDE, SHANNON and WM. A. WHITNEY, worked until late on the 26th to free her. The FERBERT finally arrived in tow of GLENSIDE and W. N. TWOLAN at Lauzon, Quebec, on October 7th.

The steamer WILLIAM A. AMBERG (Hull#723) was launched September 15, 1917, at Lorain, Ohio, by American Ship Building Co. for the Producers Steamship Co., (M. A. Hanna, mgr.). Renamed b.) ALBERT E. HEEKIN in 1932, c.) SILVER BAY in 1955, d.) JUDITH M. PIERSON in 1975 and e.) FERNGLEN in 1982. Scrapped at Port Maitland, Ontario, in 1985.

On September 15, 1925, the JOHN A. TOPPING left River Rouge, Michigan, light on her maiden voyage to Ashland, Wisconsin, to load iron ore for delivery to Cleveland, Ohio. Renamed b.) WILLIAM A. REISS in 1934, she was scrapped at Alang, India, in 1994.

On September 15th, lightering was completed on the AUGUST ZIESING; she had grounded above the Rock Cut two days earlier, blocking the channel.

September 15, 1959, was the last day the U.S. Coast Guard Buoy Tender MESQUITE was stationed at Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan.

MIDDLETOWN suffered a fire in her tunnels on September 15, 1986. Second and third degree burns were suffered by two crew members. She was renamed f.) AMERICAN VICTORY in 2006.

In 1934, the ANN ARBOR NO 6 collided with the steamer N. F. LEOPOLD in a heavy fog.

September 15, 1993 - Robert Manglitz became CEO and president of Lake Michigan Carferry Service after Charles Conrad announced his retirement and the sale of most of his stock.

On 15 September 1873, IRONSIDES (wooden propeller passenger/package freight vessel, 220 foot, 1,123 tons, built in 1864, at Cleveland, Ohio) became disabled when she sprang a leak and flooded. The water poured in and put out her fires. She sank about 7 miles off Grand Haven, Michigan, on Lake Michigan. Reports of the number of survivors varied from 17 to 32 and the number lost varied from 18 to 28.

On 15 September 1872, A. J. BEMIS (wood propeller tug, 49 tons, built in 1859, at Buffalo, New York) caught fire while underway. The fire originated under her boiler. She ran for shore but sank 3Ú4 mile short, about six miles from Alpena, Michigan. No lives lost.

1882 The wooden passenger steamer ASIA got caught in a wild storm crossing Georgian Bay, fell into the trough and sank stern first. There were 123 passengers and crew listed as lost while only two on board survived.

1915 ONOKO of the Kinsman Transit Company foundered in Lake Superior off Knife Point, while downbound with wheat from Duluth to Toledo. The crew took to the lifeboats and were saved. The hull was located in 1987, upside down, in about 340 feet of water.

1928 MANASOO, in only her first season of service after being rebuilt for overnight passenger and freight service, foundered in Georgian Bay after the cargo shifted and the vessel overturned in heavy weather. There were 18 casualties, plus 46 head of cattle, and only 5 survived.

1940 KENORDOC, enroute to Bristol, UK with a cargo of lumber was sunk due to enemy action as part of convoy SC 3 while 500 miles west of the Orkney Islands. The ship had fallen behind the convoy, due to engine trouble, and was shelled by gunfire from U-48. There were 7 casualties including the Captain and wireless operator. H.M.S. AMAZON completed the sinking as the bow of the drifting hull was still visible.

1940 The Norwegian freighter LOTOS came inland in 1938 delivering pulpwood to Cornwall and went aground there in a storm. The ship was torpedoed and sunk by a German submarine while about 15 miles west of Rockall Island, Scotland, while inbound from Dalhousie, NB for Tyne, UK.

1962 A collision between the HARRY L. FINDLAY of the Kinsman Line and the Greek Liberty ship MESOLOGI occurred at Toledo. The latter began Seaway service that year and made a total of 6 inland voyages. It was scrapped at Aioi, Japan, as f) BLUE SAND after arriving in November 1969.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Max Hanley, Joe Barr, David Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, James Neumiller, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.


U.S.-Flag Lakes float down 8.6 percent in August

9/14 - Cleveland, Ohio – U.S.-flag Great Lakes freighters carried 9.5 million tons of dry-bulk cargo in August, a decrease of 10.1 percent compared to July, and 8.6 percent less than the volume recorded a year ago. The August float was also 7 percent below the month’s 5-year average.

Iron ore cargos for the steel industry in August totaled 4.5 million tons, a decrease of 5.2 percent compared to a year ago. Coal cargos fell to 1.7 million tons, or almost 20 percent compared to August 2011. Aggregate and fluxstone for construction and steelmaking slipped to 2.7 million tons, a drop of 6 percent.

Through August U.S.-flag cargos stand at 54,352,509 tons, a slight decrease compared to the same point in 2011, and a marginal increase compared to the 5-year average for the January-August timeframe. Iron ore cargos are down by 1.9 percent. Coal has slipped by more than 18 percent, but limestone cargos are up by nearly 15 percent, or 1.8 million tons.

Lake Carriers' Association


August Seaway cargo shipments up nearly 7 percent

9/14 - Washington, D.C. – The St. Lawrence Seaway reported a 6.78 percent increase for total cargo shipments in August 4.3 million metric tons compared to August 2011. For the period March 22 to August 31, year-to-date total cargo shipments were 21.3 million metric tons, up 1.50 percent over the same period in 2011.

With four months remaining in the 2012 Navigation Season for the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway System, tonnage figures for the month of August remain on the positive side, said Rebecca Spruill, director of trade development for the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation. The uptick in total cargo transported in August emphasized the strength of shipments of traditional commodities like iron ore and coal, and was a sound indication of the value of the Seaway System for North American exports to Europe and China.

Demand for shipments of iron ore and coal used in the steel and construction industries continued to drive tonnage numbers for the month of August. Iron ore shipments through the Seaway rose 43 percent in August to 1.4 million metric tons. Year-to-date figures for iron ore were up 31 percent to 6.6 million metric tons.

Coal shipments for power generation and steel production totaled 523 million metric tons in August, an increase of 45 percent from August 2011. Year-to-date coal shipments rose to 2.7 million metric tons a 31 percent hike over 2011.

Cement shipments posted a 15 percent increase in August due mainly to ongoing construction work throughout the Great Lakes states. At the Port of Green Bay, cement shipments were up 24 percent year-to-date to 204 million metric tons.

Aluminum continues to move through the Port of Oswego at a strong pace, said port director Jonathan Daniels. Large shipments, which began arriving in May, have continued. The Board of Directors is currently working through negotiations for the acquisition of additional property adjacent to the Port to accommodate the influx of sows and ingots.

Project cargo was up 79 percent in August and was the story at the Port of Duluth. The port received two shipments of wind turbines destined for three different projects in the mid-west as companies hurried to beat the production tax credits expiration date.

Grain shipments were down for the fourth straight month due to extreme drought conditions in the U.S. August saw a 32 percent downturn for all grain versus the same month last year. Year-to-date total grain shipments were down 21 percent to 3.5 million metric tons.

Marine Delivers


Port Reports -  September 14

Twin Ports – Al Miller
Twin Ports vessel traffic Thursday morning included Arthur M. Anderson unloading limestone at Hallett Dock 5, Joseph L. Block unloading stone at CN ore dock and Federal Schelde at CHS berth 2 to load grain. Vessels due later in the day included John J. Boland to unload stone at Graymont, American Mariner to unload stone at Graymont before cleaning holds and loading grain at General Mills Elevator S in Superior, and Cason J. Callaway arriving at Hallett 5 late.

Stoneport, Mich. - Denny Dushane
Both Michipicoten and Joseph H. Thompson loaded at Stoneport Thursday, with Michipicoten scheduled to depart at 8 a.m. and the Thompson taking the dock after Michipicoten's departure. Two vessels, John G. Munson and McKee Sons, are due to load on Friday, followed by Capt. Henry Jackman on Saturday during the late evening. There are no vessels scheduled for Sunday and Monday. For Tuesday, the Herbert C. Jackson is due in the morning to load.

Calcite, Mich. - Denny Dushane
The barge Pathfinder loaded on Thursday and was due to depart around 10:30 a.m. There are no vessels scheduled at Calcite for Friday-Sunday. For Monday there is only one vessel, the James L. Kuber, with no arrival time posted.

Cedarville, Mich. - Denny Dushane
Wilfred Sykes loaded at Cedarville on Wednesday and was due to depart during the late afternoon. The barge James L. Kuber and tug Victory were due on Thursday in the early morning to load. Due next is the Michipicoten on Saturday morning followed by the Sykes in the afternoon.

Port Inland, Mich. - Denny Dushane
Three vessels loaded Thursday at Port Inland. First was the barge Great Lakes Trader and tug Joyce L. Van Enkevort, arriving in the early morning. They were followed later by the barge Pere Marquette 41 and tug Undaunted in the early afternoon. Due in the evening was the American Courage. Due on Saturday at noon is a return visit by the barge Pere Marquette 41. Wilfred Sykes is due on Sunday in the early morning, followed by the barge Lewis J. Kuber. Rounding out the lineup will be the Kaye E. Barker, due Monday in the early morning.

Toledo, Ohio - Denny Dushane
Saginaw was due at the CSX Coal Dock on Thursday in the evening followed by the barge James L. Kuber on Saturday in the late morning. For Sunday, Algoma Progress is due in the early afternoon. H. Lee White is due on Wednesday in the late morning and Algosoo rounds out the coal dock lineup Sept. 20 in the evening. Capt. Henry Jackman is the only vessel due at the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock, with an arrival on Friday in the early afternoon. At the Torco Dock, Atlantic Huron arrived on Thursday morning to unload. Due next is the Algowood on Friday in the early morning along with the Atlantic Superior, due Friday in the evening. The barge Lakes Contender arrives on Wednesday in the evening, followed by the John G. Munson, due on Thursday in the morning. CSL Niagara is due on Thursday evening to unload at the Torco Dock.

Buffalo, N.Y. – Brian W. and Rob Wolcott
Cuyahoga arrived at the Lake & Rail Elevator pier on the Buffalo River at 6:46 a.m. Thursday. She cast off her lines at 6:30 p.m., and by 8 p.m. she was outbound on the Buffalo River, into Lake Erie and headed west.

Welland Canal
Upbound traffic Thursday included the barge/tug combo Alouette Spirit/Wilf McKeil, Thalassa Desgagnes and Ruddy. Atlantic Superior was upbound in Lock One headed for Toledo around 7 p.m. Downbound traffic included Algosteel, Algolake, Peter R. Cresswell and Birchglen

Toronto, Ont. - Jens Juhl
Ruddy departed Redpath sugar just before noon Thursday and headed for the Welland Canal. Her place was taken at Redpath by Strandja, which had been waiting at anchor.


Welland Gathering Schedule Changes

9/14 - Thorold, ON - For those planning to attend he Welland Gathering, a couple of schedule changes should be noted.

The Saturday morning tour of the IMS Recycling yard has been changed from 10:00 AM to 9:30 AM. Visitors will need to clear of the yard prior to noon.

The Sunday movie at the Lock Three Museum has been changed from 10:00 AM to 9:00 AM.

All other events will go as out lined on the Gathering page.


Today in Great Lakes History -  September 14

September 14, 1962, the HORACE S. WILKINSON was involved in a collision with the Canadian freighter CAROL LAKE in the Welland Canal. Rather than repair the WILKINSON, Wilson Marine had her towed to Superior, Wisconsin, for conversion to a barge. All cabin superstructure, the engine, boilers, and auxiliary machinery were removed. The stern was squared off and notched to receive a tug. The WILKINSON was renamed WILTRANCO I and re-entered service in 1963, as a tug-barge combination with a crew of 10, pushed by the tug FRANCIS A. SMALL of 1966.

September 14, 1963, the BENJAMIN F. FAIRLESS, Captain Earl C. Bauman, received a National Safety Council Award of Merit for operating 1,001,248 consecutive man-hours without a lost time accident. This accomplishment required 15 years, 600 round trips, and 1,200 passages through the Soo locks.

Captain Albert Edgar Goodrich died on September 14,1885, at the age of 59, at his residence in Chicago. He was a pioneer steamboat man and founded the Goodrich Transportation Company, famous for its passenger/package freight steamers on Lake Michigan.

The J. J. SULLIVAN (Hull#439) was launched September 14, 1907, at Cleveland, Ohio, by American Ship Building Co. for the Superior Steamship Co. (Hutchinson & Co., mgr.). Renamed b.) CLARENCE B. RANDALL in 1963. She was scrapped at Windsor, Ontario in 1988.

On September 14, 1871, R. J. CARNEY (wooden barge, 150 foot, 397 gross tons) was launched at Saginaw, Michigan.

The 203 foot wooden schooner KATE WINSLOW was launched at J. Davidson's yard in East Saginaw, Michigan, on 14 September 1872.

The steamer ASIA sank in a storm off Byng Inlet on Georgian Bay September 14, 1882. Over 100 people lost their lives with only two people, a man and a woman, rescued. ASIA was built in St. Catharines, Ontario, in 1873, and was bound from Collingwood, Ontario, to the French River and Canadian Sault.

1960 The Bahamas registered vessel ITHAKA stranded 10 miles east of Chhurchill, Manitoba, after the rudder broke and the anchors failed to hold in a storm. The ship had served on the Great Lakes for Hall as a) FRANK A. AUGSBURY and e) LAWRENCECLIFFE HALL (i), for Canada Steamship Lines as b) GRANBY and for Federal Commerce & Navigation as f) FEDERAL PIONEER.

1965 FORT WILLIAM, which recently entered service as a package freightt carrier for Canada Steamship Lines, capsized at Pier 65 in Montreal. There was an ensuing fire when part of the cargo of powdered carbide formed an explosive gas and 5 were killed. The vessel was refloated on November 22, 1965, repaired, and still sails the lakes a b) STEPHEN B. ROMAN.

1970 The barge AFT, the forward part of the former STEEL KING (ii), arrrived at Ramey's Bend, Port Colborne, under tow of the tug HERBERT A. for dismantling. The barge had been part of a tandem tow with the dipper dredge KING COAL but the latter broke loose in a Lake Erie storm and sank.

1998 The Cypriot registered STRANGE ATTRACTOR first came through the SSeaway in 1989 as a) LANTAU TRADER. It returned under the new name in 1996 and lost power on this date in 1998 while leaving the Upper Beauharnois Lock and had to be towed to the tie up wall by OCEAN GOLF and SALVAGE MONARCH. The ship was soon able to resume the voyage and continued Great Lakes trading through 2003. It arrived for scrapping at Aliaga, Turkey, as d) ORIENT FUZHOU on August 7, 2009.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Clive Reddin, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Russ Plumb, Father Dowling Collection, James Neumiller, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.


Lakes Limestone Trade Down 15 Percent in August

9/13 - Cleveland, Ohio - Shipments of limestone on the Great Lakes totaled 3.2 million tons in August, a decrease of 21 percent from July, and 15.2 percent below the level of a year ago. Loadings were also 13.4 percent below the month’s 5-year average.

Shipments from U.S. ports fell 16.1 percent in August. Loadings at Canadian quarries slipped nearly 11 percent.

Year-to-date the Lakes limestone trade stands at 17.3 million tons, an increase of 7 percent compared to a year ago, but a slight decrease compared to the 5-year average for the January-August timeframe.

Lake Carriers' Association


Port Reports -  September 13

Twin Ports - Al Miller
Twin Ports vessel traffic Wednesday morning included Mapleglen loading iron ore pellets at CN ore dock, Algoma Quebecois was unloading at Holcim cement terminal, American Century was loading coal at Midwest Energy Terminal, and Flevoborg was loading grain at HSC elevator in Superior. Later in the day Federal Schelde was expected to arrive to load at HSC. Both salties are welcome visitors because grain tonnage is down significantly this season. Also later in the day Herbert C. Jackson is due to arrive to unload coal and then proceed to Midwest Energy Terminal to load coal for Taconite Harbor.

Huron, Ohio - Jim Spencer
The Philip R. Clarke was delivering a load of Stoneport dolomite early Thursday at the Huron Lime Co. docks.


Today in Great Lakes History -  September 13

On 13 September 1894, the GLOBE (steel propeller package freighter, 330 foot, 2,995 gross tons) was launched by the Globe Iron Works (Hull #53) at Cleveland, Ohio. She was lengthened to 400 feet and converted to a bulk freighter in 1899, when she was acquired by the Bessemer Steamship Company and renamed JAMES B. EADS. She lasted until 1967, when she was scrapped at Port Weller Drydocks.

On 13 September 1872, the wooden schooner RAPID left Pigeon Bay, Ontario bound for Buffalo, New York with 5000 railroad ties. While on Lake Erie, a storm blew in and Capt. Henderson decided to turn for Rondeau. While turning, the vessel capsized. Annie Brown, the cook, was trapped below decks and drowned. The seven other crew members strapped themselves to the rail and waited to be rescued. One by one they died. Finally, 60-hours later, the schooner PARAGON found the floating wreck with just one man, James Low, the first mate, barely alive.

The EDMUND FITZGERALD's sea trials occurred on September 13, 1958.

The HOFFMAN (United States Army Corps of Engineers Twin Screw Hopper Dredge) collided with the Japanese salty KUNISHIMA MARU at Toledo, Ohio, September 13, 1962. Reportedly the blame was placed on the pilot of the Japanese salty. Apparently the damage was minor.

On September 13, 1968, the AUGUST ZIESING grounded in fog 200 yards above the Rock Cut in the St. Marys River. The grounded vessel swung into the shipping channel blocking it until September 15th when lightering was completed.

September 13, 1953 - The PERE MARQUETTE 22 made her second maiden voyage since she was new in 1924. She was cut in half, lengthened, had new boilers and engines installed.

On 13 September 1875, CITY OF BUFFALO (wooden schooner, 91 foot, 128 tons, built in 1859, at Buffalo, New York, as a propeller canal boat) beached and sank after striking a rock in the St. Marys River. The tug MAGNET worked for days to release her before she went to pieces on 19 September. No lives were lost.

On 13 September 1871, the bark S D POMEROY was anchored off Menominee, Michigan, during a storm. Archie Dickie, James Steele, John Davidson and James Mechie were seen to lower the yawl to go to shore. Later the empty yawl drifted ashore and then the bodies of all four men floated in.

1967 – The former Great Lakes passenger ship NORTH AMERICAN sank in the Atlantic (40.46 N / 68.53 W) while under tow for a new career as a training ship at Piney Point,MD

1988 – The Cypriot freighter BLUESTONE, at Halifax since August 19, has 3 crew members jump ship at the last minute claiming unsafe conditions due to corrosion in the tank tops but this cannot be checked as the vessel is loaded.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Max Hanley, Joe Barr, David Swayze, James Neumiller, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.


Great Lakes coal trade down 3 percent in August

9/12 - Cleveland, Ohio – Shipments of coal on the Great Lakes totaled 2.9 million tons in August, an increase of 6 percent compared to July, but a drop of 3 percent compared to a year ago. Compared to the month’s 5-year average, loadings were down 25 percent.

Overseas shipments continued in August. Coal shipped to Quebec City for reloading into oceangoing vessels totaled 196,000 tons. For the season, the overseas trade totals 980,000 tons.

Water levels and the dredging crisis impacted the coal trade in August. The Lakes are usually approaching their peak at this time of year and the season’s top cargos are often loaded in August. However, water levels are plunging and only 17 of the 63 federally maintained ports are being dredging this year. The largest coal cargo shipped in August totaled only 64,678 tons, well below the record of 70,903 tons set in August 1997.

Year-to-date the Lakes coal trade stands at 14.5 million tons, a decrease of 7.7 percent compared to a year ago. Loadings are nearly 28 percent behind the 5-year average for the January-August timeframe.

Lake Carriers Association


Port Reports -  September 12

Sandusky and Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Algosoo cleared Sandusky Bay Tuesday enroute to Hamilton. She was replaced under the coal loader at the NS dock by the Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin. Sam Laud, which loaded overnight at the Lafarge stone dock on the Marblehead Peninsula, sailed Tuesday.

Buffalo, N.Y. – Brian W.
The USS DeWert arrived in Lackawanna at 4 p.m. Tuesday from Ashtabula, Ohio, followed by the HMCS Ville De Quebec, out of Detroit. The USCG Katmai Bay came in for the Visiting Ships Dock as well.

Toronto, Ont. - Jens Juhl
The Cypriot-flagged bulk carrier Ruddy tied up at Redpath Sugar early Monday morning and began unloading.


New Goderich Coast Guard station, vessel presented to the public

9/12 - Goderich, Ont. – A new home base for the dedicated men and women of the Canadian Coast Guard and a 47-foot search and rescue boat were presented to the public last Friday in an emotional dedication service. The state-of-the-art, eco-friendly station served as a backdrop for a round of speeches from politicians, who praised the commitment of the Coast Guard. Arch Deacon Allan Livingstone dedicated the CCGS Cape Rescue lifeboat that will be put to immediate use.

“Whether they are working on the high seas or the Great Lakes, the men and women of the Canadian Coast Guard are dedicated to keeping our waterways safe and secure,” said Keith Ashfield, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans. “I know the station and vessel will be welcomed by our Coast Guard officers and crew.”

Ben Lobb, M.P. for Huron-Bruce, called the ceremony a great moment for the town of Goderich, for the port and for the harbour.

“The building is state of the art, world-class. It’s a statement, symbolic, certainly for the rebuilding process taking place in the town of Goderich. This is a statement that the Coast Guard and departments of fisheries and oceans take safety seriously, priority number one.”

The station will serve as an office and living quarters. Jo-Anne Homan, whose family has long-standing ties to the Goderich Harbour, was sponsor of the vessel. She gratefully accepted a number of gifts presented to her by the Coast Guard.

Arch Deacon Livingston asked guests to remember the life of Wayne Dall. The Canadian Coast Guard seaman was aboard the CCGS Cape Hurd on Nov. 6, 1983. He lost his life in Goderich Harbour. He said the CCGS Cape Rescue will come across many and grave dangers in the course of her duties.

“We pray that this vessel will carry the vision and hopes of the people who built her, the people who sailed her and the countries she serves,” he said.

The ceremony recognized the coast guard’s 38-year history in the port of Goderich and the 50th anniversary of the Canadian Coast Guard.

Goderich Signal Star


Economic development hot topic at Port Huron meeting

9/12 - Port Huron, Mich. – Economic development topped the Port Huron City Council meeting agenda on Monday with an in-depth presentation from Dan Casey, CEO of the St. Clair County Economic Development Alliance, and a potential $10,000 investment in a “tech depot” for entrepreneurial development.

The depot, which has been proposed by the Blue Meets Green council, would go into the existing Acheson Tech Depot where entrepreneurs would be able to share ideas and space in an open environment. The council requested the $10,000 from the city to bridge the final gap in funding needed to get the tech depot off the ground.

“The idea behind the tech depot... goes back to Ann Arbor, which has done some really creative things with entrepreneurship development,” Casey said. “The tech depot is going to fill a niche for us. It’s not going to solve all of our problems, but it will fill a niche.”

The council passed the Blue Meets Green 6-1 with Brian Moeller dissenting.

Port Huron Times Herald


Tall ships to sail past in Old Port of Montréal on Thursday

9/12 - This parade of the Tall Ships marks the beginning of the most anticipated maritime event of the year in the Old Port of Montreal all the weekend until Sunday, September 16th. The Tall Ships will come into view on the other side of the Jacques Cartier Bridge about noon on Thursday, and will sail beneath the bridge around 12:30. By 12:45 or so, they will be around the tip of the Jacques Cartier Quay, and the cannon salute will begin. They will each be saluted individually and will then sail in a loop in the Alexandra Basin with their sails fully unfurled before coming back to the Jacques Cartier Quay, where you can watch them execute their delicate mooring manoeuvres.

For more information:


Mackinaw WAGB 83 Tool Sale/Silent Auction set for Saturday

9/12 - Mackinaw City, Mich. – Tools used aboard the retired icebreaker Mackinaw WAGB 83 will be auctioned Saturday between 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at the old railroad dock, South Huron Street, Mackinaw City, Michigan (just south of the blue Shepler Marine building). Identity labels are available for all tools and certificates of authenticity may be obtained at the time of settlement.

The board of directors of the Icebreaker Mackinaw Maritime Museum, Inc. (a charitable 501c3 organization) has declared a large number of duplicate hand and power tools as unnecessary to the continuing purpose and mission of the museum.

There is no fee to attend the Auction/Sale -- the museum tours will remain available at regular rates Take a tour and see where these tools were used. All successful bidders may collect and pay for their items at or after 4 p.m. All transfers of ownership are final; all sales are as is where is. For more information, email


Updates -  September 12

News Photo Gallery

New photos have been added to the Lighthouse Gallery
Lake St. Clair - St. Clair Crib Light
Detroit River - Windmill Point, Livingston Memorial Light
St. Clair River - Peche Island Rear Range Light, Ft. Gratiot Light
St. Marys River - Round Island Light, DeTour Reef Light, Point aux Pins Ranges, Light 26, Gros Cap Light
Lake Superior - Presque Isle Breakwater (Marquette)


Today in Great Lakes History -  September 12

On 12 September 1903, the R E SCHUCK (steel propeller bulk freighter, 416 fott, 4713 gross tons) was launched by the American Ship Building Company (Hull #327) at Lorain, Ohio for the Gilchrist Transportation Company. She was purchased by the Interlake Steamship Co. (Pickands, Mather & Co., Mgrs.) in 1913, and renamed b.) HYDRUS. However, she foundered in the "Big Storm" of 1913, on Lake Huron with all hands; 24 lives were lost.

On 12 September 1902, EXPERIMENT (2-mast wooden schooner, 65 foot, 50 gross tons, built in 1854, at St. Joseph, Michigan) was carrying firewood in a storm on Lake Michigan when she went out of control in the harbor at St. Joseph, Michigan after swerving to miss an unmarked construction crib. She wrecked and was declared a total loss. Her crew was rescued by the Lifesaving Service. Three days later she was stripped and abandoned in place.

ROGER BLOUGH was laid up at Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin from September 12, 1981, through 1986, because of economic conditions.

CANADIAN PIONEER was christened at Port Weller Drydocks Ltd. on September 12, 1981, by Mrs. Louise Powis, wife of the Chairman and President of Noranda Mines for Upper Lakes Shipping Ltd. Renamed b.) PIONEER in 1987, she operates in ocean service flagged from Vanuatu.

CARTIERCLIFFE HALL, a.) RUHR ORE, was towed by the tug WILFRED M. COHEN to Collingwood, Ontario for repairs from a June 5th fire and arrived at Collingwood Shipyards Ltd. on September 12, 1979. Renamed c.) WINNIPEG in 1988, and d.) ALGONTARIO in 1994.

Canadian Shipbuilding & Engineering Limited at Collingwood, Ontario closed the yard on September 12, 1986, after 103 years of shipbuilding. Collship was famous for its spectacular side launches. 214 ships were built at Collingwood.

While unloading steel in South Chicago from the a.) CANADA MARQUIS on September 12, 1988, a shoreside crane lifting a payloader into the hold collapsed onto the ship. CANADA MARQUIS had a hole in her tank top and damage to her hatch coaming. She sails today on the ocean and lakes as e.) BIRCHGLEN, for CSL.

On 12 September 1900, ALBACORE (2 mast wooden schooner, 137 foot, 327 tons, built in 1872, at Port Dalhousie, Ontario) had a storm blow out her sails, driving her into the seawall at Fort Bank just east of Oswego, New York where she broke up. The tug J NAVAGH tried unsuccessfully to save her. Her crew of 7 was rescued by the U.S. Lifesaving Service.

After an extremely dry summer, forests were burning all over the Great Lakes region in the autumn of 1871. The smoke from these fires affected navigation. Newspaper reports stated that on 12 September 1871, 38 ships and four strings of barges anchored near Point Pelee on Lake Erie due to the restricted visibility caused by the smoke from the forest fires.

On 12 September 1900, the schooner H. W. SAGE was raised by the McMorran Wrecking Company and was then towed to Port Huron for repairs. She had sunk near Algonac, Michigan in a collision with the steamer CHICAGO on 30 July 1900.

1889: ROTHESAY, a wooden sidewheel passenger vessel, collided with the tug MYRA in the St. Lawrence between Kingston and Prescott. The latter sank with the loss of 2 lives. The former was beached on the Canadian shore where it settled and was abandoned. The wreck was dynamited in 1901 and part of it remains on the bottom in 35 feet of water.

1900: The wooden steamer JOHN B. LYON began taking water in a storm about 25 miles east of Ashtabula and sank in Lake Erie. There were 9 lost with only 6 rescued from the 19-year old vessel.

1917: GISLA was built at Wyandotte, MI in 1916 and went overseas for war duty. The vessel was hit by gunfire from U-64 in the western Mediterranean off Cape Palos, Spain, and sunk by a timed bomb. The ship was carrying nuts and vegetable oil from Kotonou, Dahomey, for Marseilles, France, when it was attacked.

1919: The wooden barge CHICKAMAUGA began leaking in huge seas off Harbor Beach, MI while under tow of the CENTURION and the ore laden vessel sank the next day. The crew of 10 were rescued by the JAMES WHALEN and the wreck was removed the following year.

1928: B.B. McCOLL was virtually destroyed by a fire at Buffalo while loading and had to be abandoned as a total loss. The ship was salvaged, rebuilt and last sailed as h) DETROIT. The ship was scrapped in 1982-1983 at Lake Calumet, IL.

1953: MARYLAND was mauled by a storm on Lake Superior and 12 hatch covers were blown off. The ship was beached near Marquette and all 35 on board were saved. The ship was abandoned but the extensive bottom damage was repaired and the ship resumed service as d) HENRY LALIBERTE.

1989: POLARLAND began visiting the Great Lakes in 1968 and returned as b) ISCELU in 1980, c) TRAKYA in 1981 and d) TRAKYA I in 1982. The ship was lying at Hualien, Taiwan, as e) LUNG HAO during Typhoon Sarah and got loose in the storm prior to going aground. The hull broke in two and was a total loss.

1989: SACHA, Liberian registered SD 14, began Seaway trading in 1973. It returned as b) ERMIONI in 1982. The ship stranded on the wreck of the ORIENTAL PEARL while approaching Bombay, India, from Tampa as d) SAFIR on December 22, 1984, and sustained considerable damage. This was repaired but SAFIR was lost after stranding on a reef off Tiran Island in the Red Sea on September 12, 1989.

2006: TORO went aground in the St. Lawrence off Cornwall Island with damage to the bulbous bow and #2 hold. The ship, enroute from Thunder Bay to Progresso, Mexico, with a cargo of wheat, was released September 18 and repaired at the Verreault shipyard in Les Mechins, QC before resuming the voyage on October 27. The vessel had previously visited the Great Lakes as a) LA LIBERTE, c) ASTART and d) ULLOA. It was still sailing as g) XING JI DA as of 2011.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, James Neumiller, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.


Port Reports -  September 11

Grand Haven, Mich. - Dick Fox
The tug Prentiss Brown and barge St. Marys Conquest were enroute to the St. Marys Cement Terminal in Ferrysburg and were due to arrive late Monday afternoon.

Sandusky and Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Algosoo made it under the coal loader as the NS dock early Monday. She was loading for Hamilton. The delay experienced by the departure of the Herbert C. Jackson was at least partially cleared up Monday when the Jackson sailed for Duluth. She had initially loaded for Detroit, but a change of orders delayed the vessel as she loaded additional coal. Late Monday afternoon, Sam Laud was anchored in the South Passage off Marblehead Light. A construction barge and tug were at the nearby Lafarge stone dock.


Coal ash puts SS Badger’s future in rough waters

9/11 - This could be the final season for the ferry SS Badger, the last coal-fired steamship on the Great Lakes. It's been crossing Lake Michigan since 1953 and is now making 450 trips a year between Manitowoc and Ludington, Mich.

To get rid of the waste ash, crews dump it overboard - about 3.8 tons a day. It's a practice criticized by environmentalists but defended by nautical history buffs and those who see the ship as a boon to the economies of the two cities.

Dumping the ash is allowed by federal regulators until the SS Badger's existing permit expires Dec. 19. Without a new permit, the ferry wouldn't be able to operate, keeping the big ship in dry dock, perhaps forever. The Badger's season is scheduled to end Oct. 14.

Lake Michigan Carferry, the owner of the Badger, is seeking a new permit specifically tailored for the ship that would allow it to continue dumping ash. This fall, the regional office of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is expected to act on the application.

The Badger's current permit was issued four years ago. It allows the ship to flush the ash in a slurry at depths of at least 100 feet and 5 nautical miles from shore. At the time, the company said it would look for other ways, besides coal, to power the ferry and hoped to make the changes this year, according to the EPA.

Now, the company says a new permit would give it more time to evaluate other options. The most promising, it says, is converting the 6,650-ton ship to a propulsion system driven by liquefied natural gas. The company says the planning to make the switch will take several years.

"We are confident we will be here in 2013," said Terri Brown, director of marketing and media relations for Lake Michigan Carferry. But environmentalists, among others, have raised questions.

"Coal ash is nasty stuff," said Amber Meyer Smith, director of programs and government relations for Clean Wisconsin. She noted that coal ash contains pollutants such as mercury, lead and arsenic. Mercury pollution, in particular, could imperil fish stocks in the lake, she said.

"These are toxic materials we don't want in drinking water that serves 10 million people," she said.

In its permit application, Lake Michigan Carferry has submitted data showing that the coal ash has little, if any, effect on the lake. It says that the amount of mercury, arsenic and lead are within acceptable water quality standards for Wisconsin and Michigan and that the ash is not expected to harm aquatic life.

EPA records show that regulators have raised questions about the water quality samples provided by the company and have asked Lake Michigan Carferry on several occasions - including its latest correspondence on Aug. 29 - to provide more information.

Another opponent includes its Milwaukee-based competitor, Lake Express. Aaron Schultz, director of sales and marketing for Lake Express, says the owners of the Badger have dragged their feet to retrofit the ship to save money and undercut Lake Express on price.

Finding a way to store the coal ash on the ship or switching to common diesel engines would be much simpler than liquefied natural gas, Schultz asserted. "They have solutions that are affordable, but they've done nothing - and then they hit us over the head, telling customers that they are cheaper than us," Schultz said.

The two ships have an array of pricing plans, but for comparison, a round-trip crossing for two adults with a car costs $414 on the SS Badger and $465 on the Lake Express.

Milwaukee's Lake Express uses diesel engines to cross the lake in about two hours and 30 minutes, compared with four hours on the Badger. Lake Express began operating in 2004.

While the Badger's ash-dumping practice is coming to a head this fall, the owners of the ferry have reached out for help in the past.

The Wisconsin Legislature passed a bill that was signed into law by then-Gov. Tommy G. Thompson in 1990 that prohibited state regulators from imposing emissions standards on any coal-burning car ferry built before 1954 if it agreed to use low-sulfur coal. It passed the Assembly 97-0 and the Senate by a voice vote.

In addition to the latest action with the EPA, the Badger coal issue has meant work for Washington lobbyists and it's been championed or criticized by members of Congress. Since 2008, at least $660,000 has been spent on lobbying expenses alone by the owners of the Badger and Lake Express, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics.

In 2011, a Coast Guard funding bill passed the U.S. House that included language that would have allowed the Badger to keep operating as it does now. That language did not survive in the Senate version.

One of the sponsors of the Badger amendment was U.S. Rep. Tom Petri, a Wisconsin Republican whose district includes Manitowoc and who has championed the ship for years.

"We support the Badger and its importance to Manitowoc," said Niel Wright, spokesman for Petri.

Also, Lake Michigan Carferry has been pursuing National Historic Landmark status for the ship - a decision that would allow the Badger to keep burning coal. A federal advisory committee recommended approval in 2011, but a final decision has not been made by the secretary of the Department of Interior.

The Badger was built with an eye toward hauling railroad cars across the lake. But for much of its history, the 410-foot-long ship has conveyed cars and trucks - an average of 124,000 passengers, 39,000 automobiles and 1,100 commercial trucks a year, according to records.

In Manitowoc, the city's top official says he is mindful of the environmental concerns the Badger presents. But economics is a bigger consideration in the near term, said Mayor Justin M. Nickels.

"Two major words - jobs and tourism," said Nickels, who helped lead a campaign to send postcards to members of Congress to win support for the Badger.

Using a study commissioned by Lake Michigan Carferry, Nickels says the annual economic impact of the ferry and its passengers to Manitowoc is $14 million annually. In Ludington, the ship generates $21 million a year in economic activity. He said some 2,500 postcards in support of the ship were sent out from Manitowoc alone.

"Being a mayor of a city on the Great Lakes, there is nothing I want to see more than seeing the lake as clean as possible," Nickels said. "But I understand that things like this can't happen overnight."

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel


BoatNerd Welland Gathering this week

9/11 - The annual Welland Canal BoatNerd Gathering is scheduled for September 14-16. Once again, Boatnerds will gather at the Welland Canal for socializing, sharing pictures, slides and videos, plus watching the passing traffic. We will tour International Marine Salvage, on Saturday morning, and be able to see James Norris and Maumee in the scrapyard. Friday and Saturday evenings the group will gather at the Canadian Corps building in Thorold to share pictures, slides and videos. There is no admission charge. There will also be a few vendor tables available. See the Gathering Page for details


Today in Great Lakes History -  September 11

1872, at Milwaukee, Wisconsin), which was transferred to the Atlantic coast from Lake Erie in 1898, struck Romer Shoal off the shore of Staten Island and was wrecked. She was sailing from Norfolk, Virginia to Saco, Maine at the time. Her crew managed to reach the Life Saving Station through the heavy surf.

September 11, 1969, the Bethlehem steamer LEHIGH, Captain Loren A. Falk, delivered the first cargo to the new Bethlehem Steel mill at Burns Harbor, Indiana. The cargo consisted of 15,700 tons of taconite pellets loaded at Taconite Harbor, Minnesota.

On 11 September 1883, EXPLORER (2-mast wooden schooner, 48 foot, 33 gross tons, built in 1866, at Chatham, Ontario) struck rocks and went down on Stokes Bay on the outside of the Bruce Peninsula. Her crew was visible from shore clinging to the wreck until the vessel broke up. All five were lost.

The GEORGE M. HUMPHREY, of 1927, was patched and refloated on September 11, 1944. She had sunk in 80 feet of water after a collision with the steamer D.M. CLEMSON, of 1916, off Old Point Light, on June 15, 1943. On May 6, 1944, the barges MAITLAND NO. 1 and HILDA were employed as pontoons for the salvage operation positioned over the sunken hull. Cables were attached to the HUMPHREY's hull and to the barges. The hull was raised through a series of lifts, which allowed it to be brought into shallower water. Partial buoyancy was provided by the HUMPHREY's ballast tanks, which were pumped out to about 25 percent of capacity. The HUMPHREY was patched and refloated on September 11, 1944. She was taken to the Manitowoc Ship Building Co. first for an estimate of repairs, which totaled $469,400, and then was towed to Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin for reconditioning which was completed at a reported cost of $437,000. Captain John Roen's Roen Transportation Co. assumed ownership on September 18, 1944, and the next year the ship was renamed b.) CAPTAIN JOHN ROEN. She re-entered service on May 1, 1945, chartered to the Pioneer Steamship Co. on a commission basis. Renamed c.) ADAM E. CORNELIUS in 1948, and d.) CONSUMERS POWER in 1958. She was scrapped at Kaohsiung, Taiwan in 1988.

September 11, 2001, the former Bob-Lo boat STE. CLAIRE was towed from Detroit to Toledo by Gaelic's tug SHANNON. In August 2005, she was taken to Belanger Park in River Rouge and in the spring of 2006 she was returned to Nicholson's Slip in Ecorse by Gaelic's tugs PATRICIA HOEY and CAROLYN HOEY.

On September 11, 1987, while in lay-up at Point Edward, Ontario, the FORT YORK caught fire which gutted her bridge.

Carrying cargoes off the lakes, the CANADA MARQUIS departed Halifax bound for Philadelphia with a cargo of grain. The HON. PAUL MARTIN departed Halifax the same day on her way to Tampa with a load of gypsum.

The HORACE JOHNSON sailed on her maiden voyage light from Lorain, Ohio, on September 11, 1929, bound for Two Harbors, Minnesota to load iron ore.

On 11 September 1895, S.P. AMES (2 mast wooden schooner, 61 foot, 43 gross tons) was driven ashore at Pointe aux Barques, Michigan, in a storm. She was quickly stripped before she went to pieces. She had been built in 1879, at Montrose, Michigan, in farm country, well inland, on the Flint River by Mr. Seth Ames. He wanted to use her to return to sea, but he died the day before her hull was launched.

On 11 September 1876, the schooner HARVEST HOME sank on Lake Michigan while bound from Chicago for Cleveland with a load of scrap iron. She was about 26 miles off Grand Haven, Michigan. The crew were taken off by the schooner GRACIE M. FILER just as the boat was going down.

1942: H.M.C.S. CHARLOTTETOWN, a Canadian naval corvette built at Kingston, ON in 1941, was torpedoed and sunk by U-517 on the St. Lawrence near Cap Chat, QC. Nine of the 64 on board were lost. 1946: The former Hall freighter LUCIUS W. ROBINSON, heading for new service in the Far East as b) HAI LIN, ran into a typhoon on the Pacific during its delivery voyage but was unscathed.

1961: The retired PERSEUS, under tow for scrapping overseas, broke loose of the tug ENGLISHMAN, and was abandoned in rough seas near the Azores. It was later found drifting and taken in tow only to sink on September 21.

1968: GRINDEFJELL, a pre-Seaway and Seaway era visitor for the Norwegian Fjell Line from 1953 to 1965, put into Mozambique as b) LENRO after fire had broken out in a cargo hold. The flames spread and, at one time the hull glowed red hot. The ship was gutted, later capsized and was abandoned as a total loss. The vessel was enroute from Assab, Ethiopia, to Rotterdam, with a cargo of bagged niger seed expellers and had to take the long way around due to the Suez Canal being closed. The hull was either scrapped or scuttled.

1987: An arson fire gutted the bridge and top deck of the laid up former C.S.L. package freighter FORT YORK at Sarnia. There had been another suspicious fire three weeks earlier that had been extinguished.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, David Swayze, Russ Plumb, Father Dowling Collection, Jody L. Aho James Neumiller, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.


Port Reports -  September 10

Green Bay and Sturgeon Bay, Wis. – Mary Campbell, Paul Graf and Darren
Wilfred Sykes tied up at Bay Shipbuilding Company on Friday, Sept. 7, for a brief layover for bowthruster repairs. She exited the Sturgeon Bay shipping canal Saturday morning. Paul R. Tregurtha is getting her hull painted while at Bay Shipbuilding undergoing repair from an August grounding. Catharine Desgagnes was unloading pig iron at the Fox River dock in Green Bay Saturday afternoon.

Port Inland and Cedarville, Mich. - Denny Dushane
At Port Inland, the John J. Boland loaded stone and departed in the early afternoon on Saturday. Wilfred Sykes followed the Boland to load. Following the Sykes was the Joseph L. Block. Manistee rounds out the Port Inland lineup for Monday, due in the early morning to load. Vessel activity in Cedarville saw the Arthur M. Anderson anchored for weather, however she was loaded with taconite for Conneaut, Ohio, and is not scheduled to load at Cedarville until sometime Monday or later. Other vessels due at Cedarville to load are the Wilfred Sykes due in on Tuesday in the late afternoon followed by the Joseph L. Block due in on Wednesday.

Stoneport, Mich. - Denny Dushane
Cason J. Callaway loaded Sunday, followed by the Great Lakes Trader which was due to start loading after the Callaway's departure. Due in later in the evening was the Joseph H. Thompson. There are four vessels due to load on Monday – Buffalo in the morning followed by the Calumet in the late morning. John G. Munson is due to arrive at noon on Monday and will be followed by her fleetmate Philip R. Clarke during the early afternoon. John G. Munson will load Tuesday in the late evening.

Calcite, Mich. - Dan McNeil and Denny Dushane
Loading late Sunday was Lewis J. Kuber for both the north and south docks. Due in on Monday is James L. Kuber also for the north and south docks. Due in for Tuesday are American Mariner and Cason J. Callaway for the south dock.

Toledo, Ohio - Denny Dushane
On Sunday the Mississagi unloaded stone at the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock. Capt. Henry Jackman is due to arrive with a stone cargo for the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock on Friday in the early morning. At the Torco Dock, the Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin unloaded an iron ore cargo Sunday. Other vessels due to arrive with ore cargoes for Torco will be the Atlantic Huron on Thursday in the early morning followed by the Algowood on Thursday in the late evening. The Atlantic Superior makes a very rare visit to the Torco Dock on Friday in the late afternoon. Rounding out the lineup at Torco Dock is the barge Lakes Contender, due on Saturday in the early morning. At the CSX Coal Dock, Catharine Desgagnes is due on Monday in the early afternoon, however she will be also be pumping water for six hours prior to loading coal. Two vessels are due to load at the CSX Coal Dock on Wednesday – the Manitowoc in the morning followed by the Saginaw in the afternoon. The James L. Kuber is due at the CSX Dock on Thursday in the late afternoon followed by the Robert S. Pierson on Friday in the late morning.

Lorain, Ohio - Phil Leon
The Dorothy Ann and Pathfinder came into the Lorain harbor from the Marblehead docks about 2:20 p.m. Sunday afternoon and tied at the Jonick dock.

Sandusky, Ohio - Jim Spencer Herbert C. Jackson remained at the NS coal dock Sunday night, having completed loading for Detroit early Saturday. Meanwhile, Algosoo lay at anchor off the entrance to Sandusky Bay, as she had been most of the day. Algosoo was originally scheduled to slide under the NS coal loader Sunday morning to load for Hamilton.


Steelworkers reach agreement with ArcelorMittal US

9/10 - Union of steelworkers at ArcelorMittal facilities in US reached a 3-year agreement with the company, averting a potential strike. The union representing 14,000 steelworkers at 15 ArcelorMittal facilities in the United States reached a tentative three-year contract agreement with the world's largest steelmaker, averting a potential strike.

The agreement was announced in separate statements by the United Steelworkers union and the company, which has its US headquarters in Chicago, a week after the previous contract was set to expire. The workers continued on the job as negotiations progressed.

The union and the company did not disclose specifics of the contract terms. But the union said it preserved wages, benefits, seniority protections and limits on work that could be done by outside contractors.

The union had said that the main sticking points in the contract talks with the Luxembourg-based company were over funding for retiree healthcare premiums and for pension benefits.

Indiana Times


US, Canadian officials dedicate buoy to be placed at location of Battle of Lake Erie

9/10 - Dozens of dignitaries fill the buoy deck of Coast Guard Cutter Mobile Bay Sept. 8 for the dedication of a commemorative buoy that will mark the spot of the Battle of Lake Erie near Put-in-Bay, Ohio.

The specially-produced buoy will mark the spot where the pivotal defeat of the British Navy took place during the War of 1812, the bicentennial of which is being commemorated this summer across the Great Lakes.


Updates -  September 10

News Photo Gallery
New Video on our YouTube Channel


Today in Great Lakes History -  September 10

On 10 September 1890, the PORTER CHAMBERLAIN (wooden propeller bulk freighter, 134 foot, 280 gross tons, built in 1874, at Marine City, Michigan) was floated free of the Wolverine Drydock in Port Huron, Michigan where she had steel arches installed. When she floated free, the arches broke in three places and she stayed in Port Huron to have them repaired.

September 10, 1952, the forebody and afterbody of the future JOSEPH H. THOMPSON arrived at the American Shipbuilding yard in South Chicago. The two sections were delivered to the lakes via the Mississippi River and Chicago Ship Canal. The afterbody departed Baltimore, Maryland on August 2 and the forebody departed Pascagoula, Mississippi on August 21.

On 10 September 1884, the 137 foot steam barge HENRY HOWARD was sailing up bound with the schooner-barge GEORGE WORTHINGTON in tow when she caught fire near Harsens Island at the mouth of the St. Clair River. The fire broke out near the HOWARD's engine room and spread rapidly. The vessel was beached on the island but the WORTHINGTON ran against her and was thus scorched. No lives were lost. The HOWARD was valued at $5,000, but only insured for $3,000 by her owners, B. Hoose and Julia Miner.

The whaleback tanker METEOR was towed from Manitowoc, Wisconsin by the tug JOHN ROEN IV to Superior, Wisconsin on September 10, 1972.

The KINSMAN ENTERPRISE turned 75 years old on September 10, 2002. When she entered service as a.) HARRY COULBY, on this date in 1927, the 631-foot bulk freighter was the third largest on the Great Lakes.

While up bound in the Welland Canal on September 9, 1986, it was noted that the port anchor of the J W MC GIFFIN was missing, her chain was almost touching the water. Rebuilt with a new cargo hold section by Port Weller Drydocks, Ltd., in 1999, renamed b.) CSL NIAGARA.

On 10 September 1909, COLUMBUS (wooden propeller bulk freighter, 136 foot, 439 gross tons, built in 1874, as the tug JOHN OWEN) burned to a total loss at her dock at Gargantua, Ontario in Lake Superior. She was cut loose and allowed to drift out into the bay where she sank. The top of her engine reportedly still shows above the water.

September 10, 1979 - The SPARTAN was laid up. She remains in Ludington, Michigan.

The barge N MILLS was launched at P. Lester's yard in Marysville, Michigan on 10 September 1870. Her dimensions were 164 feet x 30 feet x 12 feet.

1910: PERE MARQUETTE 18, inbound for Milwaukee with 29 rail cars, began leaking and sank 30 miles off Sheboygan, Wis. There were 33 survivors but 29 were lost including the Captain.

1918: The barge SANTIAGO, under tow of the small bulk carrier JOHN F. MMORROW, sank in Lake Huron off Pointe aux Barques without loss of life.

1940: A.E. AMES was once part of Canada Steamship Lines. The vessel was sold for saltwater service about 1917 and was lost, via enemy action, as c) GINETTE LEBORGNE on this date in 1940 when it struck a mine on the Mediterranean, west of Sardinia, while returning demobilized troops from North Africa to France.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Max Hanley, Joe Barr, David Swayze, Russ Plumb, Father Dowling Collection, Jody L. Aho, James Neumiller, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.


Port Reports -  September 9

St. Marys River
Low water in the Rock Cut delayed the downbound American Integrity Saturday afternoon. At first, she tied up below the locks, then moved to the Nine Mile anchorage. She was underway again by 9 p.m.

Stoneport, Mich. – Dan McNeil
Due to load at Sunday is Cason J. Callaway followed by Great Lakes Trader and Joseph H. Thompson. Due in Monday is the Buffalo followed by Calumet. Also due in are John G. Munson and Philip R. Clarke.

Lorain, Ohio - Phil Leon
The tug and barge Joseph H. Thompson unloaded in Lorain Saturday, departing about 4 p.m.


Blog report: Keewatin to open to public by mid-September

9/9 - Port McNicoll, Ont. – When Keewatin arrived back in Canada June 23, it was estimated that it would take a year to put her into showroom condition and complete all of the work necessary to meet the requirements of the local township to obtain an occupancy permit. Well, a small army of volunteers and a resilient ship have come together with lots of community support and the news today is she is almost ready. With only eight or nine weeks of fall left, the plan is to have Keewatin open by mid September. We would keep her open until at least Thanksgiving.

The board of the community charitable “Friends of Keewatin” have decided that within two weeks the group will host what they call “Sneak-A-Peek,” an opportunity for Keewatin fans from the area to get on board with guided tours for a first and exclusive look at a great deal of the ship. The entire ship won’t be open but at least 3/4 of it will and enough to give visitors a look at what once was the envy of the cruise business on the Great lakes.

Instead of an admission fee we are asking for a donation of $10 from adults, $5 from students and $2 from kids. First come first served tours will consist of 15 visitors with a guide and leave the dock every 15 minutes. We hope to start by Sept. 22, but watch this space for confirmation.

The Grand Opening will be next spring when the entire ship, plus an information centre will be available.

Drone On blog (Eric Conroy)


Updates -  September 9

News Photo Gallery


Today in Great Lakes History -  September 9

On 09 September 1889, the FOLGER (wooden propeller wrecking tug, 69 foot, 64 gross tons, built in 1881, at Kingston, Ontario) was sailing upbound past St. Clair, Michigan when fire was discovered in her engine room. Her wheelsman stuck to his post as long as possible, trying to beach her at Courtright, Ontario, but the flames engulfed the vessel and all hands had to abandon her.

September 9, 1936. For the second consecutive day, boats of the Interlake and Pittsburgh fleets collided. The SATURN collided with the HENRY H. ROGERS in heavy fog above Whitefish Bay. The SATURN continued upbound to repair damage at Superior Shipbuilding. The ROGERS continued downbound to South Chicago where the anchor of the SATURN was removed from the Mate's starboard cabin.

September 9, 1940, the steamer MARITANA, Captain Charles E. Butler, went to anchor in Whitefish Bay due to weather. When they retrieved their anchor the next day, they also recovered a second anchor. The second anchor had an oak stock 12 feet across and 17 inches in diameter. The 8 foot forged metal shank was stamped with a date of 1806.

On 09 September 1886, GENERAL WOLSELEY (wooden side-wheel steamer, 103 foot, 123 tons, built in 1884, at Oakville, Ontario) caught fire on her way to Dyer's Bay, Ontario. She was run ashore for the crew to escape near Cape Croker on Georgian Bay and burned to the water's edge.

The WOLVERINE (Hull#903) was launched September 9, 1974, at Lorain, Ohio by American Ship Building Co. for the Union Commerce Bank (Ohio), Trustee (Oglebay Norton Co., mgr.), Cleveland, Ohio.

DETROIT EDISON (Hull#418) was launched September 9, 1954, at Manitowoc, Wisconsin by Manitowoc Ship Building Co. for the American Steamship Co. (Boland & Cornelius, mgr.) Buffalo, New York.

The Steamer PERE MARQUETTE 18 sank on September 9, 1910, with a loss of 29 lives. No cause for the sinking has ever been determined. The PERE MARQUETTE 17 picked up 33 survivors, losing 2 of her own crew during the rescue.

The first of two fires suffered by the Grand Trunk carferry GRAND RAPIDS occurred on September 9, 1980. The cause of the fire was not determined.

On 9 September 1929, the ANDASTE (steel propeller self-unloading sandsucker, 247 foot, built in 1892, at Cleveland, Ohio) was probably overloaded with gravel when she 'went missing' west of Holland, Michigan. The entire crew of 25 was lost. When built, she was the sister of the 'semi-whaleback' CHOCTAW, but was shortened 20 feet in 1920-21, to allow her to use the Welland Canal.

On 9 September 1871, Captain Hicks of the schooner A H MOSS fired the mate, a popular fellow, in a fit of anger the same time that a tug arrived to tow the schooner out of Cleveland harbor. The crew was upset to say the least, and when the towline was cast off and Capt. Hicks ordered the sails hoisted, the crew refused to do any work. The skipper finally raised the signal flags and had the tug tow his vessel back into the harbor. When the MOSS dropped anchor, he fired the entire crew then went ashore to hire another crew.

The ROY A. JODREY (Hull#186) was launched in 1965, at Collingwood, Ontario by Canadian Shipbuilding & Engineering Co. Ltd. for Algoma Central Railway Ltd.

1924: A fire aboard the ship SOUTH AMERICAN at Holland, MI destroyed thhe upper works of the popular passenger steamer.

1964: A collision between the GEORGE R. FINK and the Swedish freighter BROHOLM occurred in zero visibility on Lake Huron just north of the Bluewater Bridge. The latter, on her only voyage through the Seaway, received a gash on the starboard side above the waterline while the former had only minor damage. BROHOLM arrived at Hsinkang, China, for scrapping as d) PROODOS on September 2, 1974.

1977: The British freighter PERTH began service to Canada in 1951 and ooperated into the Great Lakes until 1960. The ship ran aground about 200 miles south of Suez as e) GEORGIOS on this date but was later refloated and taken to Suez. The ship was arrested there and subsequently sank on October 1, 1979. The hull was likely refloated and dismantled at that location.

1993: INDIANA HARBOR received major hull damage when it struck Lansing Shoal. The ship was repaired at Sturgeon Bay.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Max Hanley, Joe Barr, David Swayze, Russ Plumb, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.


Port Reports -  September 8

Grand Haven, Mich. - Dick Fox
The tug Undaunted and Pere Marquette 41 backed in Friday and was tying up at Verplank's dock in Ferrysburg about 10:30 a.m. This combination has bought in 12 of the port’s 42 cargos so far this year.

Sandusky, Marblehead and Huron, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Herbert C. Jackson loaded Friday for Detroit at Sandusky’s NS coal dock. Her Interlake fleetmates - the tug Dorothy Ann and barge Pathfinder - loaded at the Lafarge stone dock on the Marblehead Peninsula. The tug and barge were downbound on Lake Erie Friday night. Friday evening, Algoway was at the Huron Lime Co. dock, discharging a cargo of stone from Bruce Mines.


Transport Canada joins USCG to inspect salties in the Great Lakes and Seaway

9/8 - Ottawa, Ont. – Transport Canada and the United States Coast Guard are conducting a pilot project for joint Port State Control inspections on a limited number of non-Canadian and non-US flagged vessels entering the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway. Port State Control inspections focus on increasing vessel safety, security and pollution prevention, and monitoring living and working conditions for workers on the ships.

"This will make it easier for Canadian and American firms to do business, with direct benefits for businesses, leading to more jobs and growth in both Canada and the U.S. while increasing marine safety and security,” said the Hon. Denis Lebel, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities.

"This initiative is in keeping with President Obama's and Prime Minister Harper's Beyond the Border Perimeter Security Initiative protecting the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway region, which provides common access to the heart of North America. Our goal is to make vessel inspections more efficient and facilitate American and Canadian business on both sides of our shared border,” added Rear Adm. Mike Parks, Commander of the U.S. Coast Guard Ninth District.

The RCC work plan regarding the safety and security framework for the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway is available at: Work Plan (Canada) Work Plan (United States)

Transport Canada and the USCG officials will simultaneously inspect foreign-flagged vessels entering the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway. Vessel participation in the pilot project will be voluntary; a vessel may stop the Coast Guard portion of the exam at any time during the process since the joint exams will be carried out in Canadian waters. If the vessel then continues on to a U.S. port, the US Coast Guard will conduct its normal foreign vessel examination at that time if one is required. Reasonable efforts will be made to avoid delaying the vessel beyond the normal time required to conduct a TC inspection.

This pilot project will extend through the fall of 2012. After its completion, TC and the USCG will make recommendations on forming an ongoing bi-national foreign vessel inspection program.


Great Lakes Shipyard performs work on USCG Cutter Buckthorn

9/8 - Cleveland, Ohio – United States Coast Guard Cutter Buckthorn, a Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan-based 100-foot inland buoy tender, has arrived at Great Lakes Shipyard for extended inspection, maintenance, and repairs including steel repairs, cleaning, and painting. The buoy tender was hauled out on Tuesday, August 28 using the shipyard’s 770-ton Marine Travelift.

The Buckthorn was commissioned on August 18, 1963 and is the Great Lakes’ oldest USCG cutter. It is the first USCG cutter on the Great Lakes to be drydocked using a Marine Travelift.


Conference explores Great Lakes trade with the Dutch

9/8 - Cleveland, Ohio – Representatives from The Netherlands will participate in an upcoming conference exploring the potential of international shipping between Europe and the Great Lakes.

John Carroll University's Boler School of Business will host "The Netherlands: Gateway to the Great Lakes" on Monday September 10, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Donahue Auditorium of the Dolan Center for Science and Technology in Cleveland.

The day-long conference is part of a study exploring the potential of direct trade between Rotterdam and the Great Lakes ports of Cleveland, Toledo and Detroit. A Dutch study team spent more than a year and a half identifying cargoes that might economically move between the Netherlands and the Great Lakes via the Saint Lawrence Seaway.

Speakers will include William D. Friedman, president of the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority; Bart Kuipers, a shipping expert at Erasmus University Rotterdam; Roy Norton, consulate General of Canada in Detroit; and Rear Admiral Michael Parks, commander of the Ninth Coast Guard District, which governs the Great Lakes.

To register for the conference and for more information, go to

The Plain Dealer


Coast Guard to support War of 1812 bicentennial commemoration events in Buffalo

9/8 - Buffalo, N.Y. – The U.S. Coast Guard is scheduled to participate in events celebrating the commemoration of the bicentennial of the War of 1812 at various venues in Buffalo, Sept. 11- 17. Buffalo is the sixth and final U.S. port in the Great Lakes region to host War of 1812 Bicentennial Commemoration events through August and September.

The commemoration in Buffalo will include Coast Guard cutter tours, performances by the Coast Guard Dixieland Band and Silent Drill Team, and search and rescue demonstrations all designed to recognize the Coast Guard, America’s maritime first responder for more than 200 years.

The War of 1812 began due to Britain’s continued interference with American trade and shipping following the Revolutionary War.


Today in Great Lakes History -  September 8

September 8, 1936, the Interlake steamer CRETE and the Pittsburgh steamer CORNELL collided in heavy fog above Whitefish Point. After temporary repairs were made in the Weitzel lock, the CRETE proceeded to Chicago Shipbuilding to repair a damaged bow. The CORNELL proceeded to Manitowoc to repair damage to her starboard side just forward of her boiler house.

On September 8,1868, HIPPOCAMPUS (wooden propeller, 152 tons, built in 1867, at St. Joseph, Michigan) stranded in a storm off St. Joseph and was pounded to pieces. 36 of the 41 passengers were lost. Litigation continued until November 10,1884, when the owner was held innocent of blame in the U. S. Court at Grand Rapids, Michigan.

The GEMINI (Hull#745) sailed on her maiden voyage in August, 1978, from Levingston Shipbuilding Co., at Orange, Texas, to load fuel oil at Baytown, Texas, for delivery at Detroit, Michigan. Passing up bound the next month on September 8 through the Welland Canal, GEMINI became the largest U.S. flagged tanker on the Great Lakes with a capacity of 76,000 barrels. GEMINI was renamed b.) ALGOSAR in 2005.

The W. E. FITZGERALD (Hull#167) was launched September 8, 1906, at Wyandotte, Michigan, by Detroit Ship Building Co. for the Chicago Navigation Co., Chicago, Illinois (D. Sullivan, mgr.).

The bulk freighter HENRY A. HAWGOOD was launched on September 8, 1906, at Cleveland, Ohio, by the American Ship Building Co. for Minerva Steamship Co. (W. A. & H.A. Hawgood, mgr.), Cleveland. Renamed b.) C. RUSSELL HUBBARD in 1912, and c.) W. W. HOLLOWAY in 1935.

The RADIANT departed the shipyard September 8, 1913, light on her maiden voyage bound for Montreal, Quebec.

September 8, 1970 - The MILWAUKEE CLIPPER made her last run from Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

On September 8, 1985, the downbound the Panamanian NORCHEM collided with the upbound CANADIAN PROSPECTOR near Kanawake, Quebec. PROSPECTOR had little damage but NORCHEM was ripped open near her port anchor.

On September 8,1885, ADVANCE (wooden schooner, 119 foot, 180 gross tons, built in 1853, at Milwaukee, Wisconsin) was carrying wood when she became waterlogged and capsized in a gale and blinding rain near Port Washington, Wisconsin, in Lake Michigan. All but one of her crew of seven drowned when her yawl capsized in the surf.

On September 8,1871, the schooner MORNING LIGHT was sailing from Kelley's Island on Lake Erie with a cargo of stone for Marquette, Michigan, in heavy weather. Trying to enter the Detroit River, the crew miscalculated their position and ran the ship aground on Pointe Mouille, just below Gibraltar. The crew scuttled the vessel in the shallow water to save her from harm. The following day, the tug GEORGE N. BRADY was sent out with steam pumps and hawsers and the MORNING LIGHT was raised and towed to Detroit for repairs.

1860: The wooden passenger and freight steamer LADY ELGIN sank in Lake Michigan following a collision with the schooner AUGUSTA with an estimated 297 lost their lives.

1979: The Norwegian carrier INGWI first came through the Seaway in 19600 and made about 10 trips inland through 1967. The hull was reported to have fractured as b) OH DAI enroute from Singapore to Calcutta. The ship foundered in the Bay of Bengal but there was speculation at the time that this was an insurance fraud.

1980: The idle rail car ferry GRAND RAPIDS sustained fire damage from a blaze in the pilings at Muskegon, buckling plates on the car deck. It was extinguished by the U.S.C.G. and Fire Department.

2010: The tug MESSENGER came to the Great Lakes for the Gaelic Tugboat Co. in 1984 and was renamed b) PATRICIA HOEY. It was later sold and became c) NEW HAMPSHIRE and then d) SEA TRACTOR II before leaving the lakes, via Oswego, about 1991. It was known as e) SHARK when scuttled as an artificial reef near Miami, on this date in 2010.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Max Hanley, Joe Barr, Al Miller, David Swayze, Russ Plumb, Father Dowling Collection, James Neumiller, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.


Great Lakes iron ore trade off 3.5 percent in August

9/7 - Cleveland, Ohio – Iron ore shipments on the Great Lakes totaled 6.3 million tons in August, a decrease of 9 percent compared to July, and 3.5 percent below the level of a year ago. Shipments were, however, nearly 22 percent ahead of the August 5-year average.

Shipments from U.S. ports totaled 5.4 million tons, a decrease of 8.2 percent compared to a year ago. Included in that total were 440,000 tons shipped to Quebec City for final delivery overseas.

Loadings at Canadian ports rose nearly 35 percent to 960,000 tons.

Through August the iron ore trade stands at 38.5 million tons, an increase of 4.9 percent compared to a year ago, and 17.3 percent better than the 5-year average for the January-August timeframe.

Shipments from U.S. ports are up 3.1 percent compared to a year ago and 18.1 percent ahead of their 5-year average. Loadings at Canadian ports are up 20.1 percent compared to a year ago and 11.7 percent ahead of their 5-year average.

Lake Carriers Association


Port Reports -  September 7

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Thursday evening at the Upper Harbor, Hon. James L. Oberstar loaded ore while fleetmate Mesabi Miner arrived to unload western coal from Superior into the Upper Harbor hopper.


Blue Water River Walk receives $2 million grant

9/7 - Port Huron, Mich. – The Community Foundation of St. Clair County has been awarded a $2 million grant for its Upper St. Clair River Habitat Restoration Project (aka “Blue Water River Walk”) by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Great Lakes Habitat Restoration Program. Combined with an earlier $250,000 grant the Community Foundation received through U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, the Community Foundation should be able to restore almost one mile of St. Clair River Shoreline in Port Huron, Michigan.

The Blue Water River Walk project has been in the planning since 2010 and is an ambitious approach to naturalizing and restoring almost one mile of shoreline that had been an industrial wasteland for almost 100 years. The shoreline was gifted to the Community Foundation by philanthropist James C. Acheson in December of 2011.

In addition to the restoration and naturalization of the shoreline habitat, the Blue Water River Walk also seeks to emulate the economic impact of the Detroit River Walk by serving as a magnet for community and economic development. Other major components of the River Walk include:
• A multi-purpose pedestrian trail that will run the entire length of the shoreline. The Foundation recently completed a $200,000 fund raising campaign to help cover half the costs of the trail.
• Restoration and re-purposing of a historic railroad ferry dock that will re-open in 2013 as a viewing deck/patio extending out over the St. Clair River
• Construction of a fishing pier utilizing a restored and re-purposed railroad bridge to enhance public access for fishing and ship-watching on the river.
The Community Foundation is the largest grant making foundation in Michigan’s Thumb Region with over 150 endowment funds totaling more than $30,000,000 in total assets. The Foundation also owns Studio 1219 and a home for homeless youth.

Community Foundation of St. Clair County


Somali pirates kill hostage over delayed ransom

9/7 - The Orna was a frequent visitor to the Lakes under this name as well as St Catharines, Asian Erie, Handy Laker, and Moor Laker. Lloyds shows her hijacked on Dec 20, 2010, 400 nautical miles north east of the Seychelles.

Somali pirates who have been holding a hijacked ship for nearly two years killed a Syrian hostage crew member and wounded another to protest delayed ransom payment, a pirate leader said. This is believed to be the first time Somali pirates have killed a hostage because of a delay in ransom.

Hassan Abdi, a pirate commander in Haradhere town, a key pirate center, said Friday that the killing on Wednesday was a message to the owners of the ship Orna that was hijacked off Seychelles in 2010.

"The killing was a message to the owners of the ship who paid no heed to our ransom demands," Abdi said by telephone. "More killings will follow if they continue to lie to us — we have lost patience with them. Two years is enough," he said angrily.

The Orna is a Panama-flagged, bulk cargo vessel owned by a company in the United Arab Emirates.

The pirates operating along the Somali coastline of the Indian Ocean were once were believed to be disgruntled and financially motivated Somali fishermen, angry that international trawlers were illegally fishing Somalia's waters. But now criminal gangs are dominating the piracy trade and they have become increasingly violent as international navies attempt to crackdown on their activities.

Somali pirates hijacked the Orna after firing rocket propelled grenades and small arms at the ship in December 2010, when it was about 400 miles (640 kilometers) northeast of the island nation of the Seychelles.

In May last year an undisclosed number of pirates and hostages were forced to abandon the Orna after a fire broke out, said Abdi. It is believed the fire was caused by an electrical problem in the ship's kitchen, he said.

The European Union Naval Force patrolling the Indian Ocean waters has not heard about the killing, said spokesperson Lt. Cmdr. Jacqueline Sherriff.

Since, 2008, the EU has maintained a flotilla consisting of between five and 10 warships off the Horn of Africa to fight piracy. It is part of a larger international fleet that includes U.S., NATO, Russian and other warships. The EU taskforce also includes non-EU countries such as Norway, Croatia, Montenegro and Ukraine.

Pirate attacks off Somalia's coast plunged to 69 in the first six months this year from 163 a year earlier, according to the EU force. Somali pirates were able to seize 13 vessels, down from 21, according to piracy watchdog the International Maritime Bureau.

ABC News


Lake Superior Marine Museum Association offers program Sept. 13

9/7 - Duluth, Minn. – Lake Superior Marine Museum Association, in conjunction with Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center, has coordinated a Thursday, Sept. 13 Evening Entertainment Series program from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Visitor Center’s lower level lecture hall, 600 South Lake Avenue in Canal Park, Duluth, Minn. Admission is free. Captain Sherman Edwards will present “It Sunk: House Lost Through the Ice.”

Years ago, a seven-room house, with furnishings, went through the ice of Lake Superior as it was being towed from Port Superior to Madeline Island. The 6-wheel drive tractor that was pulling the house sank shortly after the house first broke through the ice. All landed on the bottom of the lake in roughly 70 feet of water. Join Captain Sherman Edwards as he retells the series of events including the spring dive to the bottom of the lake to access the house as well as to attempt salvage. For more Information, visit


Updates -  September 7

News Photo Gallery


Today in Great Lakes History -  September 7

On September 7, 1978, the ROGER M. KYES lost all power in Lake St. Clair requiring tug assistance from the Great Lakes Towing Co. tugs MARYLAND and MAINE, which escorted her to the Great Lakes Steel dock. Renamed b.) ADAM E. CORNELIUS in 1989.

CADILLAC of 1943 was laid up on September 7, 1981, for the last time at Toledo, Ohio. She was later transferred to a West coast marine operation in preparation for conversion for a proposed container ship for service between Chicago, Detroit and Quebec City. However these plans never materialized. On September 7, 1921, the D. G. KERR pulled up to the ore dock at Two Harbors, Minnesota to load exactly 12,507 gross tons of iron ore in the record-breaking time of 16 and a half minutes. This was accomplished through the cooperation of the dock superintendent, the dock employees concerned, the ship's captain and crew and the Pittsburgh Steamship Co. as a means of "showing up" the competition. Her time of arrival and departure to and from the dock took only 19 minutes. For comparison, a good average loading time at that time was about three hours and 45 minutes.

On September 7, 1975, on the St. Marys River loaded with iron ore pellets, WILLIAM G. MATHER, forced out of the channel by a saltwater vessel, struck bottom. Upon proceeding further onto Lake Huron it was discovered that her pumps were unable to cope with incoming water caused by the damage. She was beached at Frying Pan Island (De Tour, Michigan) in 19 feet of water when it became evident they couldn't make dock.

On 7 September 1883, LAURA BELL (wooden schooner, 138 foot, 269 gross tons, built in 1870, at Toledo, Ohio) was carrying coal from Cleveland, Ohio to Marquette, Michigan when she stranded off Shot Point, east of Marquette in Lake Superior. Her crew spent 3 days in her rigging and all but one was rescued by a tug from Marquette.

September 7, 1916 - The PERE MARQUETTE 3 ran aground 10 miles north of Milwaukee.

September 7, 1996 - The American Society of Mechanical Engineers designated the propulsion system of the BADGER a mechanical engineering landmark.

The launch of the 188-foot wooden schooner ELIZABETH A. NICHOLSON was set for 4 p.m., on 7 September 1872, at E. Fitzgerald's shipyard in Port Huron, Michigan. Just before 4 p.m., a telegram was received at the shipyard from Capt. Nicholson, the owner of the new vessel, which read, "Wait a while. We are coming." The launch was delayed until another dispatch was received which said to go ahead anyway. The boat Capt. Nicholson was on had broken down. The launch went well. The vessel was painted deep green with her name in gilt. All present cheered the sight, but there was no party afterwards. All of the food and beverages for the celebration were with Capt. Nicholson on the disabled vessel.

On 07 September 1883, the COLORADO (wooden schooner-barge, 118 foot, built in 1866, at Fairport, Ohio) was in tow of the steamer DON M. DICKINSON along with the schooner-barge N. P. GOODELL in a gale on Lake Huron. As the gale worsened, the string of vessels went to shelter in the harbor at Sand Beach (now Harbor Beach), Michigan. The COLORADO broke loose as they entered the harbor. Deckhand Abbot Way jumped on to the breakwater with a line to secure the COLORADO, but the line broke as soon as it went taut. It broke three times and the barge drifted out into the gale, stranding Mr. Way on the breakwater with six-foot waves washing over it. He managed to get to the harbor light at the end of the breakwater and climbed up above the waves where he was stranded for two hours until the crew of the Lifesaving Station got to him. COLORADO beached herself with no loss of life. She was later recovered and lasted until 1902 when she was abandoned.

1901: WAWATAM ran aground on Gratiot Beach above Port Huron with the whaleback barge #102 in tow.

1929: CHARLES C. WEST went aground on Gull Rock Reef damaging both frames and plates. The repair bill topped $46,000.

1942: OAKTON of the Gulf & Lake Navigation Co. was torpedoed and sunk in the St. Lawrence by U-517 about 15 miles west of Cape Gaspe. It was struck amidships on the port side and went down stern first without any loss of life except the ship's St. Bernard dog. The ship had a load of coal on board from Sandusky, Ohio, to Cornerbrook, NF when hit. Two other Greek ships, MOUNT TAYGETUS and MOUNT PINDUS were struck in the same attack with the loss of 6 lives.

1956: The former Canada Steamship Lines freighter WINONA stranded on a sand bank at Aparii, Philippines, island of Luzon, as b) EDDIE while enroute to Japan with a cargo of logs. The ship broke in two and was a total loss.

1965: AMARYLLIS was driven ashore about 1.5 miles north of Palm Beach Inlet, Florida, during Hurricane Betsy. The crew lived on board for another 4 months keeping up steam in hope of being refloated but the ship was eventually abandoned as a total loss. The vessel, enroute from Manchester, England, to Baton Rouge, LA in ballast, visited the Great Lakes in 1959. The hull became increasingly unpopular with local residents and, in 1975, a gravel road was built to the ship to truck the scrapped steel away. The remains were later floated off and sunk off West Palm Beach as an artificial reef.

1979: INDIANA HARBOR loaded a record 61,649 tons of iron ore at Two Harbors.

1997: NORTH ISLANDS, a Cypriot flag SD14, came through the Seaway in 1994 and loaded peas at Thunder Bay for Cuba. The vessel went aground near San Antonio, Chile, after losing her propeller. The ship broke in two, but all 30 on board were rescued by a helicopter from the Chilean Navy.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Max Hanley, Joe Barr, Tin Stackers - The History of the Pittsburgh Steamship Company, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships. We Remember series


Port Reports -  September 6

Buffalo, N.Y. - Brian W.
English River departed Wednesday from Lafarge with no tug assist. She headed out around 6 p.m. for the Welland Canal, and on to Bath, Ont. The Rebecca Lynn - A-397 tug-barge combo arrived around 5:45 p.m. for the Noco Product Terminal in Tonawanda.


Lakes Huron, Michigan to approach record lows, 25 inches below normal

9/6 - Detroit, Mich. - Lakes Huron and Michigan this winter are likely to approach or set record low water levels, a new report predicts. By December, the two lakes are likely to be just above, at or just below record lows of 1964-65, according to the 6-month projections of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. "The entire Great Lakes basin received below average precipitation for the month of August," the report said. "Precipitation levels for the Superior and Ontario basins were especially low."

An abnormally dry winter followed by a summer drought sent all Great Lakes levels plummeting, but none as significantly as Huron and Michigan. Those lakes are replenished not only by rainfall, but outflow from Lake Superior.

The lakes have been running generally below long-term averages since 1998, a span of 14 years.

Low water levels have a wide range of negative impacts, including less commercial shipping and recreational boating. Freighters must carry lighter loads, and pleasure seekers must be wary of obstructions beneath the surface. Drops of just a few inches can mean unusable boat slips and more expansive shorelines.

Predictions for the other Great Lakes are less dire. Lake Superior could approach, but is not expected to exceed, low-water marks set in 1926. Lakes St. Clair and Erie could range from near average to somewhat below this winter.

As of Aug. 31, Lakes Michigan and Huron were 25 inches below normal. All the lakes are lower than long-term averages, Lake Superior by 12 inches, Lake St. Clair by 14 inches, Lake Erie by 10 inches and Lake Ontario by 12 inches.

Detroit News


Navy week underway on Detroit River

9/6 - Detroit, Mich. – State and city officials will welcome five U.S. Navy ships to Detroit today to celebrate the bicentennial of the War of 1812. The five ships, including one in Windsor, will be docked along the Detroit River near the Renaissance Center, Port Authority and Nicholson Terminal -- south of the Ambassador Bridge -- through Sunday. The festivities are a part of Navy Weeks, which are taking place in 10 cities around the Great Lakes to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812. Free activities are taking place throughout the week, including technology displays with two flight simulators; search and rescue and rifle drill team demonstrations; and daily performances by U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps bands. To cap-off the week, General Motor Co.’s Military Discount program also is sponsoring a free country music concert with Darryl Worley from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Saturday on the RenCen plaza stage.

“The whole 1812 bicentennial commemoration is just another extension of our support to those serving members who have really given up a lot to support our country,” said GM Chief Diversity Officer Ken Barrett, who served in the Navy for 28 years. “We want to just be in any small way that we can be a part of that effort and also support the City of Detroit here as well.” Before Worley takes the stage, the GM Foundation will present Operation Homefront with a $25,000 grant to help it provide emergency financial and other assistance to Michigan families of service members and wounded warriors.

GM, which employs nearly 5,000 veterans, is hosting a slew of events for the Navy Week celebration. Barrett said the events are just a small part of GM’s support for veterans. "I think it’s just going to be a great, great week down here," he told "We just want to do whatever we can to support those veterans and those that are going to be coming home and going out to active duty." For non-history buffs, the War of 1812 was when the United States, independent for less than 30 years, went to war with Great Britain again in 1812.

The war lasted three years and marked the capture and return of Detroit and the eventual burning of the White House, which also inspired Francis Scott Key to write “The Star Spangled Banner” as Fort McHenry successfully defended Baltimore Harbor from a British naval attack in 1814. Click here to view Detroit-area events, including GM-sponsored activities, commemorating the bicentennial of the War of 1812



Coast Guard’s Katmai Bay to host free, public tours in Detroit

9/6 - Detroit, Mich. – The Coast Guard is participating in events to celebrate the commemoration of the bicentennial of the War of 1812 at various venues in Detroit, Wednesday through Sunday. To support the commemoration, the crew of Coast Guard Cutter Katmai Bay will offer free, public tours of the cutter throughout the week and weekend.

The cutter is open for tours from 8:45 a.m. to 11 a.m., Wednesday through Sunday. The ship is moored at the Detroit Waterfront near the GM Renaissance Center. For details or to arrange a large group tour, contact the cutter's crew at 906-630-1141 or 216-310-7026. The cutter Katmai Bay is a 140-foot ice-breaking tug homeported in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.


Green Bay bridge to remain open during work

9/6 - Green Bay, Wis. – City officials plan to close the Fox River bridge next week for repairs and maintenance work that is scheduled to continue until mid-November. The Ray Nitschke Memorial Bridge carries about 18,000 vehicles and countless pedestrians every day through the heart of downtown along the corridor linking Main Street to Dousman Street.

Traffic will be detoured to the Walnut Street and Mason Street bridges, although details of the alternative routes are still being worked out. The bridge will remain in the “up” position throughout the repairs, which means only boat traffic will be unaffected.

Steve Grenier, the city’s assistant public works director, said officials waited to launch the project after downtown’s major summer events, to avoid disruptions or inconvenience. It’s scheduled to close on Sept. 10.

“We’re hoping to minimize impacts to the public,” he said.

Work will be focused on a counterweight system that employs about 100 tons of metal plates to open and close the bridge as needed. Corrosion has caused some plates to shift out of alignment.

The problem has contributed to repeated emergency closures of the bridge in recent years.

Officials also have discovered some deteriorated concrete in the counterweight system, so a project once estimated at $450,000 has grown to $627,000. The city plans to seek state funding to help pay for the work. The bridge opened in 1998. The state built it at a cost of $22 million, and the city later agreed to take jurisdiction of it.

Green Bay Press Gazette


Model boat seminar in Port Huron

9/6 - Port Huron, Mich. – The Great Lakes Nautical Society is offering a free model boat seminar on Saturday, Sept. 15 from 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. at the Great Lakes Maritime Center. Research, planning, building, and finishing a model boat will be discussed. Enjoy the company of experience modelers, one-on-one, for questions and answers. For more information, contact Tom at 810-329-4658 or Len at 586-756-5958.


Welland BoatNerd Gathering Sept. 14-16

9/6 - The annual Welland Canal BoatNerd Gathering is scheduled for Sept. 14-16. Once again, Boatnerds will gather at the Welland Canal for socializing, sharing pictures, slides and videos, plus watching the passing traffic. We will tour International Marine Salvage, on Saturday morning, and be able to see James Norris and Maumee in the scrapyard. Friday and Saturday evenings the group will gather at the Canadian Corps building in Thorold to share pictures, slides and videos. There is no admission charge. There will also be a few vendor tables available. See the Gathering Page for details.

Added for Sunday Sept. 16, the St. Catharines Museum will offer a movie, coffee and tea between 10 am -12 pm. The movie will be David Francey’s “Burning Bright,” about his adventure on one of the Algoma Central ships.


Updates -  September 6

News Photo Gallery


Today in Great Lakes History -  September 6

On September 6,1872, nine days after she set sail from Port Colborne for Detroit, the schooner J. W. SARGENT was listed as missing in the Detroit newspapers, probably a victim of a August 29 storm that struck Lake Erie. Later on the same day that the newspaper announcement was published, the SARGENT arrived in Detroit. Captain William Simms stated that the storm drove him south to Erie, Pennsylvania, where he sheltered for a few days. He sent a telegraph message to the ship's owner but the news was not relayed to Detroit. The SARGENT only lasted another three months. In November 1872, a storm got her on Lake Erie.

The BADGER was launched on September 6, 1952, at Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. A christening ceremony included the SPARTAN (launched earlier that year). The BADGER was named in honor of the University of Wisconsin. The BADGER was built by Christy Corporation, and is powered by two Skinner 4 cylinder Steeple Compound Uniflow Marine Steam engines, developing over 7,000 horsepower. She was the last of the large, coal-fired steamers to be built in the United States, and the only ship of her type still operating on the Great Lakes. The BADGER offers seasonal passenger service from Ludington, Michigan, to Manitowoc, Wisconsin, from mid May to early October.

The BELLE RIVER began her maiden voyage when she loaded 56,073 long tons of western coal at Superior, Wisconsin, on August 31, 1977, and arrived at Detroit Edison Co.'s Belle River power plant at Recors Point on September 6, 1977. Renamed in 1990, she sails today as b.) WALTER J. McCARTHY, JR.

On September 6, 1992, the H. LEE WHITE was in tow of the "G" tugs COLORADO and LOUISIANA entering the Trenton Channel when she struck a section of the toll bridge at Grosse Ile, Michigan, knocking down a 150 foot span immediately east of the main river channel. The WHITE was not damaged but a new section of the bridge had to be installed at a cost of $1.7 million. The bridge was back in service in late January 1993. The U.S. Coast Guard investigated this casualty and their report states that it was the failure of the bridge tender to operate and open the bridge that caused this casualty. The Coast Guard found that the master of the WHITE was operating his vessel in a prudent and lawful manner including the use of whistle signals.

CHARLES E. WILSON completed her sea trials in 1973. Renamed b.) JOHN J. BOLAND in 2000.

GEORGIAN BAY collided with the steamer CHARLES HUBBARD in the fog-covered lower St. Marys River September 6, 1955.

On September 6, 1989, the twin screw rail car ferry GRAND RAPIDS left Muskegon, Michigan, in tow of the tugs ANGLIAN LADY and PRINCESS NO 1, and arrived at Port Maitland, Ontario, on September 11th. Scrapping was completed in the fall of 1994.

On September 6, 1887, BLUE BELL (2-mast wooden scow-schooner, 84 foot, 122 gross tons, built in 1867, at Milwaukee, Wisconsin) was carrying lumber from Wilt's Bay, Michigan, to Milwaukee when she missed the harbor entrance at Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, in a storm. She was driven ashore where she broke up. Her crew made it to the beach with the aid of the local U.S. Life Saving crew. The total loss was valued at $5,000.

On September 6,1871, the wooden schooner ROSA STEARNS, loaded with coal, was battling a storm for hours off Cleveland, Ohio. The ship was driven on the stone breakwater about 1 a.m. and was pounded to pieces. The crew jumped onto the breakwater and crawled to safety as the waves crashed over them.

1908: The wooden steamer CHAUNCY HURLBUT began leaking and was beached at Whitefish Point, Lake Superior, along a rough and rocky shore. It became a total loss and the hull was removed in August 1910 and sunk in deep water.

2009: ALGOPORT ran into heavy weather from tropical storm DeJuan while under tow of the PACIFIC HICKORY, broke up and sank in the Philippine Sea about a week's tow from the destination of Jiangyin, China.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Jody L. Aho, Max S. Hanley, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.


Baie St. Paul progress update

9/5 - Monday it was reported that the Baie St. Paul had left her builder's yard at Jiangyin, upstream on the Yangtze River from Shanghai. Vessel tracking services show that once she cleared the river mouth outbound she spent the subsequent day and night conducting what appeared to be sea trials in the East China Sea.

As of the mid-morning of September 5 local time, or the early evening of the September 4 in the Great Lakes region, Baie St. Paul was still in the same general area, possibly continuing trials. The Baie St. Paul carried out a previous set of sea trials several weeks ago. Her current destination is listed as Zhoushan, a port city on an island to the southeast of Shanghai. Zhoushan appears to be the location of one of the Yangfan Group's shipyards.

Canada Steamship Lines has recently contracted the Yangfan group to build two gearless versions of its Trillium class design. It is unknown whether the Baie St. Paul will be visiting the Yangfan yard at Zhoushan or whether her visit there is for other port services.


Port Reports -  September 5

St. Marys River
A busy day was capped by the downbound passage, at sunset, of Phoenix Star with her first cargo – grain from Thunder Bay – under this name. She is the former Algocen and J.W. Shelley.

Green Bay, Wis. - Wendell Wilke
Olive L. Moore and Lewis J. Kuber arrived Green Bay at Western Lime with stone in the early morning on Tuesday and left at 11:30 a.m. heading into the Bay of Green Bay.


Updates -  September 5

News Photo Gallery


Today in Great Lakes History -  September 5

September 5, 1899, the DOUGLASS HOUGHTON grounded at Sailors Encampment and sank when rammed by her barge, JOHN FRITZ. The HOUGHTON completely blocked St. Marys River traffic for five days. More than 300 boats were delayed at an estimated loss of $600,000.

On 05 September 1898, the MONTGOMERY (wooden schooner-barge, 204 foot, 709 tons, built in 1856, at Newport [Marine City], Michigan as a passenger/package freight steamer) sank in 21 feet of water on Lake St. Clair after colliding with the whaleback barge 137 (steel barge, 345 foot, 2,480 gross tons, built in 1896, at W. Superior, Wisconsin) which was being towed by the ALEXANDER McDOUGALL (steel propeller semi-whaleback freighter, 413 foot, 3,686 gross tons, built in 1898, at West Superior, Wisconsin). The MONTGOMERY was raised and repaired. She lasted another two years before breaking up in a storm in 1901. On September 5, 1964, the 730-foot bulk freighter LEECLIFFE HALL sank after colliding with the Greek ocean vessel APPOLONIA in the St. Lawrence River.

The CHI-CHEEMAUN completed her sea trials on September 5, 1974, and then cleared the Collingwood shipyard on September 26th.

The BENJAMIN F. FAIRLESS cleared Lorain on her maiden voyage September 5, 1942 for the Pittsburgh Steamship Co.

J. P. MORGAN, JR. returned to service September 5, 1948, after repairs suffered in an accident in June.

NEW QUEDOC arrived at McLouth Steel, Trenton, Michigan, on her maiden voyage September 5, 1960, with a load of Labrador iron ore. Renamed b.) QUEDOC in 1963. QUEDOC was scrapped at Curacao Island, Lesser Antilles in 1985.

The WYANDOTTE of 1916, a.) CONNEAUT, was towed down the Welland Canal on September 5- 6, 1973, on her way to the cutter’s torch at Santander, Spain.

On 5 September 1905, ABERCORN (wooden propeller 'rabbit', 126 foot, 261 gross tons, built in 1873, at Marine City, Michigan) burned at the dock at Goderich, Ontario, while unloading coal. She reportedly caught fire from the explosion of a signal lamp.

The schooner CALEDONIA, wrecked the previous autumn near the Fishing Islands on Lake Huron, was raised and arrived in Port Huron, Michigan, on September 5, 1882, under tow to be rebuilt.

1896 The Canadian passenger ship BALTIC, built in 1867 as FRANCES SMITH, burned at the dock in Collingwood. The hull drifted to shallow water and remained there for several years.

1964 A. & J. MID-AMERICA, a Seaway caller in 1963, was driven ashore at Lantau Island near Hong Kong by typhoon Ruby. The vessel was refloated October 5 but came ashore again days later during typhoon Dot on October 13. Refloated October 21, the vessel returned to service and was scrapped as e) UNION TIGER at Inchon, South Korea, after arriving in April 1968.

1964 The former HEMSEFJELL, a pre-Seaway trader, was also blown aground at Hong Kong as d) PROSPERITY during typhoon Ruby but released on October 5. It was scrapped in Thailand during 1972.

1964 The three-year old bulk carrier LEECLIFFE HALL sank in the St. Lawrence, 65 miles below Quebec City, following a collision with the APOLLONIA. Efforts to beach the ship failed and three lives were lost. The hull was dynamited as a hazard to navigation in 1966. The latter, a Greek freighter, had been a Seaway trader in 1964 and was repaired at Levis, QC. The ship was scrapped at Shanghai, China, as c) MAYFAIR after arriving on May 3, 1985.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Russ Plumb, Father Dowling Collection, Jody L. Aho, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.


Port Reports -  September 4

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
The barge Lakes Contender loaded ore at the Upper Harbor on Labor Day and into the night.

Alpena, Mich. - Ben & Chanda McClain
There was some vessel activity over the holiday weekend at Lafarge. The Alpena was loading cement Sunday evening for delivery to Superior, Wis. On Monday, Cuyahoga tied up at the coal dock and unloaded product into the storage hopper. By 6 p.m., Cuyahoga had departed Lafarge and was backing out into the bay. The tug G.L Ostrander and barge Integrity are expected to be in port Tuesday morning.

Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Interlake’s tug Dorothy Ann and barge Pathfinder loaded Monday at the Lafarge stone dock on the Marblehead Peninsula for Sarnia. The pair were upbound in the Detroit River Monday night.


CSL’s Baie St. Paul underway, possibly on her maiden voyage

9/4 - Canada Steamship Lines' new self-unloading laker Baie St. Paul got underway from Chengxi Shipyard in Jiangyin, China about an hour after sunrise on Sept. 4 local time, or during the early evening of Sept. 3 in the times zones around the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River. About and hour into her trip, she appeared to be headed downbound on the Yangtze River at a steady clip, sharing the channel with hundreds of other commercial vessels. If this is indeed the beginning of her delivery voyage she'll have passed the bustling waterfront of Shanghai during the middle of the day there, bound for the sea, the Panama Canal, and the Great Lakes.

The latest issue of CSL World newsletter states that the passage to Montreal is expected to take 50 or 60 days. If that proves to be the case, Baie St. Paul should arrive there by late October, where the temporary reinforcing structures she was fitted with for her ocean transit will be removed and she will be readied for Great Lakes service.


Updates -  September 4

News Photo Gallery


Today in Great Lakes History -  September 4

On September 4,1889, the new steamer CHEROKEE (wooden propeller freighter, 209 foot, 1,002 gross tons) arrived in Port Huron, Michigan, from M. P. Lester's yard in Marine City, Michigan, for the Phoenix Iron Works in Port Huron to installed the engine and boiler. Her outfitting was then completed by Carleton and Cole of Port Huron.

On September 4, 1876, CITY OF PORT HURON, a wooden steam barge, sank a few miles off shore near Lexington, Michigan, at about noon. She was heavily loaded with iron ore and sprang a leak at about 11 o'clock. Most of the crew managed to get on top of the cabin while two were in the forward rigging as she went down in 6 fathoms of water. The heavy seas washed over those on the cabin. Captain George Davis and two others floated ashore on wreckage while a fish boat picked up the five others. No lives were lost.

1921 The former laker RANDOLPH S. WARNER was been cut in two to leave the Great Lakes during World War One. It was rebuilt with the pilothouse amidships and sank on this date about 40 miles off the Bosporus after reportedly striking an unrecovered mine.

1926 HARSEN, loaded with a cargo of sand, capsized and sank in a storm 3 miles northeast of the Pelee Passage Light in Lake Erie. The wooden-hulled vessel was a total loss.

1961 IMPERIAL HAMILTON caught fire while loading ethyl gasoline at Sarnia and sustained considerable damage. Six on board were injured.

1963 The Egyptian freighter SALAH ELDIN, a former Victory ship, caught fire in the crew quarters in Hamilton but the blaze was extinguished before it reached the cargo hold. The vessel almost capsized due to the weight of water but it remained upright. Two crew were injured and the Chief Steward died. The ship was towed out by GRAEME STEWART and JAMES BATTLE on November 22, 1963, for Quebec City and sold as is, where it became d) MERCANTILE VICTORY after a refit at Houston, Texas. Another fire on April 23, 1964, this time in the engine room on the Red Sea shortly after re-entering service in March 1964, led to an eventual resale to Spanish shipbreakers. The vessel arrived at Castellon for dismantling on May 10, 1965.

1967 The tugs MICHAEL McALLISTER and AMERICA towed the retired passenger ship NORTH AMERICAN through the Welland Canal enroute to a new career as a training ship for the S.I.U. at Piney Point, MD.

1972 NORSE CORAL was new when it entered the Seaway in 1962 and returned as b) TOTEM STAR in 1963. The ship opened the Seaway season on April 8, 1964, and returned to our shores as c) SILVERBEACH in 1965. It sustained heavy damage off Victoria, BC while inbound from Hong Kong to Vancouver on this date due to a collision with the C.E. DANT. The two ships were locked together. They were towed to Victoria the next day and then separated September 6. The damage was repaired and the former lakes trader survived until scrapping at Xingang, China, in 1986.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, David Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Jody L. Aho, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.


Port Reports -  September 3

Green Bay, Wis. - Matt Ludvigson
Green Bay saw a busy Labor Day weekend with the visit of the Alpena on Friday, two boats including the Manistee late Saturday, and the Vikingbank due Sunday.

Lorain, Ohio - Phil Leon
Dorothy Ann and barge Pathfinder came into Lorain harbor about 6 p.m.

Sandusky, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Algolake loaded at the NS coal dock Sunday for Hamilton.


U.S. Steel, union reach tentative agreement

9/3 - New York, N.Y. – United Steelworkers said on Sunday it reached a tentative agreement with U.S. Steel on a three-year labor contract for more than 16,000 workers employed at the company's U.S. facilities.

The union said in a statement it had been negotiating for a collective-bargaining agreement with the steelmaker since June. Members of the union will cast a deciding vote on the agreement over the next few weeks.

But union negotiations continue with Luxembourg-based ArcelorMittal -- the world's largest steelmaker -- over a new labor contract, after a midnight deadline passed without an agreement.

"We have been exchanging proposals with the company and remain engaged in negotiations," USW president Leo W. Gerard said in a statement. He added that members of the union will continue to work under the terms set in a 2008 contract while the negotiations are ongoing. The contract, however, has not been formally extended.

The company is restarting blast furnaces idled in the run-up to the contract expiry at midnight on Saturday, Gerard said.

ArcelorMittal operates steel plants in Indiana, Ohio and several other states. United Steelworkers represents about 850,000 workers in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean.



Low levels in Great Lakes a growing concern for this region

9/3 - Windsor, Ont. – Levels in Lake Huron and Lake Michigan are approaching record-low conditions this summer, spelling bad news for the Windsor area unless rainfall considerably increases, said an Environment Canada official on Friday.

A lack of rain and prolonged high temperatures over the past several months have significantly lowered levels across the Great Lakes, already causing problems for the shipping industry and recreational boaters. It’s a problem creeping toward the Windsor-Detroit area, said the federal agency’s Rob Caldwell, who monitors lake levels.

In the Great Lakes, the water flows south from Lake Superior through this area’s waterways and then off east to the St. Lawrence Seaway.

Levels in Lake St. Clair, Detroit River and Lake Erie are already below their averages, but boaters and commercial shipping industry can expect greater impacts of low water levels in coming months and into next year as being experienced currently in Lakes Michigan and Huron, Caldwell said.

The level of Lakes Michigan and Huron fell 10 centimetres this August, while on average it only falls four cm in August. The level of lakes Michigan and Huron are now about 61 cm below the long-term average for the beginning of September level, he said, and 27 cm lower than a year ago.

“The drought conditions we have been experiencing since March have persevered the last few months,” Caldwell said. “We are getting further and further away from the averages throughout the Great Lakes and approaching record lows. We are seeing more and more people being impacted and expressing concerns.”

The impacts of lower lake levels have been felt by hydro power generators, recreational boaters and the commercial shipping industry, which has already been forced to carry lighter loads.

“It depends where you are transiting through the system,” Caldwell said. “Some areas are much worse than others.

“For many recreational boating people (in the Lake Huron and Lake Michigan areas), they have not seen it drop this dramatically. It’s caught them off guard. They can’t get their boats off lifts or they are getting stuck in the mud. Shoreline owners are seeing their docks high and dry.”

David Cree, president and CEO of the Windsor Port Authority, could not be reached Friday, but said earlier this summer the trend is causing plenty of concern for next year and years after that.

Should water levels dip lower, it means shipping docks themselves will increasingly be a prime concern as they generally require at least about 28 feet, with recent levels not much higher than that locally and elsewhere.

The levels of lakes Michigan and Huron are expected to fall further this month, Caldwell said. Those impacts will soon be felt in this region, “unless a large supply of offsetting participation comes to your area,” he said.

Windsor Star


Today in Great Lakes History -  September 3

September 3, 1919, the WILLIAM A. McGONAGLE loaded a record 15,160 tons of soft coal at Toledo, Ohio for delivery to Gary, Indiana. The record lasted less than 24 hours as the D. G. KERR, Captain Harry Harbottle, loaded 15,532 tons of coal at the same Toledo dock for delivery to Gary.

September 3, 1942, The 250 foot STEEL VENDOR, Captain G. L. Kane, sank at 3:45 a.m. on Lake Superior with a cargo of 3,000 tons of iron ore. The lone casualty was Oiler John N. Sicken. Twenty-two survivors were rescued by the CHARLES M. SCHWAB, Captain Alfred Drouillard, and 2 survivors were rescued by the WILLIAM G. CLYDE, Captain David M. LeRoy. Other boats standing by were the B. F. AFFLECK, ELBERT H. GARY, JOLIET, and EUGENE P. THOMAS.

September 3, 1957, the HARRIS N. SNYDER of the Boland & Cornelius fleet, Captain Elmer Murray and Chief Engineer Frank Mc Cabe, rescued 2 from the waters of Lake Michigan. Not only did the crew rescue Mr. and Mrs. Leslie Colby, but the crew used the unloading boom to recover their sailboat and place it on the deck of the SNYDER. The entire maneuver only required 55 minutes.

On September 3, 1899, the Great Lakes Towing Company's RED CLOUD (wooden propeller tug, 62 foot, 40 gross tons, built in 1883, at Buffalo, New York) was sailing on Lake Erie for Lorain, Ohio when a storm forced her to head for port at Cedar Point, Ohio. However she was thrown on a reef and broke in two - a total loss. The crew made it to Sandusky, Ohio.

On September 3, the BELLE RIVER (now WALTER J. McCARTHY, JR.) set a then Great Lakes record for coal when it loaded 62,802 tons of coal at Superior Midwest Energy Terminal on its maiden voyage. This record has since been surpassed many times.

At Lorain, Ohio keel-laying ceremonies for the 437-foot bow section of the ROGER BLOUGH (Hull#900) took place on September 3, 1968, and was float-launched December 21, 1968, less ballast tanks because the existing dry dock wasn't wide enough to accommodate her 105 foot width.

SOODOC (Hull#210) of 1976, on her maiden voyage from Collingwood, Ontario, loaded salt at Goderich, Ontario, on September 3, 1976. Renamed b.) AMELIA DESGAGNES in 1990.

U.S. Steel's SEWELL AVERY was laid up for the last time September 3, 1981, at Superior, Wisconsin. She was towed to Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, in 1987, where the superstructure was removed and the hull was sunk for use as a dock.

The THOMAS W. LAMONT was laid up for the last time at Duluth’s Hallett dock #6A on September 3, 1981. She was scrapped at Aliaga, Turkey, in 1987.

The H. H. PORTER sailed on her maiden voyage for the Brier Hill Steamship Co. (Pickands, Mather, mgr.) on September 3, 1920, light from Lorain, Ohio, to load iron ore at Two Harbors, Minnesota. Renamed b.) WALTER E. WATSON in 1957 and c.) NATIONAL TRADER in 1973. She was scrapped at Thunder Bay, Ontario, in 1978.

On September 3, 1985, PHILIP R. CLARKE plowed into the Drawbridge Cove Marina in Lorain's Black River, damaging 5-10 small craft and sinking one at the steel dock. CLARKE managed to stop before hitting the Route 6 drawbridge.

On September 3,1887, BULGARIA (wooden propeller, 280 foot, 1,888 gross tons) was launched at West Bay City, Michigan, by J. Davidson, as their hull number 16.

September 3, 1910 - The MARQUETTE & BESSEMER NO 2 (Hull#450) was launched in Cleveland, Ohio by the American Ship Building Co. for the Marquette & Bessemer Dock & Navigation Co. She was the replacement for MARQUETTE & BESSEMER NO 2 of 1905, (Hull#428), which foundered on Lake Erie, December 7, 1909.

On September 3, 1869, the 167-foot wooden propeller BOSCOBEL burned about two miles below St. Clair, Michigan. Three lives were lost. The ship was only about two years old and was in service of the New York Central Railroad, though owned by the Peshtigo Lumbering Co. of Chicago. The burned hulk was raised in 1876 and rebuilt as a schooner-barge at Algonac, Michigan. She lasted until 1909, when she sank on Lake Huron.

1905 The GEORGE STEPHENSON was blown aground at Pointe Aux Pins, Lake Superior and struck by her consort barge JOHN A. ROEBLING. Both were released and returned to service.

1942 DONALD STEWART, a canal trader for Canada Steamship Lines, was torpedoed by U-517 and sunk while in a convoy on the Gulf of St. Lawrence while carrying barrels of aviation fuel and bulk cement for the air base at Goose Bay, Labrador. Three members of the engineroom crew were lost.

1944 LIVINGSTON, a former Great Lakes canal ship, was torpedoed and sunk by U-541 in the Atlantic about 80 miles east of Cape Breton Island. Fourteen lives were lost but another 14 were spared and rescued

1965 The tanker EASTERN SHELL sank the small wooden goelette MONT BLANC in a collision blamed on fog about 20 miles from Trois Rivieres. All crew members of the pulpwood carrier were rescued.

1970 KENNETH made a single trip to the Great Lakes in 1959. It caught fire in the engineroom on this date off the coast of Israel while enroute from Alexandria, Egypt, to Tripoli, Libya, as h) CHRISTINA MARIA. The ship was abandoned by the crew, towed into Haifa, Israel, September 6 and sold to Israeli shipbreakers later in the year.

1998 ORKANGER, a chemical tanker that first came through the Seaway in 1977, began leaking while inbound at Rio Grande, Brazil, as e) BAHAMAS with 12,000 tons of sulphuric acid and sank in the harbor. The hull was eventually refloated but never repaired although it had subsequent renames and was reported as broken up in 2003 as h) ORIENT FLOWER.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Max Hanley, Joe Barr, David Swayze, Russ Plumb, Father Dowling Collection, James Neumiller, Jody L. Aho, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.


Steelworkers say no ArcelorMittal strike for now

9/2 - Pittsburgh, Pa. – The United Steelworkers have decided not to go on strike now over stalled negotiations with steelmaker ArcelorMittal. The union says in a statement Friday that striking is still an option for the future. The contract, which expired Saturday, covers 14,000 employees in eight states Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Louisiana and South Carolina.

Luxembourg-based ArcelorMittal wants to slash wages and benefits and have the unilateral right to cut wages during business slowdowns. It also proposes freezing its contributions to certain pension plans, and eliminating retiree health care and pension benefits for workers hired after Saturday.

ArcelorMittal says it needs to dramatically cut costs to remain competitive. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the union decision not to strike.

Associated Press


Port Reports -  September 2

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Saturday evening at the Upper Harbor, Cason J. Callaway loaded taconite while Kaye E. Barker unloaded stone into the hopper.

St. Marys River
The first day of September saw plenty of traffic. Upbounders included the barge Lambert Spirit/tug Salvor, with the tug Ecosse following; Edwin H. Gott, Joseph L. Block, John G. Munson, Burns Harbor and James R. Barker. Downbound traffic included American Courage, Vikingbank, Tecumseh, Saginaw and Philip R. Clarke. While transiting Soo Harbor, Tecumseh reported she may have struck something, and went to anchor above Nine Mile where the U.S. Coast Guard conducted an inspection. Tecumseh was cleared to proceed around 5:30 p.m. Water level in the lower river was unusually low all day, measuring minus 17 at one point, with plenty of beach exposed. At 11 a.m., the Phoenix Star, the former J.W. Shelley, was inbound at DeTour on her first trip under that name.


Former Canadian Miner salvage permit extended

9/2 - Another three months has been set aside for the salvage of a ship grounded off Cape Breton. On Friday the Nova Scotia government extended provincial permits required for the salvage of the grounded freighter, the former Canadian Miner.

The former Great Lakes ship has been stranded and slowly breaking up off the coast of Scaterie Island, Cape Breton since breaking a tow line in September 2011. The derelict vessel was on its way to Turkey to be taken apart for scrap.

The salvage permit expired Aug. 31, 2012, but both Nova Scotia's Department of Natural Resources and the Environment Department extended the salvage permits until December. They also approved the attached work plans. The company hired to dismantle the wreck, Bennington Group of New York, says it will cut the ship apart and remove the pieces by barge.

Earlier on Friday, the NDP's federal transport critic Olivia Chow held a news conference on the Halifax waterfront accusing the federal government of not doing enough to get the work done. Transport Canada released an official statement in response to Chow's comments Friday morning.

"This project does not require any federal approval. Nova Scotia has made a contract with Bennington Group. We encourage them to move forward as quickly as possible."

CBC News


Coast Guard rescues member of U.S. Army Parachute Team during Cleveland show

9/2 - Cleveland, Ohio – The Coast Guard rescued a member of the U.S. Army Parachute Team, the Golden Knights, after he missed the landing zone and ended up in Cleveland Harbor, off the coast of Cleveland Saturday morning.

It is Coast Guard policy to withhold the names of those rescued after the active response has concluded, so the soldier's name is not being released.

At 10:30 a.m., a member of the Golden Knights jumped out of a Navy C-130 over Cleveland Harbor, to perform with other members of the team during the Cleveland National Air Show. Following his free fall performance, he ended up in the waters of Cleveland Harbor.

The parachutist reported that when he opened his parachute, a gust of wind pushed him over the water making him miss the landing zone by 200 yards.

A rescue boat crew aboard a 25-foot Response Boat-Small from Coast Guard Station Cleveland Harbor patrolling the harbor was able to pick him up and transport him to back to the small boat station with no injuries reported.

"The rescue boat crew was glad to help out our brother-in-arms," said Petty Officer 3rd Class Larry Odell, officer-of-the-day at Station Cleveland Harbor. "Hope he enjoyed the boat ride," Odell joked.

The U.S. Army Parachute Team, nicknamed “The Golden Knights,” is the U.S. Army’s official aerial demonstration team. The Team travels around the United States, performing parachute demonstrations at air shows, sports games and special events, connecting the Army with the American people.


Updates -  September 2

News Photo Gallery


Today in Great Lakes History -  September 2

On 02 September 1902, the White Star Line’s TASHMOO (steel side-wheel excursion steamer, 308 foot, 1,344 gross tons, built in 1900, at Wyandotte, Michigan) hosted President Theodore Roosevelt when he came to Detroit, Michigan, to speak to Spanish American War veterans. The vessel took the president and his party on a sightseeing tour up and down the river while flying the president's blue and gold flag from the main mast.

The BROOKNES (Hull #1177) was launched on September 2, 1970, at Glasgow, Scotland by Lithgows Ltd. for "Langra" Schiffahrsges G.m.b.H. & Co., Hamburg, Germany. Brought to the Lakes in 1976, converted to a self-unloader and renamed b.) ALGOSEA. She sailed most recently as c.) SAUNIERE.

ROBERT KOCH's first trip was on September 2, 1977, up the Welland Canal bound for Buffalo with cement.

The W. F. WHITE was one of the earliest ships built as a self-unloader on the Great Lakes. On her maiden voyage September 2, 1915, the WHITE loaded coal at Erie, Pennsylvania, and sailed for Menominee, Michigan. She was the largest self-unloading bulk carrier on the Lakes at that time with a cargo capacity of 10,500 tons.

The RALPH H. WATSON departed light September 2, 1938, from Detroit, Michigan, upbound to load iron ore at Duluth, Minnesota. She was built as part of a fleet modernization plan for the Pittsburgh Steamship Co., Cleveland, Ohio, of four new "GOVERNOR MILLER' class bulk carriers, the other two were the JOHN HULST and the WILLIAM A. IRVIN. The WATSON was only the fourth steam turbine powered vessel on the Lakes

HUBERT GAUCHER ran aground in the lower St. Lawrence on September 2, 1988. It took three tugs to free her; repairs took place at Quebec City.

ZIEMIA TARNOWSKA lost her engine while docking at Pier 24, in Cleveland, ramming the dock and caused about $100,000 in damage on September 2, 1988. The Polish vessel had minimal damage to her bulbous bow.

On 2 September 1851, BUNKER HILL (wooden sidewheeler, 154 foot, 457 tons, built in 1835, at Black River, Ohio) burned to a total loss at Tonawanda, New York.

The COLONEL ELLSWORTH (wooden schooner, 138 foot, 319 gross tons, built in 1861, at Euclid, Ohio as a bark) was beached on Whitefish Point in Lake Superior the entire winter of 1895-96. She was repaired and put back into service late in the summer of 1896. Then, on 2 September 1896, the newly rebuilt vessel collided with the schooner EMILY B. MAXWELL about 6 miles from White Shoals on Lake Michigan and sank at about 4:00 a.m. Her crew escaped in the yawl and was picked up by the MAXWELL.

1905 The large wooden schooner PRETORIA, which cleared Superior with ore under tow of the VENEZUELA, hit a fierce storm and the steering gear failed. The vessel fell into the trough after the tow line snapped and the barge broke up off Outer Island. Five crew were rescued and another five were lost.

1905 IOSCO and the schooner OLIVE JEANETTE foundered off Huron Island, Lake Superior, with the loss of 19 lives on the former and another 7 on the latter. Both were downbound with iron ore and were last seen near Stannard Rock. Also, the SEVONA stranded on a reef in a Lake Superior storm and broke in two as a total loss. Seven drowned from the bow section when they tried to come ashore on hatch rafts. The wreck was dynamited in 1909 after the boilers had been salvaged.

1914 THOS. R. SCOTT became waterlogged and sank during a storm in the deepest part of Georgian Bay off the east coast of the Bruce Peninsula. The ship was swamped in a storm while carrying lumber from Cockburn Island to Owen Sound and all on board were saved. The hull was located using sidescan sonar in 1994.

1926 BURT BARNES, a wooden three-masted schooner, foundered in Lake Ontario while carrying 210 tons of coal from Sodus Point to Picton. The crew abandoned the ship in the yawl boat near Picton and were blown across the lake and came ashore safely 12 miles west of Rochester.

1972 The Cypriot freighter AEGIS WISDOM and the Italian vessel LIBRA collided in fog on the St. Lawrence near Les Escoumins. The former, which had been launched in March, was on her first trip outbound from the Seaway and was heavily damaged aft. The vessel was towed to Lauzon for repairs and survived until scrapping at Alang, India, as d) ANGELIKI II following arrival on January 14, 1997. LIBRA, dated from 1965 but did not come to the Great Lakes until 1975. It was scrapped in Mainland China as b) DEPY in 1986.

1975 CHICAGO TRIBUNE, enroute from Thunder Bay to Collingwood with grain, went aground in Georgian Bay and had to be lightered by the CHARLES W. JOHNSON, working with the tug ROD McLEAN. After being released and unloaded, the ship went to Port Weller Dry Docks for repairs.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Max Hanley, Joe Barr, David Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, James Neumiller, Jody L. Aho, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.


Some taconite plants agree to contract extensions

9/1 - Just hours before labor contracts expired at midnight Friday, the United Steelworkers union representing three Minnesota taconite plants agreed to contract extensions that would temporarily avoid a strike.

Effects of a strike would be felt throughout the transportation and logistics chain. For example, Great Lakes ore carriers would be affected because there’s no need to ship pellets to an idle steel mill. Some shipping companies were ready to start lay-up of certain vessels if the strike took place.

For Hibbing Taconite and United Taconite, both owned by Cliffs Natural Resources, the additional time means that the union must give 48 hours' written notice before a strike and that the company must give the same amount of notice before a lockout.

"The extension will keep the mines operating while negotiations continue," said Wayne Ranick, a United Steelworkers spokesman in Pittsburgh.

At ArcelorMittal's Minorca Mine on the Iron Range, the union said it was willing to keep talks going beyond the Friday midnight deadline. The company, however, had not yet responded to the union's offer.

Separately, talks continued Friday without resolution for U.S. Steel taconite plants in Keewatin and Mountain Iron. That contract, which expires at midnight Saturday, a day later than previously disclosed, affects 1,330 U.S. Steel workers in Minnesota. U.S. Steel officials declined to comment for this article.

At issue in the marathon talks is employee health care costs. For ArcelorMittal, a proposal to create a two-tier wage system that offers lower pay and no pension for new hires has been a sticking point between the union and company management.

Both Cliffs and ArcelorMittal already were taking steps to prepare for a walkout. Cliffs, which has 1,090 union workers in Minnesota, has hired temporary workers, said Cliffs spokeswoman Sandy Karnowski. ArcelorMittal is securing its property and equipment in the event of a work stoppage.

Union officials representing ArcelorMittal workers proposed to their membership Friday that they continue to work even if labor talks continued past Friday's midnight deadline.

"We are not taking the strike option off the table. We are saying that it is in our best interest to not call a strike at this time," the union said in a letter to members. The goal "is for all of us to continue working while we continue to press forward in an effort to reach an acceptable contract. Whether the company will agree to our offer to continue to work while we continue to bargain ... or lock us out remains unknown at this time."

ArcelorMittal, which has 330 workers in Minnesota and thousands more across the United States, did not return calls seeking comment.

A union official for U.S. Steel workers said members at USS Keetac in Keewatin and USS Minntac in Mountain Iron were considering a temporary contract extension if a labor agreement isn't been hammered out by midnight Saturday.

"There has been some talk" about an extension, said R.J. Hufnagel, another Steelworkers spokesman in Pittsburgh. "We have been talking all week and plan to keep talking until we get an agreement."

Minnesota state and business leaders fear that a strike would halt paychecks and hurt a region that is just regaining its footing. Minnesota's $3.1 billion taconite industry supports 17,000 direct and indirect jobs in the state.

Jim Currie, CEO and president of the Laurentian Chamber of Commerce, which represents the iron ore mines and the region's businesses, is worried.

"All the area mines are very big community players and collectively represent several thousand workers," he said. "It's the employees who are worried about their livelihood."

In all, 2,770 unionized taconite workers on the Iron Range are waiting for labor contracts to finalize. Most union officials said little about the specific issues holding up talks.

What is known is that steelworkers and mine owners began slogging through issues in Pittsburgh a month ago. They will ultimately decide who will pay for rising health care costs and resolve ArcelorMittal's proposal to create a two-tier wage and benefit system.

The union said AcelorMittal also wants the ability to implement layoffs and 32-hour work weeks at its discretion; eliminate an 80 percent pension funding requirement; hire outside contractors; and soften worker seniority rules. Union officials said the proposals were "irresponsible" and "dangerous."

Minneapolis Star Tribune


Port Reports -  September 1

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Saginaw was back at the Upper Harbor Friday afternoon loading ore for Essar Algoma.

Toledo, Ohio
CSL Tadoussac arrived in Toledo Tuesday night and was in the drydock by Wednesday morning for repairs after her recent grounding in the Seaway.

Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Interlake’s Dorothy Ann and barge Pathfinder continued loading Friday evening at the LaFarge aggregate dock.


Maritime Academy orders new ship simulator

9/1 - Traverse City, Mich. – The Great Lakes Maritime Academy has order a ship simulator that would give students the experience to pilot a ship without leaving the academy.

With help from a $20,000 Rotary matching donation, the Academy was able to secure the deposit on the simulator, which is expected to be up and running by the end of 2013's spring semester, according to Jerry Achenbach, the Superintendent of the Maritime Academy.

The simulator will be a room with 360-degree flat panel screens that duplicates water ways, as well as the different ship's characteristics, even weather conditions like a winter storm, Achenbach said.

Achenbach said that the simulator is both safer for students, as well as "greener", since you're not firing up a diesel engine each time.

The Academy is still fundraising, but Achenbach is hopeful that the simulator is installed mid-spring semester and can start the required coast guard checks to be fully functional by the end of that semester.


Shippers keep watchful eye on Seaway water levels

9/1 - Montreal, Quebec – With water levels on the St. Lawrence Seaway near Montreal, Quebec, at their lowest levels in 10 years, shippers are keeping a close eye on the conditions.

St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation officials are continuing to monitor local water levels daily to determine whether any advisories should be issued to ships navigating the system along the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario.

Seaway spokesperson Vicki Garcia says for now "low water levels have no impact on us at this time."

That's not the case in the Trois Rivieres to the Montreal section of the seaway where low water alerts have been posted since July.

Canadian Seaway officials say that container shipping traffic has been able to use special outflows on demand to allow ships to safely come into the Montreal port. When water levels get critically low, ships have to reduce cargo loads or change their "draft" to account for the low water conditions.


Today in Great Lakes History -  September 1

September 1, 1880, the Cleveland Vessel Owners Association, later Lake Carriers’ Association, was created, with Alva Bradley as its first president.

September 1, 1892, the upbound WESTERN RESERVE, flagship of the Kinsman fleet, sank approximately 60 miles above Whitefish Point. There were 31 casualties among the crew and passengers. The lone survivor was Wheelsman Harry W. Stewart.

On 01 September 1891, EDWARD H. JENKS (wooden propeller freighter, 119 foot over all, 180 gross tons, built in 1882, at Port Dover, Ontario as the passenger/package freight steamer E.M. FOSTER) was carrying limestone up the Detroit River during a foggy night when she collided with GEORGE W. MORLEY (wooden propeller freighter, 193 foot, 1,045 gross tons, built in 1888, at W. Bay City, Michigan) in a misunderstanding of passing signals. Three were killed in the collision and the JENKS quickly sank at Ballard's Reef on the Detroit River. Her cargo kept her in place until she was recovered the following month and rebuilt.

Tragedy struck four days after the launch of the AGAWA CANYON, September 1, 1970, when the ship was rocked by an engine room explosion, killing one of the crew and injuring seven more. The AGAWA CANYON entered service in November, 1970, equipped with four 10 cylinder, two stroke cycle, single acting opposed piston diesel engines, built in 1970, by Fairbanks, Morse (Canada), Kingston, Ontario. Total bhp 6,680. Rated service speed: 12 knots (13.8 mph).

The TEMPLE BAR (Hull#101G) was launched September 1, 1970, at Govan, Scotland by the Govan Division of Upper Clyde Shipbuilders Ltd. for Lambert Bros. (Shipping) Ltd., London, England. Renamed b.) LAKE NIPIGON in 1977, c.) LAKETON in 1984, d.) LAKE NIPIGON in 1986, and e.) ALGONORTH in 1987.

Upon her arrival at Quebec City on September 1, 1962, the LAKE WINNIPEG was the first vessel of the Nipigon Transport Ltd. (Carryore Ltd., mgr.) fleet.

The self-unloader B.H. TAYLOR (Hull#787) was launched September 1, 1923, at Lorain, Ohio by American Ship Building Co., the third self-unloader built for the Bradley Transportation Co., Rogers City, Michigan. Renamed b.) ROGERS CITY in 1957. Scrapped at Recife, Brazil in 1988.

From September 1, 1947, to September 15, 1959, the U.S.C.G.C. MESQUITE was stationed at Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan

On 1 September 1854, ABIAH (2-mast wooden schooner or brig, 134 foot, 353 tons, built in 1848, at Irving, New York) was sailing light from Chicago, Illinois, to Oconto, Wisconsin, when she capsized and sank in a squall about 10 miles off Sheboygan, Wisconsin. The schooner L. LUDDINGTON rescued her crew and 2 passengers.

The 135-foot wooden schooner JOSEPH E. SPARROW was launched at Bangor, Michigan, on 1 September 1873.

On 1 September 1900, the Canadian steamer ADVANCE (wooden propeller package freighter, 168 foot, 1,178 gross tons, built in 1884, at St. Catharines, Ontario) was placed in service. In August 1899, when she was named SIR S. L. TILLEY, she had caught fire off shore, about 7 miles from Fairport, Ohio, and was destroyed. However, the hull was later recovered and used as the basis of the steamer ADVANCE. She lasted in this role until 1903, when she burned again.

September 1, 1919 - A switchman was killed in the yard at Manitowoc, Wisconsin, while the ANN ARBOR No. 6 was being loaded. This caused a delay of four hours in her sailing time.

September 1, 1931 - W. L. Mercereau retired as superintendent of steamships, a position he had held since 1899.

1916 DRONNING MAUD, a Norwegian freighter visited the Great Lakes on charter to Keystone Transports beginning in 1909. It hit a mine in the North Sea on this date and sank off the east coast of England, between Southwall and Lowestoft.

1929 EDWARD BUCKLEY caught fire and was destroyed in the North Channel of Georgian Bay. The blaze broke out aft while enroute to Little Current to load pulpwood. The hull burned to the waterline and sank near Narrow Island Lighthouse. Local fishermen rescued the crew.

1936 The Canadian canaller BENMAPLE of the Port Colborne & St. Lawrence Navigation Company, sank in the St. Lawrence at about 0400 hours, near Father Point, after being hit in fog by the inbound liner LAFAYETTE. A wheelsman was killed but all others on board were rescued.

1983 INDIANA HARBOR sets a record loading 67,896 tons of iron ore at Escanaba.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Max Hanley, Joe Barr, David Swayze, Russ Plumb, Father Dowling Collection, James Neumiller, Jody L. Aho, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.




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