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Salvage plans assessed for grounded Roger Blough
5/28 - Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. – A freighter carrying a load of iron ore pellets from the Twin Ports ran aground Friday in far eastern Lake Superior.
The 858-foot Roger Blough ran aground near the Gros Cap Reefs in Whitefish Bay, about 10 miles west of Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., shortly after 1 p.m. Eastern time and was experiencing some flooding, authorities said. The crew remained on board Friday night but was safe.
“There are reports of flooding in certain tanks of the vessel — none of them which, as of right now, are fuel tanks; they’re just normal ballast water tanks,” said Lt. Creighton Chong of Coast Guard Sector Sault Ste. Marie. “Right now there is no pollution. There is still some flooding that they’re trying to control, but the crew and the Coast Guard members are safe on board.”
The Coast Guard and the ship’s owners — Canadian National Railway’s Duluth-based Great Lakes Fleet — were assessing the situation to determine a course of action, Chong said.
“They’re assessing the rate of flooding … if it’s safe (for the crew) to stay on board,” Chong said. “The Coast Guard is coming up with a plan with the owner of the Roger Blough … a salvage plan to get it off of the rocks, safely.”
A Coast Guard response boat is set to remain on scene throughout the night, authorities said late Friday. The Coast Guard cutter Mobile Bay, a 140-foot icebreaking tug based out of Sturgeon Bay, Wis., has been dispatched to assist in the ongoing response.
The grounding remains under investigation, Chong said, but it apparently happened while the Blough was passing a ship that was stopped.
The Blough, which marine tracking websites indicate was carrying its load of iron ore pellets to Conneaut, Ohio, went aground not far from the Gros Cap Reefs Light. It’s a point when shipping traffic transitions from the open waters of Lake Superior to the smaller channel leading to the Soo Locks.
The grounded freighter is not impeding the movement of other ships, Chong said.
“There’s sufficient room off of the vessel’s south side,” he said.
The charted depth of the water at the reef where the Blough ran aground ranges from about 17 to 24 feet, according to nautical charts. Those charts indicate the shipping channel into Sault Ste. Marie is maintained at a depth of 28 to 30 feet.
The Blough first sailed in 1972. It left Duluth earlier this week with its load of iron ore pellets.
It’s the second freighter to encounter problems on eastern Lake Superior this week. The 730-foot Tim S. Dool, another freighter familiar to the Twin Ports, lost power and went adrift early Thursday northwest of Whitefish Point, the website SooToday.com reported.
The crew was able to get some generators working to restore lights, the website reported, but had to be towed back to Sault Ste. Marie. It remained at dock there on Friday night, according to marine tracking websites.
The Dool had been bound for Duluth.
Duluth News Tribune
Roger Blough still aground in Whitefish Bay, crew stays aboard
5/28 - Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. – The 858-foot-long Great Lakes freighter Roger Blough ran hard aground on Gros Cap reef in Whitefish Bay, about 10 miles west of Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., Friday at around noon.
The U.S. Coast Guard and the captain of the Blough agreed late Friday that it was safe to let the 24 crewmembers on board stay overnight, said Lt. Creighton Chong, the public affairs officer and chief, Waterways Management Division at Coast Guard Sector Sault Ste. Marie.
There is some flooding but it is under control, added Chong.
The U.S. Coast Guard is assessing the extent of the damage. There is no pollution reported. A salvage plan will eventually be drawn up, which could involve lightering part of her cargo.
The Blough, built in 1972, left Duluth about noon on Thursday with a load of iron ore pellets for Conneaut, Ohio. The vessel is part of the Duluth-based Great Lakes Fleet, which is owned by CN.
Duluth News Tribune, Soo Today
Disabled Tim S. Dool arrives at Sault Ste. Marie dock
5/28 - Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. – The Algoma Central Corp. bulk carrier Tim S. Dool, which lost power and was adrift in Lake Superior Thursday, was towed to Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., Friday, where it was moored the Essar Steel Export Dock. The tugs Anglian Lady, W.I. Scott Purvis and Adanac III were involved in the towing operation.
The Dool lost all power at about 3 a.m. Thursday morning, said Lieutenant Dan Every, senior investigating officer for Coast Guard Sector Sault Ste. Marie. The ship’s crew spent much of the day Thursday making repairs on the generators that provide power to the vessel.
Ex-Algoma Navigator scrap tow leaves Montreal
5/28 - Montreal, Que. – With the saltwater tug Boulder on the bow and Molly M 1 on the stern, the former Algoma Navigator, her name abbreviated to Navi, was towed from Montreal harbor Friday morning bound for a Turkish scrapyard.
Capt C. Marcil
Port Reports - May 28
Port Inland, Mich.
Saginaw, Mich. – Gordy Garris
Toledo, Ohio – Denny Dushane
Hamilton, Ont. – Jeff Cameron
CCG Auxiliary, partners to participate in SAR exercises on Lake Ontario, Lake Erie
5/28 - Toronto, Ont. – The Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary (CCGA) with its search and rescue partners will conduct maritime emergency exercises in the waters of eastern Lake Erie and western Lake Ontario May 28 and 29.
These exercises are being conducted as part of regular ongoing training between the CCGA, the Canadian Coast Guard, the Department of National Defense and the Niagara CARES unit of the Civil Air Search and Rescue Association. These exercises will test the shared response to distress incidents on the Great Lakes, to ensure search and rescue teams and agencies are as prepared as possible to respond and rescue people on the water.
On Saturday, May 28, CCGA units on Lake Erie - the Sandman III and Port Colborne Marine Rescue (POCOMAR I & II) - will exercise with Canadian Coast Guard crew aboard CCGS Cape Rescue based in Port Dover, Ont., and the Mid-Shore Patrol Vessel CCGS Private Robertson V.C. Air support from 8 Wing Trenton will again be actively participating in this exercise, as will CARES Niagara.
On Sunday, May 29, CCGA units based on Lake Ontario - Hamilton Beach Rescue, Grimsby Rescue and Oakville Marine Rescue - will exercise with the Canadian Coast Guard crew aboard CCGS Cape Storm stationed at Port Weller, Ont., and the Mid-shore patrol vessel CCGS Corporal Teather. They will be joined by air support from 424 Transport and Rescue Squadron at 8 Wing/CFB Trenton, Ont., along with CARES Niagara.
Canadian Coast Guard
Updates - May 28
Today in Great Lakes History - May 28
On 28 March 1997, the USS Great Lakes Fleet's PHILIP R. CLARKE set a record for a salt cargo on a U.S.-flag laker when she loaded 25,325 tons at Fairport, Ohio for delivery to Toledo, Ohio. The previous record was 25,320 tons carried by American Steamship's AMERICAN REPUBLIC in 1987.
On 28 March 1848, COLUMBUS (wooden sidewheeler, 391 tons, built in 1835, at Huron, Ohio) struck a pier at Dunkirk, New York during a storm and sank. The sidewheeler FASHION struck the wreck in November of the same year and was seriously damaged.
1935: THOMAS LYNCH and the Norwegian freighter BA collided on a foggy Lake Superior and the former received a hole above the waterline. The saltwater vessel dated from 1921 and was torpedoed and lost in the North Atlantic on July 8, 1941, as c) INGA I.
1942: JACK was torpedoed by U-155 and sunk on the Caribbean while about 100 miles southwest of Port Salut, Haiti. There were 37 lives lost among the 63 reported on board. The ship had been built at Lorain, Ohio, as a) LAKE FRESCO in 1919 and returned inland for package freight service as b) JACK in 1925.
1942: TINDEFJELL came to the Great Lakes for the Fjell Line beginning in 1937. It was taken over by the Germans in April 1941, while at a Norwegian port, and renamed SPERRBRECHER 174 in December. It is reported to have hit a mine and sunk off Dunkirk, France, on this date in 1942.
1982: The tug COMANCHE had an electrical fire while at DeTour, MI, and the blaze destroyed the cabins and pilothouse. The hull was surrendered to the underwriters on June 14 and it later sank while under tow off Ludington on December 12, 1985.
2006: The pilot boat PLACENTIA PILOT was built at Wheatley, ON, in 2000 and left the Great Lakes that December for service at Newfoundland. The ship hit the rocks and had to be beached while trying to put a pilot on the tanker TUVAQ. The ship was listed as a total loss but was salvaged. At last report, it was on a trailer at Port Hawkesbury, NS, pending repairs as b) STRAIT EAGLE.
Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.
Roger Blough aground on Gros Cap Reef
5/27 -6 p.m. update - Coast Guard crews are responding to a grounded freighter in Whitefish Bay in Lake Superior Friday afternoon. The Roger Blough, an 833 ft U.S. Cargo vessel, has run aground in the vicinity of Gros Cap Reef in Whitefish Bay, Lake Superior with reports of flooding. All crew members are reported safe with no injuries. Crew reports no sign of pollution in the water. Multiple U.S. Coast Guard assets are on scene to ensure the safety of the crew and the environment and to assess the extent of damage.
2:30 p.m. update - The downbound, 858-foot Roger Blough aground on Gros Cap Reef in the upper St. Marys River around noon on Friday. AIS has her at the edge of the reef with a speed of 0.0 and with the notation "not under command." No additional information is available.
Disabled Tim S. Dool being towed back to Sault Ste. Marie
5/27 - Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. – The U.S. Coast Guard says a 730-foot long bulk carrier, which lost power and was adrift in Lake Superior, will be towed to port for repairs.
The Tim S. Dool – which is owned by Algoma Central Corporation – lost all power at about 3 a.m. Thursday morning, said Lieutenant Dan Every, senior investigating officer for Coast Guard Sector Sault Ste. Marie.
Thursday afternoon it remained adrift about 65 nautical miles northwest of Whitefish Point. The ship’s crew spent much of the day Thursday making repairs on the generators that provide power to the vessel.
“The main engine that drives the propeller is out of service, but they were able to get some generators online. It’s limited, but they at least have lights now,” said Every.
With no means of propulsion, the vessel will be towed to port by Purvis Marine Ltd.'s Anglian Lady tug, which is based in Sault Ste. Marie and was on scene Thursday afternoon.
Every expects it will take all night for the vessel to be towed to Sault Ste. Marie. “Being a ship that size under tow, you can imagine doesn’t travel fast,” said Every. He said the vessel is in deep water and no dangerous weather has been forecast.
“I think there is no additional safety concern beyond the fact there’s a ship that is dead in the water,” said Every. Tim S. Dool was headed to Duluth to load pellets.
Welder sues Fraser Shipyards over alleged lead poisoning
5/27 - Superior, Wis. – The first of what could be multiple lawsuits against Superior-based Fraser Shipyards was filed in U.S. District Court in Madison on Wednesday.
James Holder, a 48-year-old welder and ship fabricator, is seeking damages in excess of $75,000 for what the lawsuit claims was exposure to toxic levels of lead while performing work on the lake freighter Herbert C. Jackson at Fraser earlier this year.
"We have other clients who have suffered lead poisoning," said attorney Matthew Sims, who is representing Holder for the Chicago-based Rapoport Law Offices. "We anticipate additional lawsuits will be filed in this matter with respect to our clients who suffered lead poisoning aboard the Herbert C. Jackson."
The lawsuit said Holder worked on the repowering of the Jackson, a freighter owned by the Ohio-based Interlake Steamship Company, which is also named in the lawsuit along with Northern Engineering Company — a subsidiary, along with Fraser Shipyards, of the Duluth-based Capstan Corporation.
Holder was working on the Jackson while employed by a subcontractor, Tradesmen International, which is not a party to the lawsuit.
Work on the Jackson was halted temporarily this spring, when the Occupational Safety and Health Administration began investigating complaints from workers in February. The OSHA case remains open, the U.S. Department of Labor reported on its website.
At the time OSHA announced its inspection, Fraser President James Farkas confirmed the existence of lead paint on "some recent work areas and surfaces." Work stopped temporarily while Fraser sought to remove lead paint. The Jackson was being retrofitted with twin diesel engines, but not before the old steam engines were dismantled and removed at the yard located on St. Louis Bay in Superior.
Farkas did not reply to the News Tribune when contacted Wednesday about the lawsuit.
According to the lawsuit, Holder performed duties for several weeks that included "cutting out old steel with a torch, which involved burning through paint." He claims he was in close proximity to fumes and airborne particles.
"The defendants knew or should have known these workers were being exposed to the hazards of occupational diseases," the lawsuit said.
The lawsuit also states that in 1993, Fraser was cited by OSHA for several dozen safety violations "when it failed to protect workers at its yard from exposure to toxic levels of lead."
The lawsuit claims that workers earlier this year complained to the defendants about working conditions and "unusual health ailments" affecting workers on the Jackson, but "the defendants and their agents ignored these complaints, failed to investigate the widespread sickness, and instead falsely assured the workers, including the plaintiff, there was nothing to be concerned about."
Farkas responded to the OSHA inspection at the time by saying that all exposed workers would have their blood tested for lead and be monitored accordingly afterward. Additionally, Farkas said the company would apply preventative actions, including remediation of paint and improved ventilation in the engine room of the 57-year-old ship.
Holder was later diagnosed with lead poisoning, the lawsuit states. Sims said he is back to work on a limited basis in his native state of Virginia.
"Mr. Holder suffered terrible joint pain, illness, decreased cognition, problems with his nervous system and gastrointestinal issues," Sims said. "Basically, the way it's been described to me is it feels like you're dying."
The News Tribune has written extensively about the repowering of the Jackson, including touring the work prior to it being shut down in February. In late March, while addressing the start of the Great Lakes shipping campaign, Interlake Steamship President Mark Barker was asked by the News Tribune about his company's choice of Fraser Shipyards to do the repowering work — the first of its kind at Fraser in many years.
"It's a risk going to a yard that hasn't repowered a boat in 30 years or more," Barker said at the time. "But at the same time if you don't put some of that risk out there and let them do it, how are they going to get better? It's important for us as partners in the industry to grow and develop together. They're doing a nice job, but there are definitely some learning curves."
Fraser celebrated its 125th anniversary in 2015. But until millions of dollars in upgrades in recent years it had mostly become an outpost for maintenance and repair work. As it aged, Fraser had been surpassed by other shipyards for major projects, such as a repowering, until receiving the Herbert C. Jackson project.
Fraser and the other defendants have 21 days to respond to Holder's lawsuit.
Duluth News Tribune
Port Reports - May 27
St. Marys River
Escanaba, Mich. – Raymond H
Milwaukee, Wis. – Alan
Alpena, Mich. – Ben and Chanda McClain
Oswego, N.Y. – Ned Goebricher
Buffalo, N.Y. – Brian W.
Truck hauling buoy damages Blue Water Bridge
5/27 - Port Huron, Mich. – A semi-truck hauling a large coast guard buoy for recycling caused damage to the Blue Water Bridge while passing under the structure Thursday morning.
The incident happened shortly before 9 a.m. when a semi-truck hauling a buoy attempted to pass under the Blue Water Bridge while traveling north on Pine Grove Avenue in Port Huron, according to St. Clair County Sheriff Deputy Russ Nowiski.
The buoy it was carrying dragged across the understructure of the bridge before it became stuck on the north side. The buoy was damaged and large chunks of concrete fell into the roadway.
Jocelyn Hall, a spokeswoman for the Michigan Department of Transportation, said the damage to the bridge appears to be cosmetic and not structural. However, she said, MDOT inspectors are still assessing the damage.
The truck and buoy were removed shortly after the incident. Citations will be issued, Nowiski said.
Port Huron Times Herald
Congresswoman hopes to remove provision eliminating EPA oversight of ballast
5/27 - Non-defense-related legislation tucked away in the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act, which was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives last week, would remove the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s authority in regulating ballast water discharge from cargo vessels.
Dubbed the “Vessel Incidental Discharge Act,” the bill directs the U.S. Coast Guard to establish new standards for ship discharge of ballast water, which is water carried in vessel ballast tanks to improve stability and discharged at port when cargo is loaded or unloaded.
Under VIDA, ballast water discharges would be exempt from Clean Water Act permits that are renewed every five years, which allows for reevaluation, water level monitoring and improvements to treatment technology. Additionally, vessels operating in the Great Lakes or other “geographically limited areas,” according to the bill, would be exempt from ballast water treatment requirements.
A Congressional Research Service report conducted last year states that the goal of the legislation is to set a single ballast water management standard overseen by the Coast Guard. However, Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway advocacy groups, including Save the River, have denounced the legislation, fearing that removal of EPA control over ballast water discharges could cause a wider spread of invasive species.
D. Lee Willbanks, executive director of Save the River, said the legislation undermines efforts made over the last several years to stave off invasive species, and it’s unfair that the bill was included in an unrelated national defense bill.
“Right when we’re beginning to make progress, this gets slipped into the (NDAA),” he said. “Then we go back to where we were.”
In Congress, U.S. Rep. Elise M. Stefanik, R-Willsboro, has been working to eliminate the VIDA bill, which is sponsored by U.S. Sen. Marco A. Rubio, R-Fla.
Ms. Stefanik said VIDA was added to the NDAA without a roll-call vote. While she put forth an amendment to strike the bill from the NDAA, it was ultimately ruled out of order by the Rules Committee, allowing VIDA to remain.
Ms. Stefanik said her next step is to work with the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and House Armed Services Committee, of which she is a member, to remove the bill or find other solutions during the upcoming bicameral NDAA conference.
The U.S. Senate version of the NDAA does not include VIDA, and Ms. Stefanik’s spokesman, Tom Flanagin, said it is unlikely VIDA will be added to the Senate bill as an amendment. He noted that Ms. Stefanik will also work with members of the Senate to attempt to ensure the bill does not appear in the finalized NDAA.
Along with trying to change VIDA’s language, Ms. Stefanik has moved forward with a pair of other bills aimed at combatting invasive species.
On Wednesday, Ms. Stefanik introduced the Stamp Out Invasive Species Act, which would direct the U.S. Postal Service to issue a “Combatting Invasive Species Semipostal Stamp.” Proceeds from the sale of the stamp will be used to fund Department of Agriculture and Department of the Interior programs designed to fight invasive species.
Additionally, Ms. Stefanik introduced a resolution expressing the House’s commitment to combatting invasive species.
In her announcement on the House floor, Ms. Stefanik highlighted the effects invasive species have on ecosystems in the north country and throughout the state.
“Given our unique position as both the gateway to the Great Lakes and center of international shipping trade, our state has the unfortunate distinction of being a principle point of entry for many invasive species,” she said, adding that invasive species contribute to $100 billion in losses annually.
Ms. Stefanik has pursued invasive species legislation since taking office.
Watertown Daily Times
Updates - May 27
Today in Great Lakes History - May 27
CANADIAN PIONEER (Hull#67) was launched May 27, 1981, at St. Catharines, Ontario, by Port Weller Drydocks Ltd. for Upper Lakes Shipping Ltd. She was renamed b.) PIONEER in 1987.
NANTICOKE was christened in 1980, for Canada Steamship Lines Ltd.
CHARLES DICK (Hull#71) was launched in 1922, at Collingwood, Ontario, by Collingwood Shipbuilding Co. Ltd. for National Sand & Material Co. Ltd.
The PETER REISS left Duluth, Minnesota May 27, 1910, on her maiden voyage with iron ore for Ashtabula, Ohio. She was converted to a self-unloader in 1949, and scrapped at Ramey's Bend in 1973.
HENRY STEINBRENNER was towed from Toledo's Lakefront Dock in 1994, for the scrap yard at Port Maitland, Ontario.
The tug SMITH burned near Bay City, Michigan, on 27 May 1872. Her loss was valued at $7,000 but there was no insurance on her.
The ferry SARNIA made her first trip as a carferry between Port Huron and Sarnia on 27 May 1879. She had burned in January 1879, then was converted to a carferry and served in that capacity during the summer. In September, 1879, she was converted to a barge.
The tug GORMAN, sunk by the steamer CITY OF BUFFALO was raised. She is not much injured. The local steamboat inspectors have taken up the case of the collision. The crew of the tug claim that their boat was run over by the CITY OF BUFFALO and the appearance of the wreck carries out their declaration, for the tug shows that the steamer struck her straight aft.
27 May 1898 - The tug WINSLOW arrived in Bay City, Michigan, from Georgian Bay with a raft of logs for Eddy Bros. & Co. The tug NIAGARA arrived from the same bay with a raft for Pitts & Co. The sawmills along the Saginaw river are now nearly all in operation.
1933 GEORGE M. COX hit Rock of Ages Reef in Lake Superior on its first trip after previous service as PURITAN. The vessel had 121 passengers and freight on board when it struck the reef in the early morning in fog. The ship hung at a precarious angle until all were rescued and then, during an October storm, the vessel slid back into deep water.
Data from: Skip Gillham, Jody Aho, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series, Bowling Green State University, the Detroit Free Press and the Duluth Evening Herald.
Freighter adrift after losing power on Lake Superior
5/26 - Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. - 1 p.m. update - A freighter is adrift after losing power on Lake Superior. The U.S. Coast Guard says the Tim S. Dool has lost power about 65 nautical miles northwest of Whitefish Point.
The Coast Guard says the freighter had a 440 volt circuit failure which caused the engine to shut down.
The Anglian Lady, a towing vessel, was on its way to tow the Tim S. Dool to Whitefish Bay. The tug was expected to reach the vessel sometime before noon on Thursday.
The Coast Guard says everyone on board is OK.
Vessel scrapping update
5/26 - The 12,000-hp saltwater tug Boulder arrived in Montreal Wednesday morning to tow the Navi (ex-Algoma Navigator) to Turkey for scrap. Boulder was built in 1988 and currently sailing under the flag of the Netherlands.
According to Transport Canada's website, the tanker Algosar is now officially owned by Marine Recycling Corporation of Port Colborne, Ont. She will be cut up in the coming months.
Peter R. Cresswell, her name now abbreviated to Peter, had her Canadian registry closed on Wednesday. She is at Montreal awaiting a scrap tow.
After unloading scrap metal from the former laker Canadian Miner last weekend in Inztmit Bay, Turkey, the Catherine III (ex-Catherine Desgagnés) is anchored off Aliaga, Turkey. It can be assumed that she's waiting her turn to be beached.
Rene Beauchamp, Brian Bernard
450 feet under Lake Michigan, classic car cache rests in frigid silence
5/26 - The world's largest collection of 1929 and 1930 Nash Motors automobiles exists not in a museum, but rather entombed in the frigid depths of Lake Michigan.
The cars, 268 of them, are lashed in rows inside and crumpled in a heap next to the wreck of the SS Senator, a Great Lakes steamship that rests for eternity in an uncharted sinkhole about 15 miles east of Port Washington, Wis.
The Senator, which sank during the final days of the Roaring Twenties as the country was plunging into the Great Depression, sits upright nearly 450 feet down; so deep that few, if any, divers will ever see her in person. Her collection of vintage autos once bound for Detroit join the pantheon of ships, airplanes, submarines, train cars and other vehicles of yesteryear that populate the bottom of Lake Michigan.
"Those cars on the inside are in pretty good condition," said Tamara Thomsen, a maritime archeologist and shipwreck diver with the Wisconsin Historical Society who surveyed the Senator wreck in November.
Read more, and see a photo gallery here
Port Reports - May 26
St. Marys River
Buffalo, N.Y. – Brian W.
House measure supports shippers on ballast water dumping
5/26 - Traverse City, Mich. – A plan gaining support in Congress and backed by the cargo shipping industry would establish a nationwide policy for dumping ballast water into U.S. waterways that environmental groups say would open the door to more invasive species like zebra and quagga mussels, which have wreaked economic havoc from the Great Lakes to the West Coast.
The proposal was tucked into a $602 billion defense bill that the House passed last week, the latest twist in a longstanding struggle over how to handle water that ships carry in huge tanks during overseas voyages. Ballast provides stability in rough seas but harbors fish, plants and even viruses, which find new homes when vessels discharge the water in distant ports. Some multiply rapidly, out-compete native species for food and spread disease.
The debate focuses on how extensively ship operators should be required to treat ballast water to kill as many organisms as possible before the water is released.
Rep. Duncan Hunter, a California Republican who sponsored the House provision, said it's intended to simplify a confusing patchwork of state and federal ballast regulations that is burdensome to shippers and hampers interstate commerce.
"There has to be one single federal rule that everybody's required to go by," Hunter told The Associated Press by phone.
Environmental groups fighting for tougher treatment standards say Hunter's amendment would be a significant step backward. It would exempt ballast water discharges from regulation under the federal Clean Water Act, stripping the Environmental Protection Agency of power to set and enforce standards and leaving the Coast Guard, which currently shares those responsibilities, solely in charge.
"The Clean Water Act is the nation's only comprehensive law that can combat an environmental plague of aquatic invasive species that costs the U.S. economy billions of dollars and touches every single state in the union with its destructive powers," said Nina Bell, executive director of Northwest Environmental Advocates in Portland, Oregon.
In a statement, the White House said the Hunter amendment "undermines the ability to fight the spread of invasive species" and would "irreparably hinder the successful prosecution of unlawful discharges."
The Senate is expected to vote next month on its own defense bill. If the ballast water provision is not added, it will be among issues the two chambers will negotiate to produce a final version.
Critics contend the issue should be considered separately but was attached to an essential military bill to shield it from a presidential veto. But supporters say the annual defense measure routinely includes provisions dealing with the maritime industry because it's important to national security.
The EPA in 2013 required vessel operators to limit the number of live organisms in ballast water, based on international standards adopted by the Coast Guard the previous year. It also required oceangoing vessels to exchange their ballast water at sea, or rinse the tanks with saltwater if empty to kill freshwater creatures that may lurk inside.
A federal appeals court ordered the EPA last October to toughen the rules, saying treatment methods such as filtration, ultraviolet light and chlorine application could further reduce the number of surviving organisms. That order will be nullified if Hunter's amendment is enacted, environmentalists say.
Hunter said his provision is intended to set standards that match the best available technology for ballast treatment and could be strengthened as methods improve. But Neil Kagan, attorney for the National Wildlife Federation, said the measure provides no financial incentive for the industry to do better.
"Ships could continue to discharge using the current technology forever," he said.
By prohibiting states from imposing stronger requirements, the measure would block them from protecting sensitive waters such as the Great Lakes, where quagga mussels and other invaders have upended ecosystems and caused untold economic damages, Kagan said.
Great Lakes shipping and ports organizations endorsed the Hunter amendment, saying it would give existing federal standards more time to work.
The provision "integrates best available technologies, best management practices and strict oversight to set a national approach to the prevention and control" of invasive species in ballast water, they said.
Lake Erie wind turbine project gets grant
5/26 - Cleveland, Ohio – The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded a $3.7 million grant to a company doing engineering work on a proposed wind turbine project in Lake Erie.
Lake Erie Energy Development Corp. is aiming to build a 20-megawatt demonstration wind farm in the lake northwest of downtown Cleveland. Current cost estimates are between $120 million and $128 million. As a regional economic development corporation, LEEDCo’s efforts are focused in Lorain, Ashtabula, Cuyahoga and Lake counties.
The DOE grant is the third the department has given LEEDCo, bringing the total in federal funding to $10.7 million, Cleveland.com reported. The department wrote in a memo to the Ohio congressional delegation that the additional funding will support the company’s offshore wind research and development progress.
The grant depends on a partnership between LEEDCo and a Norwegian wind developer that provides a $1.9 million cost share, bringing the total funding available to nearly $5.6 million.
The DOE had made LEEDCo a runner-up when it announced in 2014 that it would be awarding $47 million in grants to offshore projects in the Atlantic Ocean. LEEDCo is hoping the department will declare it a finalist and move a primary grant to the project since others have fallen behind the government’s engineering development schedule.
David Karpinski, an engineer and LEEDCo vice president, said the goal is to complete detailed electrical and mechanical engineering designs. The company wants to have the wind turbines built and functioning by the end of 2018, he said.
The project would be the first offshore freshwater project, meaning the foundational designs would have to be able to withstand ice on the surface as well as underwater ice dams and ice floes.
Updates - May 26
Today in Great Lakes History - May 26
On 26 May 1888, BLANCHE (2-mast wooden schooner, 95 foot, 92 gross tons, built in 1874, at Mill Point, Ontario) was carrying coal with a crew of five on Lake Ontario. She was lost in a squall somewhere between Oswego, New York and Brighton, Ontario.
In 1979, the FRED R. WHITE JR. departed the shipyard on her maiden voyage to load iron ore pellets at Escanaba, Michigan for Cleveland, Ohio.
The J.A.W. IGLEHART began its maiden Great Lakes voyage in 1965, for the Huron Portland Cement Co. The straight deck bulk freighter FRANKCLIFFE HALL began its maiden voyage in 1963. Deepened and converted to a self-unloader in 1980. She was renamed b.) HALIFAX in 1988.
SCOTT MISENER (Hull#14) was launched in 1954, at St. Catharines, Ontario by Port Weller Drydocks Ltd. for Colonial Steamships Ltd. She was scrapped at Alang, India in 1990.
In 1923, the ANN ARBOR NO 4 was towed to the shipyard in Manitowoc, Wisconsin by the ANN ARBOR NO 5 with the assistance of the tug ARCTIC. The NO 4 was completely overhauled and had all new cabins built on her main deck.
QUEEN OF THE LAKES was launched at the Kirby & Ward yard in Wyandotte, Michigan on 26 May 1872. She was the first iron-hulled vessel built in Michigan.
On 26 May 1873, the iron propeller revenue cutter GEO S. BOUTWELL (Hull#15) was launched at D. Bell Steam Engine Works in Buffalo, New York. Her dimensions were 140 feet x 22 feet x 17.5 feet, 151 gross tons. She served out of Savannah, Georgia (1874-1899) and Newbern, North Carolina (1899-1907).
The tug GORMAN, which was sunk by the steamer CITY OF BUFFALO was raised today. She is not much injured. The local steamboat inspectors have taken up the case of the collision. The crew of the tug claim that their boat was run over by the CITY OF BUFFALO and the appearance of the wreck carries out their declaration, for the tug shows that the steamer struck her straight aft.
1926 The self-unloader ALPENA delivered the first cargo of coal, 4,000 tons, to the new Detroit Edison steam generating power plant at Marysville, MI.
1982 ROLAND DESGAGNES ran aground off Pointe au Pic, Q.C . The ship floated free with the high tide only to sink on May 27 at 4 am due to hull damage. All on board were saved and the cargo of salt dissolved. The hull rests upright on the bottom in about 300 feet of water.
1984 The Norwegian freighter WILFRED first visited the Seaway in 1966. It went aground on this day in 1984 as b) PSILI at Buenos Aires, Argentina. The vessel was refloated and returned to service. It last sailed as c) GLORY BAY and arrived at Dalian, China, for scrapping on September 18, 1986.
Data from: Skip Gillham, Jody Aho, Max Hanley, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Historical Collections of the Great Lakes, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series, the Detroit Free Press and the Duluth Evening Herald.
$2.1 million repair to close iconic Lake Michigan pier for nearly a year
5/25 - Grand Haven, Mich. – Planned repairs to the Grand Haven South Pier will close the iconic walkway for nearly a year. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is scheduled to begin a $2.1 million repair project in August. It's the first major overhaul of the worn structure since the mid-1950s.
The project would close the pier until July 2017, but it is one that is badly needed, said City Manager Patrick McGinnis.
"It's long overdue," he said. "The surface has been compromised and the subbase could have some washed away where we can't see it. It's in pretty rough shape. The Army Corps will take off the top portion and reveal what is underneath and secure the steel side walls."
Read more and view a photo gallery here
Beaver Island Boat Co. lends ferry to Central Michigan University researchers
5/25 - Charlevoix, Mich. – Researchers from Central Michigan University’s Institute for Great Lakes Research will be collecting data from the Great Lakes and using part of Beaver Island Boat Company’s fleet to help collect data to be used in their study.
The research being done is one-of-a-kind on the Great Lakes and could offer some important insight into the changing conditions of Lake Michigan. Beaver Island Boat Company was brought in to help aid the research by providing equipment that could be revamped to fit the needs of researchers and the studies being done.
Fitted with equipment to detect changes in the temperature and chemistry of Lake Michigan and data systems in place that can be turned on and off remotely from the research station, the Emerald Isle ferry, has been busy helping research crews. Tim McQueer, operations manager at Beaver Island Boat Company, said the ferry service worked closely with Central Michigan University and the United States Coast Guard so the ferry could best be outfitted and equipped in a way that would satisfy researchers project needs.
“When were approached by CMU to be part of the project and immediately we were interested in learning more. As a tourism company based on the Great lakes and this being our home, lake stewardship is something we take very seriously,” McQueer said.
The monitoring system the groups came up with is the only one of its kind operating in the state. With the Great Lakes containing nearly 20 percent of the world’s surface fresh water, studies such as those being done by Central Michigan University will help researchers understand environmental issues affecting the Great Lakes basin.
Dr. Donald Uzarski, Director of Central Michigan University Institute for Great Lakes Research and the Central Michigan University Biological Station located on Beaver Island, noted the importance of the work.
“The bottom line is that we have to be monitoring these changes in real time so that we can alter management practices and be adaptive before it is too late to respond,” Uzarski said.
While the research will be conducted indefinitely, recent studies have shown that the northern lakes are warming faster than the southern lakes with climate change so the need to be proactive is great. Currently while the Environmental Protection Agency, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and a handful of universities monitor much of the state, there is very little work being done in northern Michigan.
With research being conducted on a daily basis, the university and its team are very grateful to the helping hand in facilitating these studies by Beaver Island Boat Company.
“I especially want to thank BIBCO (Beaver Island Boat Company) for being a partner in this important work,” Uzarski said. “ This is a great example of how academic, government, and private partners can come together to tackle issues that impact our economy.”
The Central Michigan University Biological Station is located on Beaver Island, 32 miles from Charlevoix, Michigan in northern Lake Michigan. The unique setting of the station provides a wealth of opportunity for scientific research for faculty, students, teachers, and visiting researchers.
Petoskey News Review
Donations put Port Sheldon buoy back on the water
5/25 - Port Sheldon Township, Mich. – The Port Sheldon buoy is back online and it’s all thanks to community members.
The buoy anchored off the shore of Port Sheldon is the most popular buoy in the Great Lakes. Every 10 minutes, it spits out near real-time observations to a free website. Last year, the buoy website had almost 1 million clicks, many of those being to the buoy camera mounted at the top of the device.
Dozens of community members have pulled together to fund the launch this year. Donations have ranged from a few bucks to thousands of dollars. The goal for the season was to raise $25,000. That goal was reached last week. The Great Lakes Observing System (GLOS), a nonprofit in Ann Arbor, was also key in organizing donations and support.
The buoy is run and deployed by a company called LimnoTech. In conjunction with GLOS, it is working to deploy near-shore buoys to help improve forecasts and to warn boaters, fisherman and beach-goers when conditions are dangerous. It transmits observations on wind speed, wave height, surface water temperature and water temperature for about 80 feet down to the surface of the lake bed, as well as other readings. The buoy data is free and can be viewed online.
“Our goal was to get it in before Memorial Day. I think we’re really going to see activity pick up this coming weekend,” LimnoTech Project Engineer Ed Verhamme said.
The buoy was originally funded by a grant. When that money ran out, the buoy was not able to launch on its usual date in April. Verhamme says it would cost less to launch all buoys at the same time. So far this month, LimnoTech has already launched four, including one in South Haven.
Verhamme says it will likely be up to the community to raise enough money to get the Port Sheldon buoy back in the water the following spring. That’s not an uncommon practice — South Haven’s buoy is supported by locals, as is a buoy in Petoskey.
While grant money could be available in the future, there no guarantee. The buoy will be anchored three miles off the shore of Port Sheldon until the end of October.
View the feed from the buoy here: http://greatlakesbuoys.org/station_page.php?station=45029
Alpena fisheries research station welcomes new vessel Tanner
5/25 - Alpena, Mich. – "It's a great day for Michigan," fisherman Charlie Lyon said. "Its' a great day for fishermen in the area." The latest and greatest DNR fishery boat is almost ready to hit the open water.
Monday was a welcome tour to see the new Tanner research vessel at the Alpena Fisheries Research Station. The vessel cost $1.5 million. A Great Lakes Fisheries Trust grant and fish and game licenses paid for it.
"The Tanner really represents, I think, a commitment to the stewardship of the Great Lakes and the resources that it represents by the state of Michigan," Department of Natural Resources fisheries research biologist David Fielder said.
"This boat will be replacing our older research vessel, the R/V Chinook, which is 69 years old and well past its time to be retired," Fielder said. "This boat is much more efficient, it's safer and has all the state-of-the-art technology."
The brand new vessel is the result of more than 10 years of planning and building. It's job will be to help researchers asses and survey the health and status of fish in Lake Huron.
"We're really excited," Fielder said. "We've all had some opportunity to ride on it, but it hasn't seen a fish yet. It will shortly, but we're excited about that to really put it through the paces and just see exactly what its capabilities are."
Local fishermen say it's exciting to have an investment in such an important part of Northern Michigan.
"I think any fisherman should have a caring about quality fisheries and we know the lakes are changing over time and so we have to keep on top of what's causing it and what we can do to improve it," Lyon said.
The DNR hopes to get the Tanner out for research in a few weeks.
Today in Great Lakes History - May 25
On 25 May 1889, JAMES GARRETT (3-mast wooden schooner, 138 foot, 266 gross tons, built in 1868, at Sheboygan, Wisconsin) was driven ashore at Whitefish Bay near Sheboygan, Wisconsin, on Lake Michigan in a gale. She was pounded to pieces by the end of the month. No lives were lost.
On May 25, 1898, PRESQUE ISLE (Hull#30) was launched at the Cleveland Shipbuilding Company in Cleveland, Ohio. The vessel is much better known as the cement carrier E.M. FORD, recently scrapped.
May 25, 1941: The former Pere Marquette carferry PERE MARQUETTE 17 was re-christened CITY OF PETOSKEY.
The wooden schooner J C DAUN was in her first year of service when she encountered a squall in Lake Erie on 25 May 1847, and she capsized five miles off Conneaut, Ohio. Four of the 11 on board were able to make it to her upturned keel, but one of them died of exposure during the night. In the morning, the schooner UNCLE SAM rescued the three remaining survivors. Later the steamer SARATOGA found the DAUN floating upside down, fully rigged with the bodies of some of the crew still lashed to the rigging. The DAUN was righted a few days later and towed in by the schooner D SMART.
On 25 May 1854, DETROIT (wooden side-wheeler, 157 foot, 354 tons, built in 1846, at Newport, Michigan) was sailing from Detroit to Chicago with two lumber scows in tow. On Lake Huron, she collided with the bark NUCLEUS in heavy fog and sank. The exact location (15 miles off Pointe aux Barques) was not known until the wreck was discovered in 200 feet of water on 5 June 1994, by Dave Trotter and his determined divers.
1906: HOWARD L. SHAW was in an unusual accident and passed between the cable of the CORALIA and her barge MAIA, raking the top of the pilothouse, deck, stack and spars before the ship went aground. The hull of HOWARD L. SHAW survives today as a breakwall at Toronto.
Data from: Skip Gillham, Jody Aho, Max Hanley, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Historical Collections of the Great Lakes, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series. This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history.
Tug, barge christened at Bay Ship
5/24 - Sturgeon Bay, Wis. – A barge and a tug were christened at Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding Co. in Sturgeon Bay last Friday morning.
The Barbara Carol Ann Moran is named after Barbara "Bobbie" Stiles, the wife of Peter Minwegen Jr., who is credited with bringing Moran Towing Corp. and CF Industries, a fertilizer manufacturer and distributor, together. The articulated tug barge (ATB) is a steel-hull tug and is 121 feet long. Also christened Friday was the barge Louisiana. The barge is 468 feet long.
Ted Tregurtha, president of Moran, gave the welcoming remarks, "We're really proud to use the name Barbara Carol Ann," Tregurtha told the crowd of more than 500 workers, staff and additional attendees.
The Louisiana is one of three barges Bay Ship has built for Moran. The others are the Texas and the Mississippi.
Todd Thayse, vice president of Bay Shipbuilding, thanked not only the Moran and CF Industries, but also everyone who worked to complete the latest ATB. Francesco Valente, president and CEO of Fincantieri Marine Group, said the tug is "deceptively small in appearance" but it is "powerful and tough."
Stiles' husband was asked by Moran if they could name the tug after his wife.
"Of course it's such a high honor for both of us," Stiles said. "I thought the name Barbara Carol Ann Moran ... would be perfect. It is the longest name they've ever done and then I turned out to be so petite."
Green Bay Press Gazette
Peter R. Creswell renamed PETER for scrap tow
5/24 - Montreal, Que. – Algoma's scrapyard-bound Peter R. Creswell was renamed in Montreal in the last few days. The stack has been painted black also. The new name is PETER.
Eisenhower Lock Visitor Center to open for season May 27
5/24 - Massena, N.Y. – The Dwight D. Eisenhower Visitors' Center, located at the U. S. Eisenhower Lock, will open on Friday, May 27, and remain open daily, including weekends, through Labor Day, September 5. Hours of operation are from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and it is free to the public.
The Seaway Visitors' Center provides tourists and ship watchers with an observation deck where they can view commercial vessels and cruise ships from around the world as they transit the lock. Guides are available to provide additional information to tourists.
The Massena Chamber of Commerce will operate a gift shop featuring items from local vendors and Seaway memorabilia, as well as provide tourist information to visiting guests. Starting May 27, the gift shop will be open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturday/Sunday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Due to security measures, visitors will be asked to leave all packages, bags, backpacks etc. in their vehicles. For those necessary items that need to be carried into the viewing area, you may be asked to present them for inspection or have them checked by a metal detecting wand. This will be conducted at a manned checkpoint as you enter the Visitors’ Center area from the parking lot. The Center maybe periodically closed to visitors at the discretion of the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation. The top deck is open to the public.
The Center is located off Route 37 in Massena, N.Y. Turn right at the traffic light at the St. Lawrence Centre Mall main entrance if approaching westbound or left if heading eastbound. The Visitors' Center entrance is 1.5 miles on the right.
For up-to-date information on estimated vessel transit times, call (315) 769-2422 for a voice recording of that day’s projected lockage schedule.
Saint Lawrence Seaway Authority
High water causing headaches on Lake Michigan
5/24 - New Buffalo, Mich. – Lake Michigan’s water level is up. Beachgoers may have to get cozier with each other on slimmed-down beaches. Motorized boats will find easier access to marinas.
But in New Buffalo, high water has aggravated the annual loss of sand — blamed on the harbor that was built in 1974 — and that's causing homeowners to spend six-digit amounts this year to secure their shorelines and save their homes.
The “poster child” of New Buffalo’s headaches, said City Manager Rob Anderson, is a house that had to be torn down from a bluff a few months ago. A poorly built barrier had washed out with a storm in 2014. Erosion continued, and neighbors say it’s getting worse — though no one’s stepping up to help pay for solutions.
Local parks and harbor managers say they’ve watched lake levels hit several highs and lows over the decades. But whenever it rises, it puts erosion perilously closer to homes and beaches.
Since it hit a record low in January 2013, Lake Michigan has risen 4 feet, the Chicago Tribune reported last week. The lake is expected to keep rising by more than 10 inches over the next six months, which would put it 1 foot shy of the record high set in 1986, according to data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Beyond that, scientists say, it’s difficult to predict.
While this winter was relatively mild, the region is still recovering from the severity of the two prior winters, plus more rainfall than usual, said Keith Kompoltowicz, chief of watershed hydrology for the Army Corps of Engineers in Detroit.
"To simply put it,” he told the Chicago Tribune, “the problem is more water is coming into the lakes than leaving."
Lake levels never declined in the fall, as they typically do, Drew Gronewold, a NOAA hydrologist who has studied more than 100 years' worth of data on the Great Lakes' water levels, told the Chicago Tribune.
“We just came out of one of the longest low-level periods in history,” he said. “Water levels were below average for more than 16 years. During that time, people have gotten used to lower water levels and have put in infrastructures and have adapted.”
Tiscornia Beach in St. Joseph has lost so much ground that an annual war re-enactment in June, Lest We Forget, will move this year from Tiscornia to the airport in Benton Harbor. Erosion is now eating away at the back end of the beach, said Greg Grothous, the St. Joseph’s deputy director of public works.
But bigger changes are seen at Lions Park Beach in St. Joseph, where the beach is 40 feet shorter than last summer and where the groins — protective walls that are buried in the sand, running perpendicular to the water — have become exposed, he said.
Lions Park Beach will gain some sand when the St. Joseph River is dredged leading into the city harbor this summer. Sand that’s pulled out of the river will be dumped, as usual, at the beach. But it’s unclear whether that will make up for what the beach has lost.
In between the two beaches, the county’s popular Silver Beach remains stable, and Berrien County Parks Director Brian Bailey can only guess that’s because it’s protected by the adjacent pier.
But at Rocky Gap County Park in Benton Harbor, Bailey said the county has adjusted a handicapped-accessible ramp that it’s installing by 20 feet, because of this year’s high water, adding about $6,000 in design and construction costs. Officials realized they had to make the change in April as survey stakes went in and, he said, “8- to 10-foot waves came in.”
The Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore closed its Central Avenue Beach, just west of Mount Baldy and Michigan City, last summer. It remains closed because of erosion from both rising waters and a harbor structure that has limited the natural flow of sand, said spokesman Bruce Rowe.
The beaches are narrower because of lake levels. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has replenished sand in years past, but now the money is lacking to do that, he said.
“We are working with other agencies and local communities to explore ways to accomplish beach nourishment projects for the park's hardest hit beaches,” Rowe said.
In Michigan City’s harbor, boaters can now dock their vessels at about 20 to 30 slips that were inaccessible two years ago because of low water, said Tim Frame, harbormaster for the city’s port authority.
The only inconvenience that higher water creates for boats is that some are too tall to pass underneath the railroad bridge on Trail Creek. The bridge turns and closes when trains pass about a half dozen times a day, Frame said, adding that it’s just “a matter of waiting.”
The city will still seek to dredge the harbor’s portion of Trail Creek since it takes so long to secure the permits and money to do it — even if the creek doesn’t seem to need it right now, he said.
“Yeah, the lake’s up this year, but what’s it going to be next year?” Frame said. “It has shown us it can change quite a bit from year to year. Sooner or later it’s going to go down.”
Almost all of the neighbors of the home that New Buffalo had to remove, on Shore Drive, are exploring whether and how they’ll rebuild the piles of boulders that line their shores.
Neighbor Ted Grzywack said his wife recalls about 100 feet of beach here in the early 1970s. Two years ago, it was down to 10 feet. Now his boulders are soaked in 2 feet of water.
By many accounts, the blame falls on the New Buffalo harbor. Its break-walls extend into the lake and keep the city beach stable. But, like any man-made structure, they interrupt the natural flow of sand.
To fix this, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers replaced sand along beaches from 1975 to 1995, but this “beach nourishment” stopped as the corps lacked money.
Homeowners have formed a committee to urge the federal government’s help and reached out to state Rep. Dave Pagel and U.S. Rep. Fred Upton.
Residents of the Warwick Shores subdivision spent about $1.5 million recently to bolster their shoreline.
That is next to the house that the city removed. Its fate started Halloween night 2014 when a powerful storm and waves raked the protective boulders, called riprap, out of place, causing the home’s deck to collapse, said next-door neighbor Ed Oldis.
Feeling that it was unsafe to remain, the owner quickly moved to Indianapolis, where she had family, Oldis recalled.
Oldis said that, without anything to protect the shoreline, the soil is quickly eroding. With the property still in legal limbo, Anderson said he’s asking adjacent property owners to pay for shore protection. Anderson said the city isn’t prepared to spend an estimated $30,000 on temporary stabilization.
Oldis said that he, like his neighbors, expects to spend $150,000 to $200,000 this year to bolster his shore. That’s on top of the $35,000 he’d spent last year to top off his protective boulders.
The city’s pump house, feeding the city’s water supply, sits two houses over. Neighbors believe it’s at risk. Anderson said he’s consulted engineers who say it’s safe.
Down the street, crews are using riprap to replace a decades-old metal seawall that collapsed three months ago. Waves had broken over the wall, penetrating the soil and causing it to weaken, said Josh Walk, manager for the Impact Site Contracting crew from Granger.
The boulders won’t protect a house unless they are big and heavy enough and laid onto the shore at the right slope, said structural engineer Tony Rusiniak with Radtke Engineering in LaPorte. The boulders must dissipate the waves and give them a large landing area.
“You’re trying to keep it (waves) from hitting the land real hard,” he said.
South Bend Tribune
Updates - May 24
Today in Great Lakes History - May 24
On 24 May 1872, the wooden schooner SAM ROBINSON was carrying corn from Chicago, Illinois, to Kingston, Ontario, in dense fog on Lake Michigan. At 7:30 a.m. the propeller MANISTEE collided with the schooner and almost cut her in two amidships. When the MANISTEE backed away, the schooner went over on its starboard side and its masts smashed the MANISTEE's pilothouse and cabins. Luckily the ROBINSON's crew launched their lifeboat before the schooner sank and they were picked up by the MANISTEE and taken to Milwaukee.
In 1980, the 1,000-foot BURNS HARBOR was christened for the Wilmington Trust Co., (Bethlehem Steel Co., Mgr.) Wilmington, Delaware.
CANADIAN OLYMPIC (Hull#60) was launched in 1976, at St. Catharines, Ontario by Port Weller Drydocks Ltd. for Upper Lakes Shipping Ltd.
CHICAGO TRADER arrived at Ashtabula, Ohio on May 24, 1977, for scrapping (scrapping did not begin until May 1, 1978, by Triad Salvage Inc.).
CLIFFS VICTORY set a record (by 2 minutes) for the fastest time from Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, to Duluth, Minnesota, in 1953. She logged a time of 17 hours and 50 minutes. The CHARLES M. WHITE had been declared the fastest earlier that year by the Cleveland papers.
ALEXANDER B. MOORE was launched at Bangor, Michigan, on 24 May 1873. She was built by Theophilus Boston at a cost of $85,000. She was 247 foot overall, 223 foot keel and could carry 70,000 bushels of grain. Although designed as a 4-mast schooner, she was built as a 3-master. The fourth mast was added two years later.
On 24 May 1875, the schooner NINA was bound from Michael's Bay to Goderich, Ontario, when she sprang a leak and went down in mid-lake. Her crew escaped in the yawl, but was adrift on Lake Huron for two days and two nights with only one loaf of bread to divide among themselves.
1953: The TERNEFJELL of 1948 first came to the Great Lakes that year for the Fjell Line and made 17 inland voyages through 1953. It sank on this date off Start Point in the English Channel following a collision with the DOTTERELL.
1980: LAKE WINNIPEG struck the breakwall at Duluth departing with a cargo of grain, and stranded the next day in the St. Marys River near Detour Village, after a steering gear problem.
1982: CORONADO visited the Great Lakes in 1972 and returned as c) HOLSTENBURG in 1974. It went aground on this date in 1982 as e) ARISTEA T. in the eastern Mediterranean enroute from Port Sudan, Sudan, to Lisbon, Portugal. The ship was refloated on June 6 but deemed a total loss and, on November 2, 1982, was scuttled off Pylos, Greece.
1983: LAKE NIPIGON went aground off Port Colborne following a power failure and was released the next day with bow and bottom damage. The ship was repaired at Montreal.
2005: SEAPRINCESS II first came through the Seaway in 1988 and returned as c) SEARANGER II in 1994. It ran aground as e) STARLUCK off Necochea, Argentina, and about 7,000 tons of wheat had to be removed before the ship floated free. Later in the year, the vessel was sold for scrap and it arrived at Chittagong, Bangladesh, for dismantling on November 21, 2005.
Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.
Port Reports - May 23
Thunder Bay, Ont.
Milwaukee, Wis. – Alan
Port Inland, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Cedarville, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Alpena, Mich. – Ben and Chanda McClain
Calcite, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Stoneport, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Toledo, Ohio – Denny Dushane
William Lafferty named Historian of the Year by Detroit group
5/23 - Detroit, Mich. – William Lafferty, award-winning author, twice winner of the Broadcast Education Association's History Award, and winner of the Association of Great Lakes Maritime History Barkhausen Award, has been selected as the Marine Historical Society of Detroit’s 2016 Historian of the Year.
He is a frequent contributor to the BoatNerd site, most often answering questions on the Information Search page.
Born in Oak Park, Ill., Lafferty grew up in the western suburbs of Chicago. He spent his summers at Ludington, Mich., where his interest in Great Lakes maritime history began at a very early age, encouraged by his Irish mother whose family included a master and a chief engineer for Clyde Shipping Company, and his father, who for many years was the general manager and chief engineer of General Motors' Marine Division at McCook, Ill.
Over the years, Lafferty has built an extensive collection of material, especially photographs, related to Great Lakes shipping. His chapter "Technological Innovation in Great Lakes Shipping: Leathem D. Smith and the Rise of the Self-Unloader" in Victoria Brehm’s "A Fully Accredited Ocean" is a precursor to "Buckets and Belts: Evolution of the Great Lakes Self-Unloader."
Lafferty is a partner in Lafferty van Heest & Associates, museum exhibit designers, which has recently completed design of the future Port of Ludington Maritime Museum. He holds BS and MA degrees from Purdue University and a PhD from Northwestern University. After a stint at Iowa State University, Lafferty founded the film and video production program at Wright State University at Dayton, Ohio.
With the dedication of the new Tom Hanks Center for Motion Pictures at Wright State by its namesake this April, Lafferty has retired as an emeritus professor after 35 years at Wright State.
Marine Historical Society of Detroit
Remembering avid ship-watcher, photographer Diane Hilden
5/23 - Duluth, Minn. – A memorial service was held Saturday for Diane Hilden of Duluth, who passed away earlier this week at age 63.
Hilden's name was a familiar one on the pages of the News Tribune, thanks to the many photos of freighters she shared for the daily "Shipping Traffic" column. Hilden was among the most dedicated ship-watchers in town, and was among the ship photographers featured in a News Tribune story in March.
There's camaraderie among the ship fans who flock to the Duluth ship canal, at any time of day or night, to catch a freighter's passage. Hilden was a part of that, sharing her photos with family, friends and the community.
"We always say 'Check this out' to each other," she told the News Tribune for the story earlier this year. "You don't keep it to yourself."
Hilden had retired in February after a 37-year career with St. Louis County, and was on the board of directors of the Lake Superior Marine Museum Association. She is survived by three children and six grandchildren, as well as other family and friends.
Duluth News Tribune
Updates - May 23
Today in Great Lakes History - May 23
UNIQUE (wooden propeller passenger steamer, 163 foot, 381 gross tons, built in 1894, at Marine City, Michigan) was sold to Philadelphia parties for service on the Delaware River. She left Ogdensburg, New York, on 23 May 1901, for Philadelphia. Her name was changed to DIAMOND STATE. In 1904, she was rebuilt as a yacht and lasted until 1915, when she burned in New York harbor.
The WILLIAM J. DE LANCEY was re-christened on May 23,1990, as b.) PAUL R. TREGURTHA. She is the largest ship on the Great Lakes and was the last Great Lakes ship built at American Ship Building Co., Lorain, Ohio.
American Steamship's H. LEE WHITE completed sea trials on May 23, 1974.
FRED R. WHITE Jr. completed her two-day sea trials in 1979.
The Tomlinson Fleet Corp.'s steel freighter SONOMA (Hull#610) was launched at West Bay City, Michigan, by West Bay City Ship Building Co. on 23 May 1903. She was 416 feet long, 4,539 gross tons. Through her career she had various names: DAVID S TROXEL in 1924, SONOMA in 1927 and finally FRED L. HEWITT in 1950. She was converted to an automobile carrier in 1928, converted back to a bulk carrier in 1942 and then converted to a barge for grain storage in 1955. She was finally scrapped in 1962, at Steel Co. of Canada Ltd. at Hamilton, Ontario.
On 23 May 1889, the wooden steam barge OSCAR T. FLINT (218 foot, 824 gross tons) was launched at the Simon Langell & Sons yard in St. Clair, Michigan. She lasted until 25 November 1909, when she burned and sank off Thunder Bay Island in Lake Huron.
1910: The first FRANK H. GOODYEAR, with a load of ore for Cleveland, was almost cut in two and sank off Pointe aux Barques following a collision in dense fog with the JOSEPH WOOD. Only five sailors survived while another 16 were lost.
1954: EASTDALE, operating on charter to Reoch Transports, ran aground at Collingwood and was refloated May 29. The ship had also visited the Great Lakes as SPRINGDALE and was lost in the Gulf of Bothnia on June 18, 1959, when the cargo of timber shifted in heavy weather.
1959: The Liberian freighter ANDORA, outbound with a cargo of barley, stranded on a shoal below the Snell Lock and proved to be a difficult salvage. The ship initially broke free, spun around and grounded again and was not released until June 18. The cargo was unloaded but ANDORA was deemed not worth repairing and arrived at Savona, Italy, for dismantling on August 15, 1959.
1974: The Canadian tanker CARDINAL, best known as the former IMPERIAL WINDSOR, was badly damaged following a collision with the HENRY STEINBRENNER (iii), in Lake Erie off Point Pelee. The former was never repaired and subsequently scrapped, while the latter went to Lorain for about $100,000 worth of repairs.
1974: A fire broke out in the engine room of the ONTARIO during a voyage from Santos, Brazil, to Montreal and assistance was requested. The Canadian owned vessel had been upbound through the Seaway for the first time on November 8, 1973. The blaze was put out and the ship arrived at Montreal June 6, 1974. It was sold the following month to Tunisian buyers and scrapped as c) REMADA following another fire at Barcelona, Spain, on January 2, 1987.
1988: The first ALGOCAPE, which had run aground in the Lake St. Louis section of the St. Lawrence on May 21, was refloated on this day and cleared to proceed to Baie Comeau, QC, to unload.
Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Historical Collections of the Great Lakes, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.
Steamer Alpena back in service after December fire
5/22 - The 1942-vintage steamer Alpena, reentered service Saturday, departing Bay Shipbuilding at Sturgeon Bay, Wis., after repairs from what could have been a career-ending fire last December.
According to AIS, the Alpena is bound for her namesake port to load.
Alpena was in the drydock at Bayship for inspection and maintenance when a fire broke out in the aft end the night of Dec. 11, 2015. Crews from nine fire departments responded to the blaze and there were no injuries. Fire officials said the blaze had nothing to do with the work being done on the vessel, but rather with faulty wiring on an aft mooring winch.
The former Leon Fraser, owned by Inland Lakes Management Inc. of Alpena, Mich., is the oldest steam-powered vessel operating on the Great Lakes.
10 reasons to celebrate Great Lakes-Seaway shipping on National Maritime Day
5/22 - The Chamber of Marine Commerce this weekend joins the nation in honoring America’s maritime heritage and the men and women who serve as merchant mariners with a Top 10 list of reasons to celebrate Great Lakes-Seaway shipping.
“National Maritime Day on Sunday is an opportunity to remind people of how mariners contribute to the prosperity, safety and sustainability of American communities,” says Stephen Brooks, President of the Chamber of Marine Commerce.
“Not everyone realizes the breadth of industries that rely on Great Lakes-Seaway shipping to help run their factories and export their products. But the benefits go far beyond economic security and job creation. Marine transport alleviates congested roadways, lowers the risk of accidents and reduces the country’s carbon and air emissions.”
Chamber’s Top 10 reasons to celebrate Great Lakes-Seaway shipping:
• Supports 128,000 U.S. jobs.
Ambitious Picton port expansion idea floated
5/22 - Picton, Ont. – Ben Doornekamp is asking local officials to get on board for a plan to expand port capacity at Picton Terminals. The facility, which has lain dormant for the past 30 years, was purchased in 2014 by the Doornekamp family's ABNA Investments company.
Since then they have put in a road down to the dock to unload vessels and put money into an existing ship loader which they've "completely resurrected," says Doornekamp. This work represents an initial $10 million investment by the company with more than an additional $40 million more planned over the next three years.
Doornekamp presented a delegation to Hastings County council last week asking for their support in the company's quest for funding to build the facility up to a level sufficient to meet the huge demand they've just begun to tap into.
Doornekamp explained they started with a five-year plan before quickly realizing they didn't have that amount of time. "The problem with our plan was it turned into a two-year plan and it turned into a plan that was about 10 times bigger than we thought it was going to be.
"In the shipping world if you don't do it right the first time -- big, strong and fast -- don't bother doing it because vessels aren't going to come to the port."
In Doornekamp's corner were Mayor Robert Quaiff of Prince Edward County, Prince Edward-Hastings MPP Todd Smith and Hastings-Lennox and Addington MP Mike Bossio -- all present in the gallery to show their support for the project.
ABNA is requesting an immediate investment of $10 million by the government for the purchase of two LHM 280 Liebherr Mobile Port Cranes which will provide Picton Terminals the capacity to process 100 vessels per year. This would generate a 20 to 30 percent increase in the marine port capacity of eastern Ontario.
The benefits to having a deepwater port in the region are numerous, said Doornekamp, and could very well be a sea change for local industry.
Up till the opening of the port in Picton, businesses in the region had to have materials shipped in and out of ports in either Hamilton or Montreal and then transport it by truck the rest of the way.
"Picton Terminals has the potential to load or unload over 100 vessels a year with each vessel representing approximately 350,000 km of heavy truck traffic removed from our Ontario highway infrastructure for a total of 35 million kms of truck traffic removed each year," read an executive summary provided to the council members.
Doornekamp pointed out that also equates to a financial benefit to the companies involved, as shipping by sea vessel is vastly more cost efficient than transporting overland.
He used Kimco steel in Kingston, who had been picking up their steel in Hamilton, as an example. "They were trucking at about $65 a tonne to go pick up their product and bring it back to Kingston. Now they're trucking at about $6.50 a tonne. The math is pretty self-explanatory."
An added benefit is the increased potential for growth of local agricultural and manufacturing businesses leading to the creation of new jobs -- an estimated 500 jobs.
"They can now expand because they can now reach markets that they didn't know existed in the past or were never part of their business plans. Now they can be." But ABNA is going to need a helping hand before that vision can become a reality.
"We're kind of financially on hold. We're going to take care of the needs we can and at the speed we can but it's one of those situations where, at this point, we might lose a little bit of business waiting for cranes or more money.
"We're asking for help. We're not going to pretend to be a big, huge entity, we're not going to act like one. We don't have the funds we need to keep up with the markets and we're really scared that at some point the markets are going to stop being so patient with us."
A motion to support the revitalization of the Picton Terminal and a request to the federal and Ontario governments to prioritize and fund the initial request of $10 million so ABNA Investments can purchase the two port cranes was passed unanimously.
"I think it's a very good project for the county," said Quaiff after the meeting, adding the job creation projections in particular would be welcome in the region.
"And it's great, in a sense for us, from a perspective of increasing... the agricultural sector. Now we can get fertilizers brought in at a much cheaper rate, we can ship to world markets, the corn and grains, things of that nature and the spin-off from that is going to be fantastic for us, I think."
Smith said he thinks Doornekamp's estimate of 100 ships per year is conservative. "He's just reached out to the Quinte Manufacturers Association and learned of the possibilities that are there. "If the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) deal goes through and the CEDA deal, opening markets to the Pan Pacific and European markets I think there's potential there that this could be a huge game-changer for the entire region in job creation and sustaining jobs as well."
Smith says he has already reached out to Minister of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure, Brad Duguid, to see what can be done to move the request along.
"This isn't something that should move at the speed of government... this is something that should move at the speed of business. Any part of the region does well, the whole region does well," said Bossio.
Kingston Whig Standard
Port Reports - May 22
Silver Bay, Minn. – Denny Dushane
St. Marys River
Milwaukee, Wis. – Alan
Port Inland, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Stoneport, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Calcite, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Lorain, Ohio – Phil Leon
Toledo, Ohio – Denny Dushane
Montreal Que. – Ron Beaupre
Dilovasi, Turkey – Matt Miner
Updates - May 22
Today in Great Lakes History - May 22
On 22 May 1901, FRANK H. PEAVEY (steel propeller bulk freighter, 430 foot, 5,002 gross tons) was launched at the American Ship Building Company (Hull #309) in Lorain, Ohio, for the Peavey Syndicate. She lasted until 1934, when she struck the south pier while entering Sheboygan, Wisconsin, and was declared a constructive total loss and scrapped the following year.
A.H. FERBERT (Hull#289) was launched this day in 1942, at River Rouge, Michigan by Great Lakes Engineering Works for the Pittsburgh Steamship Co. May 22nd was the tenth National Maritime Day and on that day 21 other ships were launched nationwide to celebrate the occasion. The "super" IRVING S. OLDS was launched the same day at Lorain, Ohio, by American Ship Building Co. This marked the last of the "Super Carrier" build program. The others were the BENJAMIN F. FAIRLESS, LEON FRASER and ENDERS M. VOORHEES.
SIR THOMAS SHAUGHNESSY sailed under her own power down the Seaway on May 22, 1969, for the last time and arrived at Quebec City.
BAYFAIR was launched as the a.) COALHAVEN (Hull#134) at Haverton-Hill-on-Tees, U.K. by Furness Shipbuilding Co. in 1928.
While bound for Escanaba, Michigan to load ore, the JOSEPH BLOCK grounded at Porte des Morts Passage, on Green Bay, May 22, 1968, and was released the same day by the Roen tug ARROW. The BLOCK's hull damage extended to 100 bottom plates. Surrendered to the under-writers and sold in June that year to Lake Shipping Inc. Built as the a.) ARTHUR H. HAWGOOD in 1907, She was renamed c.) GEORGE M. STEINBRENNER in 1969, she was scrapped at Ramey’s Bend in 1979.
The 143-foot wooden brig JOSEPH was launched at Bay City, Michigan, on 21 May 1867. She was built for Alexander Tromley & Company.
CITY OF NEW BALTIMORE was launched at David Lester's yard in Marine City, Michigan, on 22 May 1875. Her master carpenter was John J. Hill. She was a wooden propeller passenger/package freight vessel built for the Detroit-New Baltimore route. Her dimensions were 96 foot keel, 101 feet overall x 20 feet x 6 foot 6 inches, 130 tons. Her boiler was made by J. & T. McGregor of Detroit. Her engine was built by Morton Hamblin & Company of St. Clair, Michigan. She was rebuilt as a tug in 1910, and lasted until abandoned in 1916.
1914: W.H. GILBERT sank in Lake Huron, about 15 miles off Thunder Bay Island following a collision with CALDERA. There was no loss of life. The hull was located in 1982 and rests at a depth of about 200 feet. CALDERA later became b) A.T. KINNEY and c) HILLSDALE.
1942: FRANK B. BAIRD was sunk by gunfire from U-158 on the Atlantic while bound for Sydney, NS with a cargo of bauxite. All of the crew were saved and later picked up by the Norwegian freighter TALISMAN and landed at Pointe Noire, French Equatorial Guinea
1978: AGIOS NICOLAOS, a Seaway caller in 1968, was about 60 miles north of Bahrain in the Persian Gulf, enroute to Kuwait, when an explosion and subsequent fire erupted in the engine room. The ship was gutted, towed into Kuwait and abandoned. The vessel was later broken up. As a) BORGHOLM, it began trading to the Great Lakes in 1953 and made 21 voyages through the Seaway from 1959 to 1967.
1979: IRISH PINE made 19 trips through the Seaway from 1960 through 1964 for Irish Shipping. It arrived at Kaohsiung, Taiwan, on this date in 1979 as c) ARAMON. The ship had been traveling from Piraeus, Greece, to Port Sudan, Sudan, when the cargo of bitumen solidified in the holds. The vessel was sold for scrap and dispatched to Kaohsiung to be dismantled by the Taiwan Ship Scrap Co. Ltd., with the cargo still on board. Work began on July 18, 1979
Data from: Skip Gillham, Max Hanley, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Historical Collections of the Great Lakes, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.
Senators want Soo Locks study completed sooner
5/21 - Detroit, Mich. – Michigan Sens. Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters are stepping up pressure on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to speed up a cost-benefit study of building an additional passageway for Great Lakes freighters at the Soo Locks in Sault Ste. Marie.
The two senators sent the Army Corps of Engineers a letter Thursday requesting that a $1.35 million analysis of replacing the Davis and Sabin locks be completed “as quickly as possible,” citing the “critical importance” of the Soo Locks to commerce for Michigan and the country as a whole.
“The recent meetings we have both held at the Locks with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers highlighted the profound harm that an outage would have on the economy and security of Michigan, the Great Lakes region, and the entire nation,” Stabenow and Peters wrote in a letter to Jo-Ellen Darcy, assistant secretary of the Army.
An Army spokesman recently told The Detroit News the corps needs at least two years to complete the study.
“We’re trying to accelerate that,” Peters told The News on Thursday. “It’s clear that every day that goes by we just increase the risk that something could happen to the locks.”
Last summer, the 73-year-old MacArthur Lock was closed for 19 days to repair a broken gate in the middle of the shipping season. The MacArthur Lock, built during World War II, is only long and wide enough for small tugboats, the popular lock-touring boats and recreational boats to pass through.
For several years, Michigan’s congressional delegation has been seeking more than $500 million needed to build a new 1,200-foot-long lock to mirror the Poe Lock, which handles the largest freighters carrying iron ore.
The 48-year-old Poe Lock handles 70 percent of the freight that flows through the locks during the 10-month shipping season.
The Army Corps of Engineers has long planned to tear out the decommissioned Sabin Lock and rarely used Davis Lock in the north channel of the Soo Locks and build a new lock to match the length and width of the Poe Lock. The Sabin and Davis locks were built in 1919 and 1918, respectively.
But securing funding from Congress for the project has proved difficult, despite heavy lobbying from the shipping industry and elected officials from Great Lakes states.
A recent U.S. Department of Homeland Security study concluded that a long-term shutdown of the Poe Lock could trigger a national economic recession, effectively crippling the steel business by preventing ore-hauling freighters from passing through the St. Marys River that connects Lake Superior to Lake Huron.
Stabenow, D-Lansing, and Peters, D-Bloomfield Township, cited the Homeland Security report in their letter to the Army Corps of Engineers.
“The disruption of shipping from even a short-term closure of the Poe Lock would devastate the automobile, mining, appliance, and other manufacturing industries in the Great Lakes region and across North America,” the senators wrote.
The Army Corps of Engineers recently gave Peters an extensive tour of the Soo Locks, going deep underground into what he called “the bowels” of the facility to get a first-hand look at the aging infrastructure.
One glaring aspect of the facility that stood out to Michigan’s junior senator is that the water pumps that fill and drain the locks date back to the World War I.
“We can’t keep living off of the infrastructure investment made by our grandparents,” said Peters, 57. “It’s time we put money into it.”
Utah senator’s proposal to defund St. Lawrence Seaway dies quickly in U.S. Senate
5/21 - Massena, N.Y. – A proposal by a Utah senator to fully defund the St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corp. has died without reaching the U.S. Senate floor for consideration.
Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, had filed an amendment to the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Funding Bill that would have stripped more than $36 million from the Seaway Development Corp. that is included in the Senate funding bill.
Conn Carroll, communications director for Sen. Lee, said Thursday the measure was designed to call on the federal government to privatize the corporation and end all federal subsidies to it, as has occurred with its Canadian counterpart, the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corp.
“Anytime you have a semi-private, semi-governmental entity that is costing taxpayers millions of dollars, we think it is better to fully privatize it,” Mr. Carroll said.
Mr. Carroll said the proposed amendment was one of hundreds submitted regarding the Senate funding bill, with all but seven being rejected by the Senate prior to being debated or voted upon. Sen. Lee also filed multiple proposed amendments in addition to the one filed seeking to defund the Seaway Development Corp.
“This was not one of our top priorities,” Mr. Carroll said of the Seaway Development Corp. amendment.
Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., said in a prepared statement that he would fight any effort to eliminate funding for the corporation.
“The attempt to defund this vital entity is misguided. It will hurt our economy and cost us jobs and I will fight overtime to defeat it,” Sen. Schumer said. “Defunding the St. Lawrence Seaway would threaten local jobs, revenue and the ability to operate our waters and maintain our maritime infrastructure, so I am making it crystal clear to my colleagues in the Senate that the SLSDC is here to stay, and I will work to make sure that any attempt to eliminate it is dead-on-arrival in the Senate.”
The Seaway Development Corp., an agency of the U.S. Department of Transportation, operates and maintains the waters and infrastructure on the United States side of the St. Lawrence Seaway system between the Port of Montreal and Lake Erie, including Eisenhower and Snell Locks here.
According to Sen. Schumer’s statement, maritime commerce on the system sustains more than 225,000 U.S. and Canadian jobs annually, creating $14.1 billion in personal income, $33.6 billion in transportation-related business revenue, $6.4 billion in local purchases and $4.6 billion in federal, state, provincial and local taxes.
Watertown Daily Times
Port Reports - May 21
St. Marys River
Grand Haven, Mich.
Coast Guard: Lake Michigan is so cold it’s deadly
5/21 - Holland, Mich. – High temperatures near 80 degrees are on the horizon for West Michigan, but the threat of hypothermia is still high in Lake Michigan.
Lake Michigan’s water temperature is in the mid-40s. Inland lakes are not much warmer. Water temperatures usually don’t climb into the 60s until mid- to late June.
“We’ve already lost lives to hypothermia on Lake Michigan,” said Rachel North of Suttons Bay in northwestern Michigan, who lost her brother to hypothermia in 2012 on a warm spring day.
In March, a 27-year-old man was kayaking when he overturned into frigid Lake Michigan on the Wisconsin side. The U.S. Coast Guard spent two days looking for him before giving up the search.
Even experienced boaters, kayakers and stand-up paddle boarders need to be aware of the risks.
Jim Misiewicz of Holland was one of the first to start paddling in the area. He says it is important to always know the risks of going on the water and prepare appropriately.
“It’s a serious situation and I would never put myself or anyone that I paddle with in that position,” Misiewicz said.
Anyone heading out onto the water should plan for the worst-case scenario.
For boaters, this means wearing your life jacket and having a way to signal your location to the Coast Guard if your boat goes down.
For kayakers and paddlers, it means wearing your life jackets and having a dry bag. Just as important for paddlers as life jackets is a leash, allowing anyone who goes overboard to get back on their board and out of the cold water.
Great Lakes shippers praise ballast water provisions
5/21 - The Great Lakes shipping community is praising inclusion of the provisions of the Vessel Incidental Discharge Act (VIDA) in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) passed by the House of Representatives on May 18.
VIDA would finally establish a nationwide standard for ballast water discharges and end the patchwork of differing and potentially conflicting ballast water regulations enforced by a multitude of Federal and State agencies. In the near term, the U.S. Coast Guard’s current ballast water discharge standard would be the national standard.
While the Great Lakes shipping community agrees that aquatic non-indigenous species have wrought significant damage in the Great Lakes and other U.S. waters, this was due to the absence of a mandatory ballast water discharge standard, not any weakness in the current U.S. Coast Guard standard. Contrary to the assertions of several environmental groups, that standard, which is the same as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standard, is not “ineffective.” This standard is just beginning to be implemented due to delays in certifying that current technology actually meets it.
For the future, VIDA integrates best available technologies, best management practices, and strict oversight to set a national approach to the prevention and control of aquatic non-indigenous species from entering and spreading in U.S. waters through ballast water transport and discharge. Contrary to the assertions of several environmental groups, VIDA establishes an inclusive review process to set more stringent future discharge standards at regular intervals as ballast water treatment technologies become more effective. The bottom line is that VIDA will work.
Finally, some have complained about the inclusion of VIDA in the NDAA. It is almost comical to hear groups that have impeded military training and readiness on many fronts whine about how the NDAA should protect the homeland. The NDAA routinely includes maritime legislation, the U.S. maritime industry is an essential element of national security, and implementing a national ballast water discharge standard is consistent with national security.
Steve Fisher, Executive Director of the American Great Lakes Ports Association, called inclusion of the VIDA provisions in the NDAA another positive development in the effort to end ballast water introductions of aquatic non-indigenous species into the Great Lakes and other U.S. waters.
“VIDA incorporates the highest ballast water discharge standard achievable today and requires more stringent discharge standards at regular intervals in the future as treatment technology becomes more effective. It also puts the U.S. Coast Guard, the Federal agency most knowledgeable of commercial vessel equipment and responsible for environmental enforcement in United States navigable waters, at the regulatory forefront, while providing ample opportunity for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the states to support the Coast Guard’s development of future ballast water discharge regulations.”
Tom Curelli, President of Great Lakes Maritime Task Force, and Vice President of Engineering at Fraser Shipyards, also hailed inclusion of the VIDA provisions in the NDAA.
Curelli noted that the Lakes have not seen the introduction of any new non-indigenous species since 2006 when ocean-going vessels were first required to exchange ballast water prior to entering the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence River system, and VIDA would retain this requirement. Nor have any aquatic non-indigenous species been spread within the Great Lakes since then as noted by both US and Canadian researchers. The U.S.-flag Great Lakes fleet has enthusiastically endorsed VIDA. “The Lake Carriers’ Association actually developed the first ballast water management program in North America back in 1993,” said James H.I. Weakley, President of Lake Carriers’ Association. “No one’s desire to protect the Great Lakes environment is stronger than ours and we will continue to employ the best management practices for ballast water that have proven so effective for our vessels. Lake Carriers’ members are working with scientists and engineers right now to assess and develop protection and treatment options capable of handling the unique requirements of the Great Lakes.
“Maritime shipping is the most efficient means of transporting goods with the smallest environmental footprint. We support passage of the VIDA provisions and join with our partners on the Great Lakes and urge the Senate to accept the House provisions concerning ballast water regulation when the NDAA conference is held. The Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway deserve the protections that VIDA promises.”
Lake Carriers’ Association
Soo Locks using cannons to help manage seagull problem
5/21 - Sault Ste. Marie, MI. – It's a different way to get rid of seagulls around the Soo Locks, without hurting or killing them.
For the past week, loud, 130-decibel "booms,” equivalent to shotgun blasts, have been sounding from two $1,500 cannons at the Soo Locks. The cannon system scatters the birds.
Engineers say seagulls create health and safety issues for workers and visitors to the park.
“Without measures, the birds would nest on our piers, then they would get very aggressive in the areas because they get so concentrated in those areas. The bird feces gets quite thick on the piers, and then the wind blows, then the people end up breathing it and makes them sick,” explains Kevin Sprague, Soo Locks Area engineer.
It appears to be working. The seagull numbers have thinned dramatically this week. Friday could be the last day to use the cannons.
Updates - May 21
Today in Great Lakes History - May 21
On 21 May 1883, SAILOR BOY (2-mast wooden scow-schooner, 75 foot, 76 net tons, built in 1866, at Algonac, Michigan) was carrying wood from Pierport, Michigan to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She anchored outside Milwaukee harbor waiting for a gale to abate but she broke her anchor chains and was driven aground. Her crew of three made it to shore on a line with help from bystanders on the beach.
AMERICAN REPUBLIC's maiden voyage was on May 21, 1981, from Sturgeon Bay light to Escanaba, Michigan, to load ore pellets for Cleveland, Ohio. She now sails as GREAT REPUBLIC.
Interlake Steamship Co.'s HENRY G. DALTON's maiden voyage was on May 21, 1916. She was scrapped at Vado, Italy, in 1973.
UNITED STATES GYPSUM in tow of the German tug FAIRPLAY X was lost in heavy weather on May 21, 1973, near Sydney, Nova Scotia.
G.A. TOMLINSON, a.) D.O. MILLS, stranded near Buffalo, New York, on Lake Erie on May 21, 1974, suffering an estimated $150,000 in damage.
The 143-foot wooden brig JOSEPH was launched at Bay City, Michigan, on by Alexander Tromley & Company. She was built by the owner.
On 21 May 1864, the NILE (wooden passenger/package freight vessel, 190 foot, 650 tons, built in 1852, at Ohio City, Ohio) was sitting at her dock in Detroit, Michigan, with passengers, household goods, and horses and wagons aboard when her boiler exploded, destroying the ship and killing eight of the crew. Large pieces of her boiler flew as far as 300 feet while other pieces damaged houses across the Detroit River in Windsor, Ontario. A large timber was thrown through the brick wall of a nearby shoe store, striking the cobbler in the back of the head and killing him. At least 13 other crew members and passengers were injured. The wreck was moved to the foot of Clark Street in Detroit in July 1864, where it remained until it was finally dynamited in August 1882.
May 21, 1923 - ANN ARBOR NO 4 was refloated after sinking at Frankfort, Michigan, the previous February.
After spending three weeks in quarantine at Buffalo, New York, because of the discovery of smallpox on board, the steamer JOHN OADES has been released and has started on her way to Duluth.
1919: FERDINAND SCHLESSINGER, enroute from Erie, Pa., to Port Arthur, Ont., with 3,514 tons of coal, began leaking in a storm and sank 15 miles off Passage Island, Lake Superior. The crew was picked up by the ASSINIBOIA
1932: The C.P.R. passenger ship MANITOBA goes aground in Georgian Bay off Cape Croker in heavy fog and has to be lightered before being released the next day.
1942: TROISDOC is the latest member of the Paterson fleet to be a victim of enemy action in World War Two. It was torpedoed by U-558 about 40 miles west of Jamaica and the crew escaped in the lifeboats. The vessel was enroute from Mobile, AL to Georgetown, British Guiana, with 55,700 bags of cement, vegetables, 1600 cases of beer and cigarettes.
1963: The Taiwanese freighter VAN YUNG had visited the Great Lakes in 1960 and 1961. It was laid up at Keelung, Taiwan, on this day due to fire damage and was sold for scrap in October 1963.
1965: Leaks developed in the boiler room of the Norwegian freighter LIONNE and the ship, enroute from Caen, France, to Montreal, sank in the Atlantic. Two members of the crew were lost. The vessel had made 5 trips through the Seaway from 1961 to 1963.
1973: The retired American Steamship Company self-unloader UNITED STATES GYPSUM, under tow for scrapping at Vado, Italy, broke loose in the Atlantic off Sydney, NS and sank.
1979: The second PRINS WILLEM V, a Dutch freighter of 1956 vintage, was damaged extensively by a fire amidships while idle at Port Elizabeth, South Africa as f) ARAXOS. It has been for sale and was scrapped at Durban, South Africa, in 1981.
2007: A fire broke out in the engine room of the Canadian-owned salty UMIAVUT while enroute from Kolundborg, Denmark, to La Corogne, Spain, with 8600 tons of flour. The ship was towed into Brest, France, and repaired. It visited the Great Lakes as b) LINDENGRACHT in 2000 and was back as c) UMIAVUT in 2011.
Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series, the Detroit Free Press and the Duluth Evening Herald.
DNR research vessel Tanner launches in Alpena
5/20 - Alpena, Mich. – The Michigan Department of Natural Resources will dedicate its newest research vessel this week — the 57-foot long R/V Tanner.
It will be based out of the Alpena Fisheries Research Station and used to survey fish populations in Lake Huron and the St. Marys River. It is one of four fisheries research vessels used by the DNR to examine and monitor Great Lakes fish and aquatic communities.
R/V Tanner replaces the 69-year-old R/V Chinook, and is named after Dr. Howard Tanner, the former DNR fisheries division chief and DNR director known for introducing Pacific salmon into the Great Lakes. It was designed by Seacraft Design of Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, and built by Andersen Boat Works of Saugatuck.
The DNR will host an online tour May 20 at 9 a.m. with crew and fisheries staff available to answer real-time questions. A public open house will be held May 23 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Alpena Fisheries Research Station located at 160 E. Fletcher St.
Traverse City Record Eagle
Port Reports - May 20
St. Marys River
Sturgeon Bay, Wis.
Milwaukee, Wis. – Paul Erspamer and Alan
Port of Duluth-Superior to commemorate National Maritime Day Friday
5/20 - Duluth, Minn. – U.S. Merchant Marine veterans, current seafarers and maritime industry stakeholders will gather Friday, May 20, to commemorate National Maritime Day in the Port of Duluth-Superior. The event is set for noon in the Horizon Room at the DECC Harbor Side Convention Center in Duluth.
Mike Piskur, program manager for the Conference of Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Governors and Premiers, will deliver the luncheon’s keynote address, “Bringing out the Best in the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Maritime System.”
His remarks will highlight the Conference’s first-ever regional maritime transportation system strategy – a strategy to double trade, build new markets, support the region’s industrial core and grow its economy.
The Conference of Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Governors and Premiers is a non-partisan partnership of eight U.S. States and two Canadian provinces – chief executives from Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Ontario and Québec.
National Maritime Day honors the historic and ongoing service and sacrifice of our nation’s Merchant Marine and celebrates the contributions of the U.S. maritime industry. The commemorative event, which commences with the presentation of colors and a short memorial service to honor those seafarers, is hosted locally by the Propeller Club of Duluth-Superior. This year’s event in Duluth is being held in advance of the official date of May 22, which falls on Sunday.
Duluth Seaway Port Authority
Shedd researchers give rare look at shipwreck, wild reef off shore of Lake Michigan
5/20 - Chicago, Ill. – Shedd Aquarium researchers revealed a rare underwater look at what they’ve found at a rocky outcrop off the shoreline of Lake Michigan.
Video shows a team of divers exploring the compressed remains of an incredible underwater coral reef at Morgan Shoal, found just a few hundred yards off the shore of Hyde Park.
Morgan Shoal is most notably home to a ship that sunk in 1914, which helped create the reef formed in shallow seas at the time, researchers said.
The 109-foot passenger steamer wrecked after hitting the rocks in the water, and because it was made out of wood broke up after two or three days under water – but the ship’s iron boiler is still there.
“As you’re driving up and down Lake Shore Drive and the water levels are low enough, you can actually see the remnants of this shipwreck,” said Shedd Aquarium’s senior research biologist Dr. Philip Willink.
Because most of Lake Michigan’s bottom is made of sand or mud, rocky outcrop spots create a unique habitat for hard-to-find creatures, including rare fish and prehistoric isopods.
Door County Maritime Museum hosts season opener on May 28
5/20 - Sturgeon Bay, Wis. – The Door County Maritime Museum in Sturgeon Bay will be offering free admission to children 12 and under when it hosts a day-long season opening celebration on Saturday, May 28. Of course, the museum is open throughout the year, but this particular day will highlight some of the museum’s newest additions for all ages.
Possibly the most unique addition is associated with the tug John Purves. A remarkable new parade float replicating the famous Great Lakes tug and the museum’s popular in-water exhibit will be on display. Featuring many of the same attractive features of the real tug with a working smokestack and horns, the self-propelled float rests on a truck chassis and will be a regular at upcoming Door County parades. This will be the first opportunity for the general public to see this one-of-a-kind attraction. As usual, tug tours will be offered throughout the day on Saturday.
Inside the museum, visitors will see a number of new interactives in the Horton Gallery. Particularly intriguing will be the addition to the Elba pilothouse where pilots of all ages will be able to grab the wheel and try and navigate the Elba through the Sturgeon Bay shipping channel and its bridges.
Seven video screens will simulate a real-time dynamic view from the actual bridge of the Elba, an historic 400-foot-long vessel. As the ship enters the man-made ship canal from the lake, clouds and fog may momentarily obscure vision from which the pilot will emerge to see the first bridge. Successful navigation of it will then include the city’s two downtown bridges. The wheelhouse’s audio environment will include water, birds, Kahlenberg engine sounds and on-board radio traffic to give the impression that the “captain” is actually navigating a ship.
Also in the Horton Gallery, the interactives in the adjacent “Sea Dogs” exhibit have been enhanced to better give visitors true-to-life examples of the significance of dogs in a maritime setting. The “Sea Dogs” chronicle some of those amazing “tails” and the enduring human-canine relationship forged on the high seas.
The museum also has a pair of new temporary exhibits inside the museum. “From Inside the Collections,” is a unique offering in that it will be a recurring exhibit with museum curator Adam Gronke promising to periodically launch different versions of the series at future dates. This first offering will concentrate on shipwreck items within the museum’s collection.
“An Architect and His Art,” is being shown in the Reddin Bridge Room and features the work of Ben Shenkelberg, who designed the Sturgeon Bay museum and is currently the architect for the proposed Maritime Tower project.
Visitors will also have the opportunity to explore three other galleries, including the Peterson Gallery and its remarkable view of Sturgeon Bay through a nuclear submarine periscope; the Baumgartner Gallery with is stunning models and lighthouse exhibit; and the John Roen Asher Gallery with it vessels and engines, original Marine Travelift as well the captivating stories surrounding Capt. John Roen.
Admission is $13 for adults (including the tug). Call the museum at (920)743-5958 or visit www.dcmm.org for more information.
Updates - May 20
Today in Great Lakes History - May 20
On 20 May 1872, the ironclad passenger/package freight steamer MERCHANT struck a rock and sank at the mouth of the Detroit River. No one was injured. The wrecking tugs MAGNET and HERCULES took off the cargo of railroad iron and general merchandise, then attached two pontoons, but the vessel would not budge. On 26 May, the steamers MACKINAW and SWEEPSTAKES joined the scene and d two more pontoons. With all the steam pumps working, the MERCHANT still would not budge. Two days later, two more pontoons were added and the MERCHANT finally floated free and was towed to Detroit for repairs. She had two holes in her hull, one of which was a gash 23 feet long.
On May 20, 1909, while lying at the Lackawanna Coal Dock at Buffalo, New York, the LeGRAND S. DEGRAFF was struck by the SONORA, which caused $4,000 in damage to the DEGRAFF. Later renamed b.) GEORGE G. CRAWFORD in 1911. She was scrapped at Duluth, Minnesota in 1976.
The STANDARD PORTLAND CEMENT sank on Lake Huron two miles above Port Huron, Michigan in a collision with the steamer AUGUST ZIESING on May 20, 1960, with no loss of life.
On May 20, 1967, during docking maneuvers in the Trenton Channel of the Detroit River, the W.W. HOLLOWAY's KaMeWa propeller shaft sheared off and the propeller reportedly sank to the bottom.
The RENOWN (Hull#396) was launched May 20, 1912, at Lorain, Ohio by American Ship Building Co. for the Standard Oil Co. Renamed b.) BEAUMONT PARKS in 1930 and c.) MERCURY in 1957.
WILLIAM A. McGONAGLE (Hull#154) was launched May 20, 1916, at Ecorse, Michigan by Great Lakes Engineering Works for the Pittsburgh Steamship Co. Renamed b.) HENRY STEINBRENNER in 1986.
On 20 May 1862, BAY CITY (wooden propeller tug, 199 foot, 480 tons, built in 1852, at Trenton, Michigan) sprang a leak in a storm and sank near Port Burwell, Ontario. She then washed in to shallow water. Her crew was rescued by the tug WINSLOW. Her engine and boiler were removed in June and July of that year.
On 20 May 1875, the passenger package freight vessel GLADYS was launched at D. Lestor's yard in Marine City, Michigan for the Toledo & Saginaw Transportation Company. Her dimensions were 135 feet overall x 26 feet x 10 feet. She had twelve staterooms and along with ample cargo space. The pilot house was forward, 8 feet square and 11 feet high. The engines, from the old ESTABROOK and, previous to that, from DAN RHODES, were two high-pressure double engines acting on one shaft with an 8 foot propeller. She also had a pony engine to feed water to the boilers and wash the decks. She was sold Canadian in 1877, and renamed NORTHERN BELLE and lasted until November 1898, when she burned on Georgian Bay.
1923 – The steel bulk carrier EDWARD U. DEMMER sank in the deep waters of Lake Huron after a collision with the SATURN at 0740 hours, in heavy fog, while about 40 miles southeast of Thunder Bay Island. All on board were saved.
1924 – STATE OF OHIO, an iron sidewheel passenger steamer, burned at Cleveland on this date in 1924. It was rebuilt as a barge but stranded on the main breakwall at Lorain on December 17, 1929, and became a total loss.
1928 – CLEARWATER stranded near Trinity Bay, in the St. Lawrence while inbound with a cargo of pulpwood and was blown on the beach. The brand-new vessel was abandoned to the insurers but the hull was salvaged in July, repaired and returned to service later in the year as TRENORA. It last sailed as KEYSHEY in 1963.
1942 – TORONDOC of the Paterson fleet went south for the bauxite trade during World War Two. German broadcasts reported that it was torpedoed and sunk by U-69 on this date. All of the 23-member crew were lost when the ship went down in the vicinity of the French island of Martinique.
1945 – CALGARY had operated on the Great Lakes from 1912 to 1916 but left for the sea and was converted to a tanker in 1921. The ship was renamed b) BACOI and served on coastal runs for Standard Oil and even returned to the Great Lakes in 1938. It suffered an explosion and fire while in the Cape Cod Canal on this date in 1945 and had to be beached. It was scrapped at Jersey City in 1948.
1946 – The Georgian Bay area passenger ship MANITOULIN stranded at Clapperton Island but was released the next day by the tug NORTHERN.
1960 – The STANDARD PORTLAND CEMENT settled on the bottom of Lake Huron, with her decks above water, after a collision in fog with the upbound AUGUST ZIESING. The former was refloated, sold to Redwood Enterprises and came into Canadian service as ELMDALE. The latter resumed trading for U.S. Steel after bow repairs.
1960 – PAUL H. TOWNSEND was hit from behind by the British freighter TYNEMOUTH on foggy Lake Huron while trying to avoid the wrecked STANDARD PORTLAND CEMENT and the anchored AUGUST ZIESING. The PAUL H. TOWNSEND had stern plates damaged while the salty sustained bow damage. TYNEMOUTH had become a regular Seaway trader in 1959 and made 18 trips inland through 1967. It ran aground off Fuga Island, the Philippines as b) EASTERN RIVER on April 24, 1971, and became a total loss.
1981 – The West German freighter VIRGILIA made 30 trips to the Great Lakes between 1959 and 1967. It was renamed b) MARIA in 1974 and suffered an engineroom fire in the Red Sea and had to be abandoned while enroute from Mersin, Turkey, to Bombay, India, on this date in 1981. The hull was towed to shallow water and beached about 5 miles south of Suez. It was later sold, via auction, and apparently scrapped as c) FARIDA II at Gadani Beach, Pakistan, in 1989.
Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Historical Collections of the Great Lakes, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.
Chinese steelmakers hit with huge U.S. tariffs
5/19 - Beijing – The U.S. government has imposed massive tariffs on Chinese steelmakers in a bid to halt what American rivals have labeled as large-scale dumping by their Asian competitors.
The Commerce Department ruling levies import taxes of up to a whopping 522 percent — a 266 percent anti-dumping duty and a 256 percent anti-subsidy duty — on imports of Chinese cold-rolled flat steel.
Cold-rolled flat steel is typically used in car manufacturing and sheet metal for construction.
"The size of the tariff is really a surprise for China and a little abnormal," said Xiang Songzuo, chief Economist at the Agricultural Bank of China. "This new U.S. tariff could create back-and-forth retaliatory taxes which will not be good for China-U.S. economic relations and the global economy."
The steep tariff is narrowly focused on a specific type of metal, but is highly symbolic of U.S. frustration with China over its continued selling of products like steel at below market prices.
Similar dissatisfaction with dumping has been seen in Europe, India and Australia, where investigations and similar taxes have also been levied against Chinese steel.
According to a Wall Street Journal investigation, in the first three months of this year the American government has already launched seven investigations into Chinese steel dumping and unfair government subsidies for national steelmakers. These financial advantages led to Pittsburgh-based U.S. Steel Corp to lose a reported $1.5 billion last year and $340 million in the first quarter of 2016.
According to the Alliance for American Manufacturing, an estimated 12,000 steelworkers lost their jobs nationally.
"I think complaints from the international community on China's steel overcapacity has a point, we can't deny that China's steel capacity is huge at over 60 percent of global steel capacity," says Xiang, who notes that China could very nearly meet world demand for steel on its own. "I think China should face this issue … [but] there are a lot of mechanisms between China and the U.S. to negotiate and I think best way to solve this problem is through dialogue."
At an annual press conference in Salt Lake City earlier this year, American Iron & Steel Institute Chairman John Ferriola argued that global overcapacity for steel was an industry problem rooted in declining global demand from countries like China but exacerbated by Chinese subsidies of its own companies.
"China has subsidized the growth of its steel industry through grants, low-interest loans, free land, low-priced energy and other raw material inputs," Ferriola said. "Simply stated, the Chinese government is a company disguised as a country and they are waging economic war on the United States."
Shipping increases at Port of Green Bay
5/19 - Green Bay, Wis. – Much more cargo is coming through the Port of Green Bay this spring compared to last year. Port officials say total tonnage for the year is up 51 percent compared to the same time period last year. Most of that is because of increases in shipments of coal and petroleum products.
So far, 12 ships have gone through the port, one more than at this time last year.
"The trend among ports in the Great Lakes is that we are seeing fewer ships coming through, but the increased water levels mean that one ship can carry more tonnage than in previous years," Dean Haen, director of the Port of Green Bay, said in a news release. "Because of that, we are anticipating an increased amount of tonnage on fewer ships."
In April, the first full month of shipping through the Port of Green Bay, total tonnage was 125,690, up from 96,460 in April 2015. The Port of Green Bay imported and exported a total of 1.9 million tons of cargo last year.
Port Reports - May 19
St. Marys River
Port Inland, Mich.
Milwaukee, Wis. – Alan
Seaway – René Beauchamp
Updates - May 19
News Photo Gallery
Today in Great Lakes History - May 19
On 19 May 1894, LORETTA (wooden propeller freighter, 140 foot, 395 gross tons, built in 1892, at Sebewaing, Michigan as a schooner) was driven ashore near the mouth of the Au Sable River at Oscoda, Michigan in a terrible gale. She was heavily damaged but the crew was rescued. She was salvaged and put back in service but only lasted for two more years when she burned.
SIR THOMAS SHAUGHNESSY (Hull#164) was launched May 19, 1906 at Wyandotte, Michigan by Detroit Ship Building Co. for the National Steamship Co. She was scrapped at Castellon, Spain in 1969.
On May 19, 1973, the whaleback tanker METEOR was moved from the Pipeline Tankers dock to a permanent berth on Barkers Island at Superior, Wisconsin to serve as a museum ship.
B.F. JONES and EDWARD S. KENDRICK, towed by the Polish tug KORAL, arrived for scrapping at Castellon, Spain, near Barcelona on the Mediterranean Sea, on May 19, 1973, a trip of over 4,000 miles. The LAKE WINNIPEG in tow of the tug IRVING CEDAR arrived in Portugal on May 19, 1985. She was the largest Canadian laker and the first Seaway-sized ship, as of that date, to be scrapped.
On 19 May 1835, PARROTT (wooden 2-mast schooner, 43 foot, 20 tons, built in 1834, at Ashtabula, Ohio) sailed for Detroit, Michigan carrying iron, glass, whiskey, and hogs on deck. She never made it. The following day, west of Ashtabula, many of the hogs swam ashore and later a lot of gear from the boat drifted to the beach. No storm was mentioned and all six onboard lost their lives. She had been enrolled to a new owner the day before she set sail.
On 19 May 1876, the Port Huron Times reported that Capt. Alexander McDougall, formerly master of the steamer JAPAN, had built a large steam fish boat named SASKIWIT at Buffalo during the winter and was then sailing from there to Marquette, Michigan.
Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.
Two Algoma boats on the move for eventual scrapping
5/18 - The Algoma Central Corp. self-unloader Peter R. Cresswell departed wharf 17 dock at Port Colborne, Ont., Tuesday morning and went out into Lake Erie to turn around and head back down the Welland Canal on her last trip, using one engine, for her expected destination of Montreal and eventually to a Turkish scrapyard.
On Tuesday at 11:45 a.m., the tugs Jerry G and Radium Yellowknife headed upbound in the Welland Canal to Port Colborne with the tanker Algosar on its last trip for scrapping. The vessel had spent all winter in the former Port Weller drydocks facility. Algosar, built in Texas in 1978, is the former Cleveland Tankers’ vessel Gemini. It was bought by Algoma in 2005.
Updates - May 18
News Photo Gallery - Limited update, with photos of the Algosar tow. Daily updates should resume around May 21st.
Port Reports - May 18
Escanaba, Mich. – Raymond H.
Lorain, Ohio – Phil Leon
Oswego, N.Y. – Ned Goebricher
Researchers get fresh Great Lakes data from aboard Beaver Island ferry
5/18 - Tourists traveling by ferry between northwest Michigan and Lake Michigan’s Beaver Island will be riding with some groundbreaking cargo this summer.
The Beaver Island Boat Co.’s Emerald Isle ferry is fitted with equipment to detect changes in the temperature and chemistry of Lake Michigan, courtesy of researchers from Central Michigan University’s Institute for Great Lakes Research.
The equipment detects this data in real time aboard the ferry and distributes it via a website operated from the CMU Biological Station on the island, something never done before in northern Lake Michigan, said Dave Schuberg, an outreach coordinator and operations assistant at the station.
The equipment can also be turned on and off remotely from the research station, he said.
The research has far reaching benefits, said Don Uzarski, the institute’s director. High school educators will be invited to travel to his team’s Beaver Island research station and to use the research in their classrooms over the web.
The data collected on temperature may help recreational and commercial anglers predict fish behavior, Schuberg said. “Temperature really governs a lot of what happens out on the lake with things like fish spawning for salmon, whitefish (and) lake trout.”
Using the Emerald Isle, which travels between Charlevoix and the island, saves Uzarski and his team a hefty chunk of change, said Harvey Bootsma, a University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee researcher leading a similar program in conjunction with a ferry traveling between Muskegon and Milwaukee.
An average research vessel costs between $2,000 and $12,000 a day to operate, making long term projects like this difficult to fund under normal circumstances, he said.
There is a dearth of the types of data his team will collect on northern Lake Michigan, Uzarski said.
The sparse data collection is due to the ever-changing physical conditions and complexity of the lake, said Randy Claramunt, a biologist at the Michigan Department of Natural Resources’ Charlevoix Fisheries Research Station.
The physical conditions on the lake change dramatically even in a single day, he said. A single drop of water can contain many different elements that in turn support a rich ecosystem of algae, plankton, plants and aquatic wildlife.
That makes it hard to collect data in a way that is accurate and easy to comprehend in respect to how it relates to the greater Lake Michigan ecosystem, he said.
The Emerald Isle’s multiple daily trips will make it easier for researchers to account for these challenges, Uzarski said. And the research comes at an important time.
“These ecosystems are changing rapidly, faster than we can understand them,” he said. “We are at a critical time where we need the data so we can dampen the impacts we are going to see.”
The lake’s rising temperatures are changing life below its waves, he said. “We know we’re losing plankton and the salmon fisheries are doing worse.”
The plankton are losing out to the billions of invasive zebra and quagga mussels filtering nutrients out of the lake, he said. The mussels then produce nutrient-rich waste that stays trapped at the bottom of the lake.
The loss of plankton hurts the smaller, native fish that salmon eat, he said. “What could have been a very diverse ecosystem is instead limited to a few invasive species.”
Not all of the lake’s denizens are suffering, he said. Brown gobies, an invasive fish species, consume the mussels and have become a terrific food source for the lake’s growing trout population.
However the mussels absorb substantial amounts of lead and mercury from the water they filter. Those contaminants then pass on to the brown gobies that eat them which are in turn eaten by the trout, he said. As a result, people have to limit their lake trout consumption or risk being poisoned.
Michigan lake trout can contain unhealthy levels of dioxins, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services’ most recent fish consumption guide.
Women who are pregnant, breastfeeding or plan to become pregnant in the next several years should not consume wild caught Michigan lake trout, according to the guide. Children under age 15 and people with health problems such as cancer or diabetes should also avoid the fish.
Even those who fall outside those categories should not consume the fish more than once or twice a year, according to the guide.
“When you have consumption advisories that strict we’re going down a bad pathway,” Uzarski said.
Great Lakes Echo
Sturgeon Bay museum to air WWII documentary before national release
5/18 - Sturgeon Bay, Wis. – The Door County Maritime Museum is excited to host a preliminary screening of a World War II documentary set on Lake Michigan. It is an extended Maritime Speaker Series offering set for Thursday evening, May 26, at the museum in Sturgeon Bay beginning at 7:30 p.m.
The documentary “Heroes On Deck: WWII On Lake Michigan” stems from a short film created in 1988 by Director John Davies about an extraordinary Naval training operation that took place just off the Chicago shoreline during the war. It told the amazing story of young aviators who trained to fight in the Pacific by learning to land on and take off from makeshift aircraft carriers operating in Lake Michigan. Davies interviewed several pilots, and using old newsreels and stills, his film ran locally to critical acclaim.
Davies and his seasoned producing partners Harvey Moshman and Brian Kallies believed it was time to revisit this little known chapter of World War II history in their new documentary for National Public Television.
New to this one- hour film are digital recreations, declassified footage, a recently declassified photo archive and underwater recovery footage of priceless “warbirds” on the bottom of the lake.
“Naval and World War II historians consider the Lake Michigan Carrier Qualification Program to be a key event leading to victory in the Pacific,” explains Davies.
“Following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the US Navy was desperate for pilots who could take off from aircraft carriers, strike the enemy, navigate their way back to the ship and land safely...no easy task in the vast Pacific,” Davies stresses. “With only seven real carriers left in the entire Navy, none could be spared for training. In order to quickly train thousands of aviators, Commander Richard F. Whitehead proposed a radical idea. He suggested that two coal-fired, side-wheeled, passenger steamers, the SS Seaandbee and SS Greater Buffalo, be converted into makeshift aircraft carriers.”
These “freshwater carriers” were commissioned the USS Wolverine and USS Sable. The two “oddball flattops” would facilitate pilot and crew training in the safety of Lake Michigan. Between 1942 and the end of the war, Whitehead’s ambitious year-round program qualified over 15,000 aviators including 41st President, George H.W. Bush. Eight successful takeoffs and landings, usually completed in a single day, were enough to guarantee a young pilot a trip to the Pacific. Landing on the pitching decks of these lake-based carriers proved too much for some. Onboard crashes, navigational errors and “water landings” often led to serious injuries and occasionally death. As a result, more than 100 classic WWII fighters and dive-bombers sank to the bottom of the lake.
Presented by WTTW National and American Public Television, “Heroes On Deck” is narrated by legendary CBS and A&E newsman Bill Kurtis and will premiere on Public Television stations across the United States on Memorial Day weekend. DVDs will be sold at the showing and can also be ordered at www.heroesondeck.com.
Admission is free with a donation to a local food pantry requested.
Door County Maritime Museum
Today in Great Lakes History - May 18
On 18 May 1872, the 3-mast wooden schooner MARQUETTE was holed in northern Lake Huron by a floating log. The crew manned the hand-operated bilge pumps but could not keep up with the incoming water. The steamer ANNIE YOUNG took the MARQUETTE in tow even though she was sinking and headed for Cheboygan, Michigan. During the tow, the schooner stopped sinking and arrived in port no lower in the water than she had been earlier. An investigation revealed that a large fish got caught in the hole and plugged it.
The WILLIAM C. ATWATER departed Sandusky, Ohio May 18, 1925, on her maiden voyage loaded with coal bound for Duluth, Minnesota. She was the first freighter on the Great Lakes equipped with a gyro compass. She was renamed b.) E. J. KULAS in 1936, c.) BEN MOREELL in 1953, d.) THOMAS E MILLSOP in 1955, e.) E. J. NEWBERRY in 1976, and f.) CEDARGLEN in 1982. She was scrapped at Port Maitland, Ontario in 1994.
Bethlehem Steel's steamer JOHNSTOWN cleared Erie May 18, 1985, for Quebec City under tow bound for Spain for scrapping. This vessel was the first post-war built U.S. laker to be scrapped.
On May 18, 1903, the MAUNALOA hit and sank the 69-foot wooden tug EDWARD GILLEN at Superior, Wisconsin.
May 18, 1992 -- The BADGER made her maiden voyage for the newly formed Lake Michigan Carferry Service.
On 18 May 1853, CITIZEN (wooden schooner, 54 tons, built in 1847, at Manitowoc, Wisconsin) was driven aground 6 miles north of Chicago. The U. S. Navy steamer MICHIGAN tried in vain to pull her off, breaking a 14" hawser in the process. She was reportedly the first vessel built at Manitowoc, Wisconsin.
On 18 May 1882, AMERICAN EAGLE (wooden propeller, passenger packet & tug, 105 foot, 161 gross tons, built in 1880, at Sandusky, Ohio) was racing off Kelley's Island on Lake Erie when her boiler exploded. Six lives were lost. She was later raised and repaired and lasted until 1908.
18 May 1894: A big storm swept the Lakes on 18 May 1894. The next day, the Port Huron Times gave the following account of the shipwrecks in that storm: "The big storm on Lake Michigan has cost the lives of many men. Only 2 men were saved from the schooner M J CUMMINGS, 6 lost. The C C BARNES is ashore at Milwaukee but the crew was saved. The schooner MYRTLE was wrecked just outside the government pier within a half mile of Michigan Blvd. in Chicago with 6 lost. The schooner LINCOLN DALL went to pieces at Glencoe, 8 miles north of Chicago. She was 196 tons. The schooner JACK THOMPSON, 199 tons, wrecked off 25th Street. The schooner EVENING STAR, 203 tons, wrecked off 27th Street but her crew was saved. The schooner MERCURY of Grand Haven, 278 tons, wrecked off 27th Street and her crew rescued. The schooner J LOOMIS McLAREN, 272 tons, wrecked off 27th Street. The schooner RAINBOW of Milwaukee, 243 tons, wrecked off 100th Street; the crew was rescued. The schooner C J MIXER, 279 tons, wrecked off 100th Street; crew rescued. The schooner WM SHUPE waterlogged and ashore at Lexington, Michigan on Lake Huron. Four were drowned in an attempted rescue. The scow ST CATHARINES is ashore at Rock Falls near Sand Beach. The crew reached shore safely but the boat will fare badly."
1919 – CITY OF MEAFORD, a wooden-hulled passenger freighter was destroyed by fire at the dock in Collingwood.
1922 – GLENFINNAN, downbound with grain, and MIDLAND KING collided in fog southeast of Passage Isle, Lake Superior, and both masters received two-month suspensions.
1928 – The whaleback steamer JOHN ERICSSON was heavily damaged in a collision with the A.F. HARVEY of the Pittsburgh SS Co. in fog on Lake Huron. The latter was lost as b) CEDARVILLE in another collision on May 7, 1965.
1971 – TRANSPACIFIC was entering the harbor at the island of St. Pierre in the Gulf of St. Lawrence to get technical help for a malfunctioning radar when the ship stranded on the rocks. The West German freighter, a regular Seaway trader since 1959, was abandoned. The hull has gradually broken apart by the elements over the years.
Data from: Skip Gillham, Max Hanley, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.
Lake Michigan levels stage big comeback from 2013 lows
5/17 - Milwaukee, Wis. - Lake Michigan water levels have staged a big comeback, rising more than 4 feet since early in 2013 when they dropped to an all-time low. The increase is due to a combination of factors — more rainfall and runoff, and weather conditions that have slowed evaporation from the surface of the lake.
Lake Michigan and Lake Huron are now 2 inches higher than a month ago; 9 inches higher than the same time a year ago, and 13 inches above the long-term average of May, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Michigan and Huron are considered a single lake, linked by the Straits of Mackinac.
With seasonal conditions filling rivers and streams, the Lake Michigan system is projected to rise another 2 inches in the next month and will likely add a few more inches this summer, according to the corps.
Beaches up and down the shoreline have shrunk. Scientists expect benefits for coastal wetlands. Still, if levels rise too high, newly created spawning grounds might be less hospitable for fish. The need to dredge ports and marinas has declined. And deeper water has allowed commercial shippers to carry more cargo.
In hydrological terms, Lake Michigan has risen from 576.02 feet in January 2013 to 580.09 feet today. The lake is still more than 2 feet below its all-time high of 582.35 in October 1986.
As water levels inch up, so have concerns about the erosion of beaches and bluffs.
State Department of Administration spokeswoman Laurel Patrick said in a statement that "bluff erosion is certainly on (the) radar" of the agency's coastal management officials, adding that they are "closely monitoring Lake Michigan's lake levels."
In Milwaukee, property just north of Bradford Beach has caved into the water recently — a situation that a spokeswoman for County Executive Chris Abele says is also being monitored.
In northern Ozaukee County, residents are calling authorities about permit requirements to engineer the placement of rocks along the shoreline to protect disappearing beaches. The number of calls so far has been small, said Andy Holschbach, the county's director of land and water management.
Weather conditions largely dictate the ebb and flow of Lake Michigan water levels. The springs of 2013, 2014 and 2015 were all wetter than normal, as is this spring, according to Andrew D. Gronewold, a hydrologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Other factors: A complex relationship between the extent of ice cover, air temperature and evaporation — especially in the fall, when cold, dry air settles over the relatively warmer temperatures of the lake.
"When you stack all of those years together, you get this pretty interesting jump in water levels going back to January 2013," Gronewold said.
The situation today is a far cry from when the lake plunged to its lowest level since modern records started being kept in 1918. "It's very scary," dock builder and dredger Mike Kahr of Death's Door Marine Inc., told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in December 2012.
When contacted last week, Kahr painted a different picture. "We're doing less dredging, that's for sure," he said. Now Kahr said he is getting calls asking to assess the impact of rising water levels. Some property owners are asking about having their docks raised.
When Lake Michigan and Lake Huron were at their historic low, some attributed part of the problem to 1960s-era dredging for navigation on Lake St. Clair, which acted to lower lake levels. The lake borders Michigan and Ontario and is the main outlet for the two lakes.
The corps in 2014 allocated $50,000 to study whether water levels could rise with the installation of structures on Lake St. Clair to slow water flows.
The International Joint Commission, which oversees U.S. and Canadian boundary water issues, said it supported an investigation of options that would restore water levels by 5 to 10 inches, according to documents. Knowing that lake levels have historically fluctuated, and could rise again, the commission encouraged the U.S. and Canadian governments to study options for structures that would not cause problems when water levels were higher. But a potential project on Lake St. Clair is no longer being studied, a corps official said last week.
"There was a general lack of support from the (U.S.) State Department and other agencies," said John Allis, chairman of the Detroit district of the corps.
Petro-Nav applies for Sten Baltic coasting license
5/17 - Petro-Nav has applied for a coasting license to use the Norwegian tanker Sten Baltic for multiple voyages from Quebec/Levis to Montreal, Oakville and Sarnia to serve Suncor and Shell. In the application Petro-Nav cites the forest fires at Fort McMurray, Alberta for interrupting the production of clean petroleum products (gasoline and diesel) in Sarnia and threatening shortages in the Greater Toronto and Northern Ontario areas.
Port Reports - May 17
St. Marys River
Milwaukee, Wis. – Alan
Lorain, Ohio – Phil Leon
U.S., Canadian Coast Guards save 4 from water in 2 separate incidents on Lake Erie
5/17 - Cleveland, Ohio – U.S. and Canadian Coast Guard crews collaborated to rescue four people in separate cases early Monday morning on Lake Erie.
Just before 3 a.m. watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Buffalo, New York, heard a mayday call over VHF-FM channel 16 from a 37-foot sailing vessel that was taking on water with one man aboard. Sector Buffalo launched a Station Buffalo crew aboard a 45-foot response boat and requested the launch of a Dolphin helicopter crew from Air Station Detroit.
After determining the vessels position to be in Canadian waters in shoal water off Pt. Abino, Ontario, Joint Rescue Coordination Centre Trenton, Ontario, took control of the case, launching two surface vessels, a C-130 fixed-wing aircraft and requested that the Coast Guard assets continue en route.
The vessel's master reported he was abandoning ship into a dingy and was being swept out into the lake.
The Buffalo crew arrived on scene and located the man, who is a U.S. citizen, and the dingy. The crew confirmed he was the only person aboard and transported him to awaiting EMS for evaluation in Buffalo. EMS reported the man was cold but alert.
The man was wearing a life jacket and there are no reports of pollution. The sailboat remains sunk off Pt. Abino.
Shortly after that rescue, Sector Buffalo overheard a call on VHF-FM channel 16 that a 42-foot yacht with three people aboard was taking on water 20 nautical miles west of Long Point, Ontario, in Lake Erie. A woman then stated the vessel had capsized and they were clinging to the hull.
JRCC Trenton diverted their surface assets and relaunched the C-130. Sector Buffalo diverted the Air Station Detroit helicopter that had just completed the previous search.
"The sea state was approximately 6-foot swells," said Lt. Rachel Quatroche, the helicopter pilot from Air Station Detroit. "Had the survivors not been wearing their life jackets, it is unlikely they would have been able to remain floating in the rough conditions. It was wise of them to don their flotation devices when it became evident that capsizing was a very real possibility. According to the survivors, they were in the water for approximately two hours."
The Detroit crew located the vessel, but was beginning to run low on fuel. The crew jettisoned the on-board dewatering pump to reduce weight and deployed a rescue swimmer. Because the people were showing signs of hypothermia, the air crew hoisted the three people, who are all Canadian citizens, and took them to awaiting EMS in Erie, Pennsylvania. The swimmer was picked up and returned by a Canadian Coast Guard vessel that had arrived on scene just as the helicopter was departing.
Upon arrival, all three survivors declined medical assistance. Customs and Border Protection was notified and is making arrangements to return the people back to Canada.
The vessel was approximately 2.5 nautical miles offshore of Long Point when it broke apart and capsized. A large amount of debris was reported in the area, and Sector Buffalo is working with JRCC Trenton to recover the debris since forecasted weather may push it toward Dunkirk, New York.
The weather was reported as 20-knot winds, 6-foot seas and a water temperature of 46 degrees.
Obituary: Diane Hilden
5/17 - Diane Hilden, an avid Duluth-area ship photographer whose work was featured in many publications, passed away May 15. A visitation (2-3 p.m.) and memorial service (3-4 p.m.) will be held Saturday, May 21, at the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd, 1325 N. 45th Ave., Duluth, Minn. In March, she was featured in a Duluth News Tribune in an article about ship photographers. Read the article at http://bit.ly/DNTShipPhotographers.
Help wanted: Fettes Shipping Inc.
5/17 - C Fettes Shipping Inc. offers full time employment opportunity on Canadian flag Great Lakes self-unloading tug & barge cement carriers. We are looking for candidates with some dry bulk or tug & barge experience. We offer the highest salaries and benefits in tug & barge operations, including 2 months onboard with one month paid vacation, medical coverage and Family Security Plan all under collective agreement. We expect from candidates strong communication skills and good work ethic. Candidates must be able to travel to the US portions of the Great Lakes area and must have valid Canadian Passport, all applicable Transport Canada Certificates and valid medical certificate issued by Transport Canada.
Positions available are:
Please send your resume to Human Resources, Fettes Shipping Inc., 3385 Harvester Rd. 250, Burlington, ON L7N 3N2. Fax 905 333-6588 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Updates - May 17
News Photo Gallery - Updates may be somewhat sporadic this week due to one of our volunteers traveling for work. Some great photos have been submitted and will be posted as soon as time permits.
Today in Great Lakes History - May 17
On 17 May 1887, WILLIAM RUDOLPH (wooden propeller "rabbit,” 145 foot, 267 gross tons. built in 1880, at Mount Clemens, Michigan) was raised from Lake St. Clair. She sank in the fall of 1886. She was towed to the Wolverine Drydock in Port Huron, Michigan where she was repaired. She lasted until 1913, when she was beached as shore protection near Racine, Wisconsin.
ALTON C. DUSTIN (Hull#708) was launched May 17, 1913, at Lorain, Ohio by the American Ship Building Co. for Cleveland Steamship Co. (John Mitchell, mgr.) Renamed b.) J.A. CAMPBELL in 1915 and c.) BUCKEYE MONITOR in 1965. Sank on December 16, 1973, in position 43.3N x 30.15W, in Atlantic Ocean, while in tandem tow with ROBERT S. MCNAMARA and German tug SEETRANS I, bound for scrapping at Santander, Spain.
NORTHCLIFFE HALL collided with the Cuban salty CARLOS MANUEL DE CESPEDES in the St. Lawrence River above the Eisenhower Lock on May 17, 1980. Built in 1952, by Canadian Vickers as a,) FRANKCLIFFE HALL (Hull#255), renamed b.) NORTHCLIFFE HALL in 1959, and c.) ROLAND DESGAGNES in 1976, she sank after running aground on May 26, 1982, near Pointe aux Pic, Quebec.
E.G. GRACE arrived at Ramey's Bend May 17, 1984, in tow of the tugs GLENEVIS and GLENSIDE for scrapping.
On May 17, 1941, The Ludington Daily News reported that the former carferry PERE MARQUETTE 17, which had been purchased by the State of Michigan for use at the Straits of Mackinac, was to be renamed b.) CITY OF PETOSKEY. She was scrapped at Ashtabula, Ohio in 1961.
The schooner ST. ANDREWS was launched at A. Muir's shipyard on the Black River in Port Huron, Michigan on 17 May 1875. This was a rebuild job, but Mr. Muir stated that it was the most complete rebuild he ever undertook since there was only a portion of the keel and bottom left from the old hull. Her new dimensions were 135 foot keel x 30 feet x 14 feet, 425 tons (an increase of 102 tons).
At about 9 a.m., 17 May 1885, the tug E.T. CARRINGTON (wooden side-wheel tug, 76 foot, 57 gross tons, built in 1876, at Bangor, Michigan) was towing a raft of logs from L'Anse to Baraga, Michigan, when she caught fire and burned to the water's edge. The crew was rescued by the steam yacht EVA WADSWORTH. The CARRINGTON was later rebuilt and lasted until 1907.
1916 – ROCK FERRY, a wooden steamer, ran aground due to fog off Main Duck Island, Lake Ontario but was salvaged and repaired.
1924 – ORINOCO sank about 6 miles off Agawa Bay, Lake Superior, while upbound with coal. The wooden steamer had sought shelter behind Michipicoten Island while towing the barge CHIEFTAIN, but then tried to return to Whitefish Bay. ORINOCO began to leak under the stress and was lost.
1957 – The composite hulled steamer YANKCANUCK ran aground in mud at Whitby but was released in what proved to be her final season. She was laid up at Sault Ste. Marie at 1014 hours on June 27.
1969 – The tug COLINETTE sank in Toronto Bay after the hull was punctured while docking the freighter ATLANTIC HOPE at Pier 35. All on board were saved and the vessel was raised and repaired. It apparently survives as a private yacht named NOMADA.
Data from: Skip Gillham, John Dunlap, Max Hanley, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Historical Collections of the Great Lakes, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.
Port Reports - May 16
Saginaw River – Todd Shorkey and Gordy Garris
Erie, Pa. – Jeff Benson
Coast Guard, good Samaritan rescue 2 adults, 2 kids from Milwaukee Harbor
5/16 - The U.S. Coast Guard and a good Samaritan rescued four people after their boat capsized in Milwaukee Harbor early Sunday morning.
Just after 7:30 a.m., CDT, the watchstander at Station Milwaukee received a mayday call from a small craft via VHF-FM Ch 16, reporting a 14-foot aluminum boat had capsized outside the main gap in Milwaukee Harbor. They reported another boater had recovered all four, all wearing life jackets, and were taking them to McKinley Marina.
A Station Milwaukee crew aboard a 25-foot response boat launched and the station watchstander contacted Milwaukee 911 Dispatch to request an ambulance meet the rescue vessel at the marina.
"This particular small boat carrying two adults and two children had rough seas for the boat's size, strong wind, and was manned by inexperienced boaters," said Petty Officer 2nd Class Joel Washbond, a boatswains mate at Station Milwaukee. "They basically had everything going against them. Even though the worst of the worst happened with them capsizing and going into the water, they were able to be rescued due to the fact that they were wearing life-jackets. Without the life-jackets this story would have been much different and could have ended with lives lost."
The Station Milwaukee crew and a Milwaukee Police boat crew arrived on scene and righted the vessel. The Station Milwaukee crew towed the boat to McKinley Marina where it was trailered. All four people were treated for hypothermia by EMS and released.
The on-scene weather was reported as 1-2 foot seas, 15-20 knot wind gusts and an air temperature of 37 degrees. The water temperature was less than 50 degrees. There were no reports of pollution from the capsized vessel.
Updates - May 16
News Photo Gallery -
Updates may be somewhat sporadic this week due to one of our volunteers
traveling for work. Some great photos have been submitted and will be
posted as soon as time permits.
Today in Great Lakes History - May 16
On 16 May 1894, the SHENANDOAH (wooden propeller freighter, 308 foot, 2,251 gross tons) was launched by J. Davidson (Hull #60) in West Bay City, Michigan. She lasted until 1924, when she was abandoned.
CANADIAN PROSPECTOR passed upbound in the Welland Canal May 16, 1979, with Labrador ore bound for Ashtabula, Ohio. This was her first trip after being reconstructed.
W. R. WOODFORD (Hull#626) was launched May 16, 1908, at West Bay City, Michigan by West Bay City Ship Building Co. for W. A. & M.A. Hawgood. Renamed b.) N.F. LEOPOLD 1911, and c.) E. J. BLOCK in 1943. She was scrapped at Port Colborne, Ontario, arriving in 1998.
IRVIN L. CLYMER departed Superior, Wisconsin, on May 15, 1981, and went to Duluth, Minnesota, to load 11,154 tons of taconite ore for Lorain. On May 16, 1981, having departed Duluth in 35 mph winds and 10-foot seas, the CLYMER began taking on water in her ballast tanks. She returned to Duluth, and was quickly repaired.
On May 16, 1972, in dense fog, the ROBERT HOBSON struck the Peerless Cement dock at Port Huron, Michigan when her bow was caught by the strong current at the mouth of the St. Clair River. Damage to the hull was estimated at to $100,000.
In 1985, the steamer PONTIAC was towed down the Welland Canal by the Mc Keil tugs GLENEVIS, ARGUE MARTIN and STORMONT bound for Quebec City. She would later be scrapped in Spain.
The tug B. W. ALDRICH burned at Ludington, Michigan, on 16 May 1874. The damage was estimated at $5,000 and she was rebuilt.
May 16, 1997 - The BADGER's planned first voyage of 1997 was delayed for one day because of a faulty boiler tube.
E. W. OGLEBAY (steel propeller bulk freighter, 375 foot. 3,666 gross tons) was launched at F. W. Wheeler's yard (Hull #114) at West Bay City, Michigan, on 16 May 1896. She lasted until she stranded on Shot Point, 10 miles east of Marquette, Michigan, on Lake Superior, during a heavy northeast gale and blizzard, on December 8, 1927. Shortly afterwards the hull was gutted by fire and declared a constructive total loss. The hull was removed, partially scrapped, and used as dock at Drummond Island, Michigan.
1905 – The second THOMAS W. PALMER, a composite bulk carrier, collided with HARVARD of the Pittsburgh Steamship Company off Stannard Rock, Lake Superior in dense fog and was nearly cut in two. The crew was able to walk to safety aboard HARVARD before their ship sank.
1919 – D.R. HANNA sank in Lake Huron 6 miles off Thunder Bay Light after a collision with the QUINCY A. SHAW. All hands were saved but the sinking of the grain laden 552-foot freighter was the largest insurance loss on the lakes to that time. The hull has been located upside down in 90 feet of water.
1941 – The Norwegian freighter REINUNGA began Great Lakes visits in 1926 and was forced to spend the winter of 1932-1933 at Dain City along the Welland Canal. The vessel, which dated from 1902, was bombed and sunk by German aircraft as d) KYTHERA at Suda Bay, Crete, on this date in 1941.
1962 – ARGENTEUIL, a former Canadian Coast Guard buoy tender, was rebuilt as a coastal freighter in 1961. It sank in the St. Lawrence near Lauzon, QC, with the loss of 3 lives on this date in 1962.
1975 – MANCHESTER RAPIDO provided a container shuttle service in the Seaway beginning in 1971, went aground off Pasajes, Spain, on March 15, 1975, and then sank. The hull was refloated May 16, 1975, for repairs and a return to service. 1987 – MARIA ANNA SCHULTE first came inland in 1958. It ran aground as e) LUCKY VIRGIN off San Andras Island, Colombia, while en route from Colon, Panama, to Aruba in 1974 and had to be abandoned as a total loss.
Data from: Skip Gillham, Max Hanley, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Historical Collections of the Great Lakes, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.
Port Reports - May 15
Marquette, Mich. – Rod Burdick
Sturgeon Bay, Wis. – Jim Conlon
Port Inland, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Cedarville, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Calcite, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Stoneport, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Owen Sound, Ont. – Denny Dushane
Saginaw River – Gordy Garris
Sarnia, Ont. – Denny Dushane
Toledo, Ohio – Denny Dushane
Rochester, N.Y. – Tom Brewer
Today in Great Lakes History - May 15
On 15 May 1901, the GILCHRIST (Hull #603) (steel propeller freighter, 356 foot. 3,871 gross tons) was launched at the West Bay City Ship Building Co. in West Bay City, Michigan, for the Gilchrist Transportation Company of Cleveland, Ohio. She lasted until 1943, when she was sunk in a collision on Lake Superior.
On May 15, 1997, the "This Day in History" feature started on this web site.
The PHILIP R. CLARKE, first of the AAA class of vessel, began her maiden voyage from Lorain, Ohio, on this date in 1952.
After extensive renovation at Fraser Shipyard, the IRVIN L. CLYMER departed Superior, Wisconsin on May 15, 1981, and went to Duluth, Minnesota, to load 11,154 tons of taconite ore for Lorain, Ohio.
On May 15, 1971, the STONEFAX was sold and was scrapped at Santander, Spain.
On 15 May 1854, GARDEN CITY (wooden passenger/package side-wheeler, 218 foot, 657 tons, built in 1853, at Buffalo, New York) was sailing from Chicago to the Soo in a storm when she went on Martin Reef, west of Detour, Michigan, and was wrecked. Her passengers were picked up by the steamer QUEEN CITY.
May 15, 1992 -- The BADGER was rededicated and began a new career as a non-railroad carferry.
At 3:30 a.m., 15 May 1874, the tug TAWAS came along side of the schooner ZACH CHANDLER several miles off shore from Sand Beach, Michigan on Lake Huron. The boiler of the TAWAS exploded and she sank. Capt. Robinson, 2nd Engineer Dyson, Firemen Thomas Conners and James McIntyre, and Lookout Dennis Burrow were all on the tug and died in the explosion. The blast tore the CHANDLER's sails and rigging, and caused the death of one of her officers when he was struck on the head by a flying piece of debris. The CHANDLER drifted away in the heavy seas, but returned to pick up five survivors from the water. The TAWAS was built at Vicksburg, Michigan by Myron Williams in 1864. Her dimensions were 95-foot x 18-foot, 6-inches x 8-foot, 6-inches. She carried the two old engines from the tug BLISH, which when new were 11-1/2 inches x 20 inches, but having been bored out several times, were 15 inches x 20 inches at the time of the explosion. Her boiler was built by Mr. Turnbull of Corunna, Ontario.
1907 – SAXON ran aground near Caribou Island, Lake Superior, and dumped about 1,000 tons of ore overboard before being released. The ship went to the Atlantic in 1918 and was scrapped at Copenhagen, Denmark, as c) ANNE JENSEN in 1927.
1923 – PERE MARQUETTE 4 and PERE MARQUETTE 17 collided in fog off Milwaukee and the former sustained severe damage above the waterline and was laid up.
1929 – RALPH BUDD stranded at Saltese Point, near Eagle Harbor, Mich., and was abandoned to the underwriters. The grain-laden vessel was released by Reid and sold to Canadian interests. It was scrapped at Hamilton as b) L.A. McCORQUODALE of the Upper Lakes Shipping fleet in 1966.
1963 – LOBIVIA, WESTMOUNT and ROGERS CITY were in a three-way collision in the St. Clair River at Port Huron but there was only minor damage.
1967 – GOLDEN HIND was loaded with grain when it stranded off Cassidy Point, Lake Erie, and was holed in the forward compartment.
1968 – The stern cabins of HOMER D. WILLIAMS were damaged from a collision with WHEAT KING in the St. Marys River and this ship was repaired at Lorain. The latter vessel received bow damage that was repaired at Port Weller.
1972 – The Dutch freighter COLYTTO first came through the Seaway in 1963 and made 8 trips to the end of 1966. It was swept ashore by a typhoon near the mouth of the Limpopo River off the coast of Mozambique as b) CAPE NERITA on this date in 1972. All on board were rescued but the ship was abandoned on the beach as it was not feasible to dig the ship out by a canal. The nearest road was 25 miles away so the hull was not scrapped either.
1999 – The former sandsucker NIAGARA II was scuttled as an attraction to divers off Tobermory, ON.
Data from: Skip Gillham, Jody Aho, Max Hanley, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Historical Collections of the Great Lakes, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.
Aboard Horne's ferry to Wolfe Island, the oldest ferry in America
5/14 - Cape Vincent, N.Y. – They are just a small family run operation, but they are in the history books as the oldest ferry in the United States.
For more than 200 years, the Horne family has been shuttling people from Cape Vincent, New York, to Wolfe Island, Ontario, Canada across the St. Lawrence River. The ferry was chartered in 1802 and today, still in the family, they continue to pack up to a dozen cars on their little ferry for the trip to Canada and back.
Many travelers use this as a convenient "back door" entry to Canada for its ease and convenience. Horne's is the only international ferry in the region and is located at one of the narrowest crossing distances between the two countries. The ferry ride, which takes all of 10 minutes, is only about seven miles across the river and the boat leaves every fifteen minutes from each side. The schedule of trips begins at 8 am and ends daily at 7:30 pm.
Everything is small at Horne's ferry. The ferry boat itself, the family operation, the duration of the trek to Canada and even the fare. Coming in at $18 for a car and driver, plus $2 for each passenger, you cannot find a cheaper, quicker, fun and hassle-free way to go from the U.S. to Canada in northern New York.
The ferry is seasonal and runs from May 1 to October 15.
For a photo gallery, click here: http://www.newyorkupstate.com/thousand-islands/2016/05/hornes_ferry_wolfe_island_cape_vincent_schedule.html
Port Reports - May 14
Escanaba, Mich. – Raymond H.
Saginaw River – Gordy Garris
Buffalo, N.Y. – Brian W.
Halifax, N.S. – Mac Mackay The tug Teclutsa is stopping over in Halifax. Built in 1973 by Marinette Marine as YTB 822 Pawhuska, it served the U.S. Navy until 2005. It was purchased by Coos Bay Towboat Co. in Coos Bay, Ore. They gave it a major refit, equipping it with a 350-horsepower bow thruster and a flap rudder. It still has its massive 2,000 bhp Fairbanks Morse and single 12-foot diameter propeller. The tug is in superb condition, and is a real find for new owners.
Bill passed barring Army Corps from dumping polluted sediment into Lake Erie
5/14 - Washington, D.C. - The U.S. Senate on Thursday passed an energy and water appropriations bill that included a provision inserted by Ohio Sens. Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman that prevents the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from dumping polluted dredged sediment directly into Lake Erie.
Over the past year, the Army Corps has been engaged in a federal lawsuit against the Ohio EPA and the Port of Cleveland seeking permission for open-lake dumping. The agency contends the sediment is clean enough to dispose directly into the lake.
U.S. District Court Judge Donald Nugent blocked the Army Corps' request last year, and ordered the agency to dump the dredged sediment into a confined containment dike as it has for the past 40 years.
"It's essential to the Port of Cleveland and Northeast Ohio businesses that the navigation channel of the Cuyahoga River is maintained," Brown said in a news release. "While dredging is critical for the region's economy, it shouldn't compromise efforts to improve water quality and restore the health of the lake."
Portman said: "The Cleveland Harbor project is vital to all of Ohio and we must ensure that the dredged material is not inappropriately disposed of by dumping it in Lake Erie without approval by the Ohio EPA. I will continue use every tool available to make sure both the City of Cleveland's water supply and Lake Erie's ecosystem is protected."
Brown's and Portman's language in the bill ensures that open-lake dumping can occur only if strict environmental standards set by the Ohio EPA are met.
Earlier this year, the Ohio EPA declined to grant the Army Corps a permit for open-lake dumping, citing tests that found the sediment in the shipping channel too polluted with PCBs to dispose of in the lake.
Meanwhile, Portman is a heading a Senate subcommittee that is investigating allegations that the Army Corps deliberately cut more than $3 million budgeted for dredging Cleveland harbor from its 2016 federal appropriation. Afterward, the Corps claimed it didn't have enough money to dispose of the sediment in containment dikes.
Port of Cleveland President and CEO Will Friedman told Portman that the Cleveland Harbor dredging project was the only example where the Army Corps asked Congress for a cut in funding in the lower 48 states last year.
Lake Discovery: Researchers discover lost ships
5/14 - Gills Rock, Wis. – A tedious search and lots of patience leads to the surprise of a lifetime for a team of divers in Door County.
"Years ago we didn't have this technology and many people have been looking for these wrecks," explained Captain Jim Robinson of Shoreline Charters.
Robinson has been diving for shipwrecks around Door County for decades, but this time he partnered with an old friend, Keith Cormican. Cormican runs a Search and Recovery effort off his boat called Bruce's Legacy. He uses state of the art equipment that allows him extremely detailed images of what's at the bottom of hundreds of feet of water.
"This is a four foot long torpedo type thing that's towed on a cable down at depth," said Cormican. The "tow fish" can go up to 500 feet deep and takes pictures of the bottom.
"We see all the debris and the things around them that we normally we don't see when we're diving," said Cormican.
The area they're searching is known as Death's Door. It's where the bay of Green Bay and Lake Michigan meet. It's the strongest current in the Great Lakes. The team has uncovered 7 ships in just 3 days.
"One of them for sure is brand new that I've had no idea was even there," said Robinson.
Now the state underwater archeologist needs to come in to investigate these new found wrecks.
Updates - May 14
Today in Great Lakes History - May 14
On 14 May 1881, CITY OF ROME (wooden propeller freighter, 268 foot, 1,908 gross tons) was launched by Thomas Quayle & Sons in Cleveland, Ohio. She was the largest vessel on the Lakes when she was launched. She lasted until 1914, when she burned near Ripley, New York on Lake Erie.
On May 14, 1959, the SHENANGO II and the HERBERT C. JACKSON both entered service. While the vessels have been fleet mates since 1967, the SHENANGO II was built by the Shenango Furnace Company. She operates today as the c.) HON. JAMES L. OBERSTAR, renamed last spring.
On May 14, 1943, the THOMAS WILSON entered service as the first of the sixteen vessels in the "Maritime" class.
The HOCHELAGA's self-unloading boom was installed on the RICHARD REISS, which had lost her boom April 13, 1994, when it collapsed at Fairport, Ohio. The REISS’ replacement boom was installed on May 14, 1994 by Port Weller Drydocks Ltd.
BLACK HAWK (wooden schooner, 98 foot, 178 gross tons) was launched in East Saginaw, Michigan on 14 May 1861. Thomas A. Estes was her builder. She was active until abandoned in the Kinnickinnic River at Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1908. On 13 October 1913, she was filled with flammable material and burned off Milwaukee as a public spectacle for the Perry Centennial Celebration.
On May 14, 1905, the new Anchor Line passenger steamer JUNIATA made her maiden voyage from the yards of the American Shipbuilding Company in Cleveland, Ohio to Detroit, Michigan. Sailing under the command of Capt. Edward J. Martin she left Cleveland at 7:05 in the morning and arrived at Detroit shortly before 4. On board, in addition to several officials of the line was her designer, Frank E. Kirby. Detroiters were treated to the sight of seeing both the JUNIATA and TIONESTA together for the first time as TIONESTA was loading for Duluth, Minnesota when the JUNIATA arrived from Cleveland and tied up alongside her older sister. The JUNIATA later departed for Chicago where her furnishings were installed.
On 14 May 1861, COMET (wooden side-wheeler, 174 foot. 337 gross tons, built in 1848, at Portsmouth, Ontario) collided with the 2-mast wooden schooner EXCHANGE, ten miles off Nine-Mile Point on Lake Ontario. Then an explosion rocked the COMET and she was destroyed by fire 2 or 3 lives were lost, but the survivors reached Simcoe Island in a lifeboat.
Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., May 14, 1900. - The tug W.A. ROOTH of the Great Lakes Towing company fleet was caught between the barge JOHN A. ROEBLING and the steamer HENRY C. FRICK in the American canal last night and sunk. The crew escaped without injury. The tug was towing the barge ROEBLING out of the canal and in some manner got between the ROEBLING and the big steamer FRICK. Her sides were crushed in and she went down immediately in twenty feet of water.
1917 – SAXONA and PENTECOST MITCHELL collided head-on in the St. Marys River near Detour and both ships sank with their bows locked together. The former was refloated and repaired as LAKETON while the latter was also salvaged and remained in the U.S. Steel fleet.
1921 – The barge MIZTEC broke loose of the steamer ZILLAH in a storm and sank with all hands in Lake Superior northeast of Vermilion Point.
1952 – JAMES NORRIS began her sailing career, loading a cargo of grain at Fort William.
1991 – The Yugoslavian bulk carrier MALINSKA ran aground off Main Duck Island, Lake Ontario, while outbound from the Great Lakes with a cargo of steel coils. It was lightered and released. The ship had been a Seaway trader since 1987 and now sails in the Algoma fleet as c) ALGOMA DISCOVERY.
Data from: Skip Gillham, Chuck Truscott, Jody Aho, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Historical Collections of the Great Lakes, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.
Algoma Central’s loss widens as road salt demand falls
5/13 - Toronto, Ont. – Less demand for road salt amid a mild winter drove ship operator Algoma Central Corp. to a deeper loss in the first quarter.
The decline in salt volumes moving on the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway compounds the effects of a global slowdown in demand for coal, iron ore and grain, bulk commodities that are key to Algoma Central and other companies that sail the inland waterway.
St. Catharines, Ont.-based Algoma Central said revenue from carrying ore, salt, wheat and other dry commodities fell by 38 per cent in the first three months of 2016, compared with the same period a year earlier.
“This quarter was a little tougher than normal,” said Peter Winkley, chief financial officer of Algoma Central, which owns 25 bulk ships and seven petroleum tankers on the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway and the East Coast and has part-ownership of five ocean-going vessels.
“The industry as a whole is feeling that” decline in trade, Mr. Winkley said.
The company’s quarterly loss widened to $24-million in the first three months of 2016, compared with $22-million in the year-earlier quarter, excluding refunds on a shipbuilding contract worth $16-million.
Refined petroleum products revenue fell by 54 per cent after the loss of a customer, Mr. Winkley said by phone. Revenue in the company’s ocean shipping division more than tripled to $20-million with the addition of three ships.
Dry bulk shipping rates on the world’s oceans touched new lows this past winter, amid a glut of ships and slowing steel production in China. Much of the world’s fleet is losing money and idling or scrapping vessels.
Algoma Central said in that February it would retire five bulk ships earlier than planned, faced with plunging demand for ore and steel from the Great Lakes’ mines and mills.
Two of the three major steel makers on the Great Lakes – U.S. Steel Canada and Essar Steel Algoma Inc. – are in bankruptcy protection, leaving Arcelor Mittal SA as Algoma Central’s main shipper of ore and steel.
Overall cargo volumes fell by 9 per cent on the St. Lawrence Seaway in 2015, led by a 41-per-cent drop in coal. Algoma Central does not provide forecasts but Mr. Winkley said 2016 will be “a challenging year” due to weak grain shipments and ample stockpiles of road salt after the unseasonably warm winter.
U.K.-based Drewry Shipping Consultants Ltd. says rates for ships that carry dry commodities will be lower this year than year as market conditions remain “challenging.”
“The dry bulk sector has seen a period of recovery in recent months based on higher iron ore, coal and grain trade,” Drewry wrote in a recent research note. “The boom in iron ore trade that has resulted in record exports out of Australia and Brazil is expected to be a short-term phenomenon as it has mainly been based on iron ore restocking due to low inventories. … Seasonal iron ore restocking activity in China will relax over the next few months as inventories increase.”
Container ship owners are also facing plunging rates amid an oversupply of vessels and slowing economic growth. On Tuesday, Financial Times reported French shipowner CMA CGM is pulling the world’s largest container ship out of the Asia-U.S. West Coast service. The Benjamin Franklin first docked in Los Angeles in December. It is one of the new mega-large ships blamed for the glut in shipping capacity that is depressing rates and causing congestion at ports.
Globe & Mail
Final voyage of the Algomarine: Scrapyard awaits Great Lakes freighter
5/13 - The 48-year-old Great Lakes freighter has been docked since May 3 in Montreal, where the Canadian self-unloading bulk carrier awaits a tow across the salty Atlantic Ocean to the distant shores of the Aegean Sea, for her final fate.
The freighter is being scrapped in Turkey as part of a large scale fleet turnover by owner Algoma Central Corporation, which is retiring several older, "classic," vessels for newer ships constructed in overseas shipyards.
Unfortunately for the widespread Great Lakes & St. Lawrence Seaway boat watching community, that means beloved and photogenic ships of yesteryear are being replaced by standardized bulk carriers that differ little from one another.
"You'll see one on the horizon and won't know one from the other," said Roger LeLievre, publisher of the Know Your Ships guide to Great Lakes boat watching. "It takes a lot of the excitement away from watching boats, I think."
Read more, and view a photo gallery here: http://www.mlive.com/news/index.ssf/2016/05/algomarine.html
U.S.-flag cargo movement on lakes up 9.7 percent in April
5/13 - Cleveland, Ohio – U.S.-flag Great Lakes freighters moved 7.3 million tons of cargo in April, an increase of 9.7 percent compared to a year ago. The April float was also 7 percent above the month’s 5-year average.
Iron ore cargos for the steel industry totaled 4.4 million tons, an increase of 30 percent compared to a year. However, coal shipments to power plants and steel mills slipped to 1.2 million tons, a decrease of 11 percent. Limestone loads for construction projects and steel production totaled 1.4 million tons, a decrease of two or three boatloads.
All five Great Lakes are currently above their long-term average for water waters, but full loads remain elusive. The largest coal cargo shipped in April totaled 69,378 tons, but Class X lakers (the U.S.-flag 1,000-footers) have carried as much as 70,903 tons of coal in a single voyage.
Year-to-date U.S.-flag carriage stands at 11.4 million tons, an increase of 9 percent compared to the same point in 2015. Iron ore cargos are up 24 percent, but coal cargos have dipped 28 percent. Limestone shipments are virtually tied with a year ago.
Lake Carriers’ Association
Port Reports - May 13
Two Harbors, Minn. – Denny Dushane
Marquette, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Milwaukee, Wis. – Alan
Grand Haven, Mich. – Sam Hankinson
Port Inland, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Stoneport, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Calcite, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Montreal, Que. – Rene´ Beauchamp, Nathan Attard
Charges filed in connection with saltie's long detainment in Duluth
5/13 - Duluth, Minn. – Federal charges have been filed against a German shipping company stemming from an investigation that detained the freighter Cornelia offshore from Duluth for six weeks late last year, the U.S. Attorney's Office for Minnesota announced Wednesday.
MST Mineralien Schiffahrt Spedition und Transport, the German company that operated the Cornelia, was indicted in U.S. District Court on Wednesday on one count of violating the Act to Prevent Pollution From Ships and eight counts of false entries/omissions in records in a federal investigation. A date for representatives of the company to appear in court has yet to be set.
The oceangoing freighter Cornelia was detained offshore from Duluth from early November until Dec. 18 amid an investigation into possible violations of U.S. environmental regulations "related to the discharge of oily water," the U.S. Coast Guard said at the time. The 575-foot Liberian-flagged ship eventually left Duluth carrying a full load of grain, headed to ports along the Mediterranean Sea, after an agreement was reached allowing the saltie to sail while maintaining the integrity of the investigation
The charges allege that the Cornelia and its crew violated the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships by failing to maintain an accurate ship record about the disposal of oil-contaminated waste, in addition to presenting falsified records to the U.S. Coast Guard. The indictment is the result of an investigation by the U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
According to the grand jury indictment:
From February through October last year, the Cornelia "experienced significant leakages of oily waste-water from its engines and other onboard machinery and equipment above and beyond the typical leakages that occur during the normal operation of a vessel. As a result, the M/V Cornelia was accumulating a substantial volume of machinery space bilge water."
The Cornelia's chief engineer or second engineer instructed members of the crew on at least 10 occasions to transfer the oily bilge water from a dirty bilge tank to the clean bilge tank — a separate tank intended to contain only clean, oil-free water — and then discharge the oily wastewater overboard. Oily wastewater allegedly was discharged in the Great Lakes on at least one occasion, although court documents don't specify where in the Great Lakes it occurred.
The Coast Guard previously reported that the alleged discharge did not appear to have happened in the Twin Ports.
The Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships mandates that bilge water can't be discharged into the ocean if its oil content is more than 15 parts per million, and requires large ships to maintain records documenting the discharge or disposal of oily bilge water.
Court records don't specify the amount of bilge water or the alleged oil content of bilge water discharged from the Cornelia.
The indictment alleges that the Cornelia's "senior vessel officers, acting within the scope of their agency and employment and at least partly for the benefit of the defendant, aiding and abetting each other, did knowingly fail to maintain and caused the failure to maintain" accurate oil and oily bilge water records.
It also alleges that they knowingly made false entries and omitted facts "with the intent to impede, obstruct and influence" a Port State Control Examination by the U.S. Coast Guard, conducted in part to ensure a vessel is following environmental guidelines. The "false and fictitious" records were presented to the Coast Guard in Duluth in early November, the indictment alleges, at which time the Cornelia was detained.
If convicted, penalties against MST could include forfeiture of property "which constitutes or is derived from proceeds traceable to the violation," the indictment states.
As of Wednesday night, according to online ship-tracking websites, the Cornelia was in the eastern Mediterranean bound for the port of Iskenderun, Turkey.
Duluth News Tribune
SS Badger beginning 2016 sailing season — now as a national landmark
5/13 - Ludington, Mich. – The rain stopped, the clouds parted and the sun shone on the words “A National Historic Landmark” on the stern of the SS Badger as it prepared to depart Ludington Thursday morning.
The sailing marked the end of a tumultuous journey for the cross-lake ferry company, as acknowledged by LMC President and CEO Bob Manglitz, who thanked the employees for weathering storms and leaping hurdles to keep the Badger crossing between Ludington and Manitowoc. “You are all can-do people,” Manglitz said.
He acknowledged his partners, Jim Anderson — LMC’s first employee under Charles Conrad – and Don Clingan, who took the lead role in trying to obtain the landmark status for the 410-foot ship.
Manglitz thanked Bill Worden, who was the first to propose the Badger for a National Historic Landmark designation, as well as former Mayor John Henderson and his daughter, Brandy, for the “Save Our Ship” campaign. He also singled out Congressman Bill Huizenga, who he said was a “true champion” of the Badger and a friend.
As Manglitz finished his remarks, a crew raised a flag that had flown over the Capitol above the sea gate bearing the ship’s name. The flag was a gift from U.S. Congressman Bill Huizenga, who was unable to attend, but sent remarks along with his district director, Greg Van Woerkom.
Huizenga noted in his letter that the ship obtaining the designation was an “important victory for hard-working families and small businesses that have relied on the SS Badger for generations.”
Brandon Fewins, the Northern Michigan Regional Manager from Senator Debbie Stabenow’s office passed along her congratulations and read from a letter that noted she was impressed by the passion and dedication of the Lake Michigan Carferry family in working to meet a complex set of challenges.
“Today’s celebration is a fitting tribute to the importance of the SS Badger to Ludington and Manitowoc,” Stabenow wrote. “It is historic landmarks like the SS Badger that make Michigan so unique.”
Dr. William Anderson said while many communities search for an identity, Ludington’s was fated because of its proximity to Lake Michigan and with this designation and the upcoming 2017 opening of the Port of Ludington Maritime Museum, Ludington’s identity as a maritime community is reinforced.
As he spoke, he called it “our ship.”
“I say ‘our ship,’ because the people of Ludington share a spiritual ownership — it’s our boat and our boat is bigger than your boat,’” Anderson said to cheers and applause.
The event drew Kevin Elsenheimer, the director of the Michigan State Housing and Development Authority, which funded a cultural economic development grant for Ludington and Mason County. Those funds have been used to create various trails around the community to highlight the area’s agricultural and maritime heritage.
Rick Plummer, the director of the Mason County Historical Society and the master of ceremonies for the event, noted that National Historic Landmarks “show exceptional value in illustrating and interpreting the heritage of our country.”
The ship, he said, “continues to delight generations of people. Today, the Badger sails out of our nation’s history and into its future.”
Ludington Daily News
Port to light up Cleveland harbor silos
5/13 - Cleveland, Ohio – The 150-foot tall cement silos at the mouth of the Cuyahoga River will be artistically lit by the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority. The port's board on Thursday agreed to pay $231,000 to Herbst Electric of Cleveland for the LED lighting equipment and installation.
The project, dubbed "Harbor Lights," will be completed in early July, prior to the Republican National Convention. The twin silos of the Essroc cement plant on Dock 20 are among the most visible structures on the Cleveland waterfront.
"The Port's role as driver of economic development for Cleveland takes on many forms, including our booming maritime services and key development finance capacity," Will Friedman, port president and CEO said in a statement. "But we're also passionate about creating an inviting waterfront for residents and visitors. Harbor Lights will provide a spectacular display of public art on what is currently a lackluster industrial structure."
Friedman said at the meeting that the port's tandem workboats, Flotsam and Jetsam, would once again patrolling the lakefront and river to clean up floating debris and trash.
Lubrizol strikes deal to ship products from two plants through Port of Cleveland
5/13 - Cleveland, Ohio – Lubrizol Corp. of Wickliffe will ship products from its plants in Avon Lake and Painesville through the Port of Cleveland, a shot in the arm for the local port, which took a chance in 2014 by subsidizing monthly scheduled sailings between Antwerp, Belgium, and Cleveland.
Dubbed the Cleveland-Europe Express (CEE), the service is the only scheduled ocean service between the Great Lakes and the rest of the world.
At a reception Tuesday evening, May 10, kicking off the shipping season, Matthew Joyce, Lubrizol's director of supply chain for the Americas, said the service "will provide some (supply chain) significant advantages that we wanted to take advantage of."
Until now, the specialty chemicals company had been shipping its products in containers on railroad cars to ports in New York, Philadelphia and Norfolk, Va., where the cargo was put on a ship to Europe. The company found it could ship to France at the same cost and with the same shipping time and also could see advantages to shipping to Belgium and Germany.
Joyce said the company also found that by shipping from the Port of Cleveland, it could better schedule its production runs, "which is going to pay dividends in the long run."
"This is a big deal," said Will Friedman, president and CEO of the port, because not only is Lubrizol "a terrific company in our region and a leader in the specialty chemical industry, it is one of the biggest exporters to Europe in Ohio."
The Port Authority used this shipping season kickoff to show off its two new mobile harbor cranes, which are expected to improve the efficiency of port operations. The Leibherr model 280 cranes will speed the unloading and loading of containers on to ships.
Also at the reception, Betty Sutton, administrator of the U.S. Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corp., awarded the Port of Cleveland with its Robert J. Lewis Pacesetter Award for registering a significant increase in international cargo tonnage during the 2015 shipping season. Sutton said international cargo that passed through the Port of Cleveland increased 9% in 2015 over 2014 to 499,609 tons.
Sturgeon Bay museum ties events to Blessing of the Fleet May 21
5/13 - Sturgeon Bay, Wis. – The Door County Maritime Museum will be participating in the Blessing of the Fleet event in Baileys Harbor on Saturday, May 21, highlighted by special restoration tours of Cana Island.
“Tours of Cana Island Light Station include admission to the island, a climb up the historic lighthouse tower and a special detailed overview of our current and future restoration projects,” said the museum’s Executive Director Amy Paul. Tour times will be 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. The cost is $15 per person ($5 for members) with pre-registrations being taken by calling the museum at 920-743-5958.
The museum will also maintain a presence at the festival grounds on County Hwy. F near the Baileys Harbor Town Hall. A museum ship model silent action will take place, the pieces having been donated to the museum through the generosity of museum supporters.
The works of a pair of popular Door County artists will also be for sale with all proceeds benefitting the Cana Island restoration project. Maritime works by Kathy Glasnap will be available as well signed prints by Gerhart Miller of a Cana Island work that is exclusively sold by the Door County Maritime Museum.
Updates - May 13
Today in Great Lakes History - May 13
The tanker GEMINI (Hull#746) was launched at Orange, Texas by Levingston Ship Building Co. in 1978, for Cleveland Tankers Inc., a subsidiary of Ashland Oil. Renamed b.) ALGOSAR in 2005.
The tanker JUPITER made her maiden voyage May 13, 1976 from Smith's Bluff, Texas loaded with lube oil bound for Marcus Hooks, Penn. She was destroyed after exploding in the Saginaw River on September 16, 1990.
On May 13, 1913, Pittsburgh Steamship's THOMAS F. COLE collided with the barge IRON CITY on Lake St. Clair. The barge was cut in two.
Delivered May 13, 1943, THOMAS WILSON departed under the command of Captain Henry Borgen on her maiden voyage from Lorain, Ohio, bound for Duluth, Minnesota, to load iron ore.
The green-hulled schooner EMMA C. HUTCHINSON was launched at 4 p.m. on 13 May 1873, at the E. Fitzgerald yard in Port Huron. She was the largest vessel built at that yard up to that time. She was named for the wife of Mr. J. T. Hutchinson of Cleveland. Her dimensions were 195foot keel, 215 feet overall, 35 foot beam, 14 foot depth, 736 tons. She cost $55,000. Frank Leighton was her builder and Matthew Finn the master fitter. She was outfitted by Swan's Sons of Cleveland. Her painting was done by Ross & Doty of Port Huron.
On 13 May 1874, the Port Huron Times reported that someone had stolen the schooner ANNIE FAUGHT and that John Hoskins, the owner, was offering a reward for her recovery.
May 13, 1898 - The steamer JOHN ERICSSON, having in tow the barge ALEXANDER HOLLEY, bound down with ore, went aground while making the turn at the dark hole in little Mud Lake. She is on a sand bottom. Tugs and lighters have gone to release her. When the steamer grounded the barge ran into her, damaging the latter's bow and causing a large hole above the water line on the starboard side of the ERICSSON. Both were repaired temporarily.
On 13 May 1871, NORTHERNER (wooden barge, 220 foot, 1,391 gross tons) was launched by Capt. Wescott at Marine City, Michigan. Her master builder was John J. Hill. She was towed to Detroit to be fitted out and there was talk of eventually converting her to a passenger steamer. She remained a barge until 1880, when she was converted to a propeller freighter in Detroit. She lasted until 1892, when she burned at L'anse, Mich.
1914 – The package freight carrier CITY OF OTTAWA was upbound in the Cornwall Canal when it sheered over and struck the downbound S.N. PARENT on the port side at #2 hatch. The former was part of Canada Steamship Lines but was best known as the INDIA of the Anchor Line.
1915 – VALCARTIER and A.W. OSBORNE collided in Lake Huron above Corsica Shoal.
1933 – CALGARIAN, en route from Toronto to Montreal with automobiles and general cargo, stranded at Salmon Point in Lake Ontario, and was refloated two days later. 1943 – The caustic soda tanker DOLOMITE 4 was in and out of the Great Lakes via the New York State Barge Canal system. The vessel was torpedoed and sunk by U-176 off the north coast of Cuba on the date in 1943 as b) NICKELINER.
Data from: Skip Gillham, Jody Aho, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Historical Collections of the Great Lakes, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series, the Detroit Free Press and the Duluth Evening Herald.
Algomarine Canadian registry closed prior to upcoming scrap tow
5/12 - According to Transport's Canada website, Algomarine had her Canadian registry closed on May 9. As of May 10 her name has been shortened to Mari and her flag of registry is now that of Sierra Leone in anticipation of a sure scrap tow to the shipbreakers in Turkey. The tug Diavlos Pride is expected to arrive in Montreal around May 16. It is anticipated that they will then take either the Algoma Navigator or the Algomarine to scrap in Aliaga, Turkey. The Algomarine's fleetmate Algoma Navigator has also had their name shortened. She is now the Navi with Sierra Leone as the flag of registry as well.
Great Lakes iron ore trade up 23.4 percent in April
5/12 - Cleveland, Ohio – Shipments of iron ore on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway totaled 5,355,855 tons in April, an increase of 23.4 percent compared to a year ago. Shipments also topped the month’s 5-year average by 18.4 percent.
Shipments from U.S. ports totaled 4,981,058 tons in April, an increase of 27 percent compared to a year ago. Loadings at Canadian terminals dipped by 11.6 percent to 374,797 tons.
Although water levels on all five Great Lakes are currently above long-term average, U.S.-flag Great Lakes freighters are still not carrying full loads. The largest iron ore cargo to ever move in the Head-of-the-Lakes trade (Lake Superior to Lower Lakes ports) is 72,300 tons, but only two iron ore shipments topped 70,000 tons in April. Even mid-sized lakers in the ore trade were routinely leaving port with 5-6 percent of their rated carrying capacity unused in April. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers estimates that approximately 17 million cubic yards of sediment still clog the Great Lakes Navigation System. Only dredging, not temporarily high water levels, will permit vessels to carry full loads.
Year-to-date the iron ore trade stands at 9,399,431 tons, an increase of 14.6 percent. Loadings at U.S. ports are up more than 21 percent, but shipments from Canadian ports in the St. Lawrence Seaway are down 12 percent.
Lake Carriers’ Association
Port Reports - May 12
Grand Haven, Mich. – Sam Hankinson
Oswego, N.Y. – Ned Goebricher
Updates - May 12
Today in Great Lakes History - May 12
The CABOT (Hull#649) was launched May 12, 1965, at Lauzon, Quebec by Davie Shipbuilding Ltd., for Gulf Ports Steamship Co. Ltd. (Clarke Steamship Co. Ltd., mgr.). In 1983, the CABOT's stern was attached to the bow section of the NORTHERN VENTURE to create the CANADIAN EXPLORER.
The THOMAS WALTERS, American Shipbuilding, Lorain (Hull#390) entered service on May 12, 1911, with coal from Sandusky, Ohio to Duluth, Minnesota. Renamed b.) FRANK R. DENTON in 1952, she was scrapped at Ashtabula, Ohio in 1984.
The carferry GRAND HAVEN was sold to the West India Fruit & Steamship Co., Norfolk, Virginia on May 12, 1946, and was brought down the Mississippi River to New Orleans, Louisiana for reconditioning before reaching Port Everglades and the Port of Palm Beach, Florida.
On 12 May 1875, the scow-schooner SEA BIRD of Chicago was driven onto the beach a half-mile south of the harbor at Holland, Michigan by a Northeaster. After the storm, she was high and dry on the beach.
The wooden J.S. SEAVERNS stranded near Michipicoten Island on Lake Superior on 12 May 1884. She had been carrying passengers from Chicago to Port Arthur. She was pulled free by a tug, but then sank. She was formerly a steam barge, being built on the bottom of the side-wheel tug JOHN P. WARD in Saugatuck, Michigan in 1880. The WARD dated back to 1857, had burned in 1865, was then rebuilt as a schooner, and in 1880, was finally rebuilt as the SEAVERNS.
1975 – The tug TARA HILL was damaged by a fire set by vandals at New Orleans. This vessel had operated on the Great Lakes as NORTHERN, CHARLES R. RANDLE SR., HELEN HINDMAN, SUSAN HINDMAN and HERBERT A. Lloyds notes “continued existence in doubt” in 1997, but the hull was likely dismantled much earlier.
1978 – PHOTINIA ran aground off Milwaukee in rough seas and the crew was rescued. The ship was refloated but declared a total loss. It was towed to various Lake Michigan ports in the next two years and was eventually dismantled at Kewaunee, Wis., in 1981.
Data from: Skip Gillham, Jody Aho, Max Hanley, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Historical Collections of the Great Lakes, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.
Lakes limestone trade up 7 percent in April
5/11 - Cleveland, Ohio – Shipments of limestone on the Great Lakes totaled 1,947,263 tons in April, an increase of 7 percent compared to a year ago.
Loadings out of U.S. quarries totaled 1,552,490 tons, a decrease of 3.2 percent compared to a year ago. Shipments from Canadian quarries jumped 85 percent to 394,773 tons.
Year-to-date the Lakes limestone trade stands at 2,257,604 tons, an increase of 10.6 percent. Shipments from U.S. quarries are up a boatload or two. Loadings out of Canadian quarries have risen 75 percent.
The year-to-date total includes 180,234 tons from U.S. quarries in January and 107,998 tons in March. Canadian quarries shipped 22,109 tons in March.
Lake Carriers’ Association
End of Empire Mine, ‘end of the life’
5/11 - Palmer, Mich. – Mass is ending at Our Lady of Perpetual Help. This is a mining church in a small mining town within sight of a massive iron ore mine.
The 33 worshipers have much to pray for in the 418-person village. The Upper Peninsula’s Empire Mine is closing, symbolic of a fading heritage industry as old as the state. Four hundred of the best-paying jobs in this rugged region will be gone by summer’s end.
Families have spilled blood there. Lyle Larson’s brother, John, was killed at 18 while constructing the mine in 1962. In the church vestibule, gathered among three other lifetime miners, Brad Holman ponders a question: What now?
“Maybe I should get out of the way and give the younger ones a chance,” said Holman, almost 60, who has worked for 33 years at the mine.
Seniority may allow him to bump into a nearby sister iron mine — the last in Michigan. “But when I retire, I want to be able to retire for good,” he said.
Lower production, tumbling iron ore prices and falling revenues and stock shares have plagued the owner of the massive mine, a mile wide and 1,200 feet deep. The industry is also grappling with increased imports from China.
“It’s the end of the life,” said Patricia Persico, spokeswoman for the mine owner, Cleveland-based Cliffs Natural Resources. “There is no ore that is viable to mine anymore.”
Read more, and view photos at this link
Port Reports - May 11
Port Inland, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Cedarville, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Stoneport, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Calcite, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Toledo, Ohio – Denny Dushane
No relief in site for small harbors in the Great Lakes
5/11 - Leland, Mich. – The harbormaster in Leland says the federal government needs to spend emergency funds to dredge the channel there. The channel is about six feet deep, the minimum needed for large yachts and the Mishe-Mokwa, the largest ferryboat that takes visitors to the Manitou Islands.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ district office in Detroit has recommended that emergency funds be used to dredge the channel between Lake Michigan and Leland, but that decision will be made at the national level.
Recreational harbors in the Great Lakes have had maintenance trouble for at least a decade. In 2007, a yacht trying to get into Portage Lake in Manistee County ran aground and eventually sank.
Since then, Congress has increased the amount of money the Army Corps has to maintain federally designated harbors around the country, but the increase hasn’t made much of a difference for the recreational harbors.
The federal government taxes cargo shipped in the U.S., and those dollars are supposed to be used for harbor maintenance. Not all of that tax money makes it back to the harbors, however. The chair of the Great Lakes Small Harbors Coalition, Chuck May, says about $600 million of harbor maintenance fees still disappear each year into the general budget.
The coalition hopes eventually all the tax money will come to the harbors in the future. But Chuck May is also worried about a new development.
The Corps has traditionally been responsible for the channel in and out of a harbor. Recently, some money has been appropriated to dredge areas inside harbors in large ports, areas that have been maintained by the local government. May says if that trend continues, it will increase demand on the harbor maintenance fund.
“That’s obviously something we feel is inappropriate and wrong, particularly until all federal assets are maintained,” he says.
Interlochen Public Radio
‘Know Your Ships’ 2016 now on sale
5/11 - Spring has arrived, and so has "Know Your Ships 2016," the popular annual field guide to boats and boatwatching.
Included in the 184-page, profusely-illustrated booklet is information on U.S., Canadian and international-flag cargo vessels, tugs, excursion boats and barges in regular Great Lakes & St. Lawrence Seaway service, including owner and port of registry, year and shipyard where built, length, beam, depth, cargo capacity and former names, plus type of engine, horsepower and more.
Standard binding and spiral binding are both available.
"Know Your Ships," now in its 57th year, is meant not only for those with a casual interest in the parade of nautical commerce that passes our shores, but also for more serious-minded individuals who have a passion for all the details about the ships that ply the inland seas.
Preview or order at KnowYourShips.com
Today in Great Lakes History - May 11
On May 11, 1953, the HENRY STEINBRENNER went down in Lake Superior near Isle Royale with 17 of her 31 crewmembers. The storm followed an unseasonably warm and humid stretch of weather in northern Minnesota for that time of year, which fueled the storm's fast growth. The high temperature of 87 degrees set in Grand Marais, Minnesota on May 8, 1953, still stands as that town's all-time record high for the month of May, and it is just eight degrees shy of the town's all-time record for any month.
The 144 foot, 3-mast, wooden bark JESSE HOYT was launched at East Saginaw, Michigan, by Smith & Whitney on 11 May 1854. Later in her career, she was converted to a schooner and lasted until 1896, when she sank in Lake Michigan in a collision.
The A. WESTON (wooden steam barge, 164 foot, 511 gross tons) left Mount Clemens, Michigan on her maiden voyage on 11 May 1882. She was built by William Dulac. Her hull was painted black. She was powered by a single 28 inch x 32 inch engine and she was designed for the lumber trade. She was sold Canadian in 1909, and was renamed CONGERCOAL. She lasted until she burned to a total loss at Fair Haven, New York on 10 May 1917.
On 11 May 1886, OSSIFRAGE (wooden propeller passenger-package freight steamer, 123 foot, 383 gross tons) was launched by F. W. Wheeler & Co. (Hull #26) at West Bay City, Michigan. She was rebuilt a number of times and ended her days on salt water. While being towed in the Northumberland Strait in the Atlantic Ocean, she struck a shoal and foundered in September 1919.
1934 – KEYBAR ran aground above the Canadian Lock at Sault Ste. Marie and was stuck for 12 hours. Part of the cargo of grain was lightered before the ship floated free. The vessel was scrapped at Port Dalhousie in 1963.
1945 – MOYRA began Great Lakes trading in 1931. It was owned by the Government of Newfoundland when fire broke out in the St. Lawrence east of Quebec City on this date in 1945. The ship was beached off Ile d'Orleans and was heavily damaged. The vessel was rebuilt at Montreal and sold to Norwegian interests as b) HEIKA returning to the Great Lakes in 1953. It also visited as c) MARISCO in 1957 and foundered in the Gulf of Laconia, Greece, while en route from Varna, Bulgaria, to Genoa, Italy, with iron ore on October 20, 1959.
1974 – While outbound in the Cuyahoga River, a fire broke out aboard the GEORGE D. GOBLE. The Kinsman Lines bulk carrier was docked and the blaze was extinguished with about $2,500 in damage.
1987 – LONDON FUSILIER, an SD-14, was a year old when it first came through the Seaway in 1973. Fire broke out in #5 hold while unloading at Hamburg, West Germany, as c) HER LOONG on this date in 1987 resulting in extensive damage. The ship was towed to Valencia, Spain, in July 1987 and scrapped.
Data from: Skip Gillham, Jody Aho, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Historical Collections of the Great Lakes, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series. The Detroit Free Press and the Duluth Evening Herald.
Six months into insolvency, Essar's fiscal woes place Port of Algoma in jeopardy
5/10 - Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. – Monday was the six-month anniversary of Essar Steel Algoma's insolvency and protection under the Companies' Creditors Protection Act.
Monday there was word that the Port of Algoma initiative, considered the city's top economic development prospect, may be in jeopardy unless the troubled steelmaker coughs up its part of the deal. The port's peril is spelled out in court documents related to Essar (ESA)'s restructuring.
"The city, in light of its obligations to its federal and provincial financing partners, cannot authorize in good faith the commencement of the second phase of the port project or the engagement of a consulting team to implement the second phase of the port project in the absence of such payments," City Solicitor Nuala Kenny warned in an affidavit filed two weeks ago with Ontario's Superior Court of Justice.
City officials have been hoping that finding $120 million to $150 million for local port improvements will create a world-class, deep-water international marine gateway directly employing 250 staff, with 1,200 or more additional jobs at spin-off firms.
Port of Algoma Inc. was created in September 2014, part of a refinancing deal in which ESA spun off its aging Sault dock as a separate business entity. The port is 99 percent owned by Essar Ports, a subsidiary of Essar Steel Algoma's parent company, Essar Global Fund Ltd. The remaining one percent of the Port of Algoma is owned by the City of Sault Ste. Marie.
Kenny claims Essar (ESA) has so far contributed just $100,000 of its promised $800,000 contribution to the port, payable as $266,667 a year over three years. To date, the Sault steelmaker is $300,000 behind on its commitment to launching the port initiative, she says. The city contributed $300,000 and the federal and provincial governments each promised $2.12 million.
As SooToday reported on Friday, relations between Essar (ESA) and the city have been further strained by the steelmaker's recent failure to make a mandatory $1.8 million interim payment on its 2016 municipal property tax bill, on top of the $14 million it owes the city in taxes from last year.
Kenny acknowledges that ESA may be allowed under the current Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act proceedings to pull out of its port-related obligations, but she insists the city isn't prepared to cover the resulting cash shortfall to keep the Port of Algoma initiative alive.
The now-completed $3.1-million first phase of the port project consisted of 22,000 hours of preliminary work including traffic forecasting, environmental assessment, infrastructure planning, project scoping and consultations with First Nations.
It established that a deep-water port is viable as a stand-alone project, Port of Algoma Chief Executive Officer Anshumali Dwivedi told SooToday last month. The $1.2-million second phase will be approved only if all partners (governments, private sector and others) agree to fund construction of the expanded harbor.
The second phase was to begin April 1. Dwivedi tells SooToday that Phase 2 was "put on hold by the project management team."
Over the weekend, Steve Arnold of the Hamilton Spectator published a story citing a rumor that's also been spreading around the Sault over the past week: that there's interest in merging ESA with U.S. Steel Canada, which is also under insolvency protection
The deadline for offers to buy U.S. Steel Canada's former Stelco site in Hamilton was Friday, but it was extended one week until 5 p.m. this Friday, May 13. The Spectator cited an anonymous source as saying that the delay was "a reflection of the strong level of interest in the Essar assets" as the steel market starts to strengthen.
The possible Essar-U.S. Steel Canada merger was one of four rumored offers for the Hamilton operations - "two for all of it and two for pieces of it," the newspaper said.
Updates - May 10
Today in Great Lakes History - May 10
1923 –H.A. ROCK of the Forest City Steamship Co. went aground in Georgian Bay. The vessel was taken to drydock where the plates were removed, re-rolled and put back. The ship was idle May 18 to June 1 and the cost was $13,707.60.
Steamer COLUMBIA (Hull#148) was launched in 1902 by the Detroit Ship Building Co., Wyandotte, Michigan. The steamer was built for day excursions between Detroit and Bob-Lo Island. The vessel has been in lay-up since September 2, 1991 at Nicholson's Terminal.
On May 10, 1981, WILLIAM J. DELANCEY entered service for Interlake Steamship Co.. She became the largest vessel on the Great Lakes at that time, and at least in the last 130 years, she has held the honor of being the largest vessel on the Great Lakes longer than any other vessel. Renamed b.) PAUL R TREGURTHA in 1990.
On 10 May 1858, LEMUEL CRAWFORD (3 mast wooden bark, 135 foot, 450 tons, built in 1855, at Black River, Ohio) was carrying wheat from Chicago to Buffalo. She ran into a heavy gale and went out of control near Pelee Passage and struck a reef 1-1/2 miles off East Sister Island in Lake Erie. She began to sink immediately and the 13 onboard scrambled up her masts and lashed themselves to her rigging. After two days, they were finally rescued by the tug R R ELIOTT out of Detroit.
May 10, 1922 - The ANN ARBOR NO 4 ran aground at Green Isle. She was released with no damage.
The first Welland Canal was opened between St. Catharine's and Lake Ontario on 10 May 1828. The first vessel to navigate this route was the schooner WELLAND CANAL. This was a new vessel having been launched at St. Catharines, Ontario on 24 April 1828.
On 10 May 1898, ISAAC LINCOLN (wooden propeller freighter, 134 foot, 376 gross tons) was launched at Anderson's yard in Marine City, Michigan for A. F. Price of Freemont, Michigan and Capt. Egbert of Port Huron, Michigan. She cost $40,000. She lasted until 1931, when she was abandoned.
Data from: Skip Gillham, Max Hanley, Jody Aho, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.
Lake shipper Rand Logistics fails to meet Nasdaq minimum
5/9 - On May 3, Rand Logistics, Inc. received a letter from The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC providing notification that for the previous 30 consecutive business days, the bid price for the company’s common stock had closed below the minimum $1 per share requirement for continued listing on The Nasdaq Capital Market under Nasdaq Listing Rule 5550(a)(2).
Nasdaq’s letter has no immediate effect on the listing of the company’s common stock on The NASDAQ Capital Market. In accordance with Nasdaq Listing Rule 5810(c)(3)(A), the company has been provided an initial grace period of 180 calendar days, or until October 31 to regain compliance.
If at any time before October 31, 2016, the bid price of the company’s common stock closes at $1 per share or more for a minimum of 10 consecutive business days, Nasdaq will provide the company with written confirmation of compliance. In the event the company does not regain compliance within this grace period, it may be eligible to receive an additional 180-day grace period subject to certain conditions outlined in the letter and Nasdaq rules.
The company intends to actively monitor the bid price of its common stock and to take such actions as may be necessary and appropriate to achieve compliance with continued listing requirements prior to the expiration of all available grace periods.
According it its website, “Rand Logistics, Inc. is a leading provider of bulk freight shipping services throughout the Great Lakes region. Through its subsidiaries, the company operates a fleet of 10 self-unloading bulk carriers, including eight river-class vessels and one river-class integrated tug/barge unit, and three conventional bulk carriers, of which one is operated under a contract of affreightment.”
Headquartered in New York, N.Y., Rand Logistics, Inc. was formed in 2006 through the acquisition of the outstanding shares of capital stock of Lower Lakes Towing Ltd.
Port Reports - May 9
Escanaba, Mich. – Raymond H.
Saginaw River – Gordy Garris
Oswego, N.Y. – Ned Goebricher
Updates - May 9
Today in Great Lakes History - May 9
The JOHN J BOLAND (Hull# 417) was launched May 9, 1953 at Manitowoc, Wisconsin by Manitowoc Shipbuilding Co. for the American Steamship Co. making way for the keel of the DETROIT EDISON (2) to be laid. The BOLAND was renamed b.) SAGINAW in 1999.
On May 9, 1951 the CLIFFS VICTORY arrived at the South Chicago yard of the American Ship Building Co. completing her 37-day, 3,000 mile journey from Baltimore, Maryland. There her deck houses, stack, masts, deck machinery, rudder and propeller were installed and the floatation pontoons removed.
The ROBERT C. NORTON (2) was laid up on May 9, 1980 for the last time at the Hans Hansen Dock at Toledo, Ohio.
PETER REISS (Hull#522) was launched at Superior, Wisconsin by Superior Ship Building Co., on May 9, 1910 for the North American Steamship Co. (Reiss Coal Co.).
On 9 May 1864, AMAZON (2-mast wooden brig, 93 foot, 172 tons, built in 1837 at Port Huron, Michigan as a schooner) was carrying coal from Cleveland for Lake Superior when she went out of control in a storm just as she was leaving the St. Clair River for Lake Huron. She was driven ashore near Point Edward, Ontario and was broken up by the wave action. At the time of her loss, she was considered the oldest working schooner on the Lakes.
May 9, 1900: The carferry PERE MARQUETTE (15) began carferry service to Milwaukee for the Pere Marquette Railway.
On Friday night, 9 May 1873, the schooner CAPE HORN collided with the new iron propeller JAVA off Long Point on Lake Erie. The schooner sank quickly. The only life lost was that of the cook.
On 09 May 1872, the CUBA (iron propeller bulk freighter, 231 foot, 1526 gross tons) was launched at King Iron Works in Buffalo, New York for the Holt and Ensign Commercial Line. Innovations in her design included water-tight compartments for water ballast, 4 water-tight bulkheads that could be closed if the hull were damaged, and a new fluted signal lamp that could be seen for 13 miles. She was powered by two 350 HP engines. She was a very successful vessel and lasted until 1947 when she was scrapped. She was renamed b.) IONIC in 1906 and c.) MAPLEBRANCH in 1920. Converted to a tanker in 1935. Scrapped at Sorel, Quebec in 1946-7.
1906 – The schooner ARMENIA was wrecked in Lake Erie near Colchester Reef when it began leaking in a storm while under tow of the FRED PABST on the first trip of the season. The ore-laden barge was cut loose but all on board were saved. The wreck was later struck by the CHARLES B. PACKARD on September 16, 1906, leading to the latter's demise.
1926 – While backing from the NHB Elevator in Port Colborne, the JOHN P. REISS struck the A.D. MacBETH at the dock, damaging the latter's stem.
1964 – The small ferries JOHN A. McPHAIL and JAMES CURRAN broke loose while under tow of the G.W. ROGERS and sank in a storm off the mouth of Saginaw Bay. They were en-route to Kingston from Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., for a new service to Wolfe Island.
1974 – The coastal freighter ST. PIERRE ran aground in the old Lachine Canal at Montreal, was holed, capsized and sank. The vessel was broken up on location later in the year.
2011 – The Erie, Pa.-based passenger excursion ship VICTORIAN PRINCESS sustained major fire damage when a welding torch ignited materials in the engine room. The ship was out of the water and on blocks for maintenance work when the blaze broke out. The vessel missed the 2011 season.
Data from: Skip Gillham, Max Hanley, Jody Aho, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.
Port Reports - May 8
Port Weller, Ont. – Mike
Updates - May 8
Today in Great Lakes History - May 8
The 1,000-foot COLUMBIA STAR was christened May 8, 1981, at Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, for Columbia Transportation Div., Oglebay Norton Co.
EDGAR B. SPEER (Hull#908) was launched May 8, 1980, at Lorain, Ohio, by American Ship Building Co. for Connecticut Bank & Trust Co. (U.S. Steel Corp., mgr.), after long delay because of labor strife.
FRED R. WHITE JR was christened May 8, 1979, named for Oglebay Norton's then vice-chairman of the board.
On May 8, 1979, the ASHLAND struck the north entry pier of the Duluth Ship Canal while outbound loaded. Thick ice blowing in from Lake Superior had interfered with her maneuverability. She dropped her anchor to lessen the impact but drifted over the flukes ripping a two by five foot hole in her bottom port side forward. She was inspected and repaired at the Duluth Port Terminal. One anchor was lost.
CHAMPLAIN's starboard side was damaged when she sideswiped the Swedish steamer BROLAND near the lower end of the St. Clair River cut-off, May 8, 1963.
May 8. 1936 – The Pere Marquette Railway Co. announced plans to construct a new $1 million ferry dock at Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
The 3-masted wooden schooner FRANK C. LEIGHTON was launched at 10:30 a.m. on 8 May 1875, at Dunford & Leighton's yard in Port Huron, eight months after work on her began. She was launched complete except for her mizzen mast, which was just about ready to go in position. She was named for Capt. Leighton's son. Her dimensions were 138 foot keel, 145 foot overall, 26 foot beam and 12 foot depth. She cost $20,000 and was owned by Dunford & Leighton.
The 254-foot wooden freighter AMAZON was launched at A. A. Turner's yard at Trenton, Michigan, on 8 May 1873.
On 08 May 1929, GEORGE W. PARKER wooden propeller sandsucker, 105 foot, 143 gross tons, built in 1903, at Marine City, Michigan by A. Anderson for Fishback Plaster Co., formerly a.) L. G. POWELL) was destroyed by fire and sank in the channel 6 miles south of Algonac, Michigan. Her crew escaped in the yawl.
1916: S.R. KIRBY was downbound in a Lake Superior storm when it was struck by two huge waves, broke its back and foundered. The composite hulled freighter sank quickly and only two of the 22 on board survived.
1918: The Norwegian freighter POLLUX came to the Great Lakes in 1907. It was torpedoed as b) DUX by U-54 about 7 miles northwest of Godrevy Lighthouse while carrying coal from Swansea, UK to LaRochelle, France.
1934: The hull of the first CANADOC was punctured when the ship went hard aground at St. Joseph's Island. The vessel was later freed, drydocked and repaired.
1938: JAMES B. FOOTE hit a dock at Chicago, under tow of the tug KANSAS, while loaded with corn for Sorel. The rudder, stock and a propeller blade were lost.
1942: The Hall Corp. canaller MONT LOUIS was torpedoed and sunk in the Caribbean by U-162 with the loss of 13 lives. Only 8 survived by clinging to the wreckage. The ship was carrying bauxite from Dutch Guiana to Trinidad when it was attacked and it sank so quickly that the lifeboats could not be launched. 1949: E.C. COLLINS and HENRY FORD II were in a collision in the St.Clair River.
1967 ELIN HOPE had been chartered to the Ontario Paper Company to carry newsprint from Baie Comeau to New York from 1950 to 1953. The ship came to the Great Lakes as b) PROCYON in 1961 and arrived at Madras, India, as c) KR ASHOK with the cargo of coal on fire on this date in 1967. The vessel settled on the bottom during firefighting operations. It was refloated May 19 and eventually scrapped at Madras in 1968.
1978: The third OUTARDE went aground in the St. Lawrence near Buoy 41-M and was not released until May 16. There was only minor damage to the ship.
Data from: Skip Gillham, Max Hanley, Jody Aho, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series. This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history.
Soo Locks failure could cripple U.S. economy
5/7 - Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. – They call it the “Achilles heel” of the North American economy: the Soo Locks in Sault Ste. Marie.
Most of the nation’s iron ore passes through the locks, which allow ships to negotiate the 21-foot drop along the St. Marys River between Lakes Superior and Huron. Some of the moving parts are a century old.
A recently released federal study warns that if the locks were to fail, it would cripple the economy — especially the automotive industry.
Most of the iron ore, which is used to make steel, goes through the Poe Lock. Owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and last rebuilt in 1968, it’s the only one big enough for the 1,000-foot lake freighters — more commonly known as lakers — that carry the ore from Lake Superior to steel mills all over the Great Lakes region.
If Poe fails, the impact would be first felt about 180 miles west of Sault Ste. Marie in the mining towns around Ishpeming.
“Everything that comes out of here has to go through the Soo. If it gets transported by ships, it has to go through the Soo,” explained Tony Slawinksi, who runs Handy Grocery out of the front of his home in Palmer, across the street from the mile-wide Empire iron ore mine.
“So yeah, if you shut that down, it would have a trickle effect and shut a lot of things down,” Slawinkski continued.
There are two iron ore mines in the UP, both within a few miles of each other. One of those, Empire, is shutting down soon, putting nearly 400 high-paid miners out of work. The rest of the ore comes from mines in Minnesota.
“If they can’t get their steel from here, then where else are they going to get it from? Because up here and in Minnesota, that’s where the iron mines are,” Slawinski said.
Mining would take the first hit, but that would be just the beginning.
The Poe Lock has never failed, but the U.S. Department of Homeland Security says if it did and remained closed for six months, the U.S. would fall into a deep recession.
Steel mills in Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Ontario and Pennsylvania would shut down. Almost all automobile production in North America would stop. Nearly 11 million people would end up out of work in the U.S. and millions more in Canada and Mexico. Michigan would get hit hardest, the study says, with an unemployment rate of nearly 23 percent.
“There is no alternative. We don’t have rail lines that can take the massive material that is coming through these locks each and every day. We don’t have the trucks that can do it,” U.S. Sen. Gary Peters, D-Bloomfield Hills, said.
Thursday, Peters toured the locks to see firsthand what could go wrong. “This is about the steel industry, it’s about energy, it’s about all the ripple effects,” he said. “It’s a situation that would impact every part of the state of Michigan.”
“If they don’t make steel, we don’t make cars, we don’t make trucks, we don’t make all the products of modern life,” he continued.
While it’s critical to maintain the locks, Peters said Congress will need to come up with the money to build a second large one. “The plan is to take two of these smaller locks and basically make another large Poe Lock,” he explained. That, he says, would cost at least half a billion dollars.
“It’s not a matter of if this lock will need to be shut down during the summer, it’s just a question of when and that’s why urgency to get this fixed is there,” Peters said.
Even if the money is approved, it would take six to 10 years to build a second large lock.
Port Reports - May 7
Milwaukee, Wis. – Alan
Bay City, Mich.
Reserve now for Engineer’s Day Soo Cruise
5/7 - Reservations are being taken for the annual freighter-chasing cruise on the St. Marys River, on Friday, June 24, as part of the annual Engineer’s Day Gathering in Sault Ste. Marie. The cruise will be three hours and we will travel thru both the U.S. and Canadian Locks, and do our best to find photo opportunities for any vessel traffic in the river.
Reservations are a must as we are limiting the group to 100 persons. Do not wait until you get to the Soo to join the group on this trip. The price includes a buffet dinner. Cash bar. Reservations must be received by Friday, June 17 to save $5.00. See the Gathering Page for details.
Updates - May 7
Today in Great Lakes History - May 7
ALGOPORT (Hull#217) was launched at Collingwood, Ontario, by Collingwood Shipyards Ltd., May 7, 1979 for Algoma Central Railway.
HUTCHCLIFFE HALL entered service on May 7, 1954.
A.M. BYERS (Hull#448) was launched May 7, 1910 at Cleveland, Ohio, by American Ship Building Co. for the North American Steamship Co. (R.A. Williams, mgr.). Renamed b.) CLEMENS A. REISS in 1959 and c.) JACK WIRT in 1970.
May 7, 1903 - The Benton Harbor, Coloma & Paw Paw Lake Railway was purchased by the Pere Marquette Railroad.
May 7, 1929 - The Pere Marquette notified Ludington it was interested in buying the frontage on Pere Marquette Lake that had been used by the Monroe Body Company. The city council asked $25,000 for the property, and the railroad agreed. Work on the No. 3 slip began a few months later.
On 7 May 1874, the schooner JENNIE MATHEWS was launched at Hardison's yard in Port Huron, Michigan. The launch started very slowly but with the help of men pulling on ropes, the vessel slid into the Black River nicely. Her first skipper was Capt. McGifford and her owner was Mr. Hardison. On 07 May 1954, official ground-breaking ceremonies were held for the Mackinac Bridge. It was completed three and a half years later.
1891: The new Canadian Pacific steamer MANITOBA, although built in 1889, had been laid up due to a recession and finally sailed on her maiden voyage on this date in 1891.
1935: A fire aboard ALEXANDER LESLIE at the port of Erieau, Ont., killed one member of the crew and injured two others.
1965: CEDARVILLE and TOPDALSFJORD collided in fog in the Straits of Mackinac. Ten lives were lost when the former, a self-unloader in the Bradley fleet, sank. The latter, a Norwegian freighter, had been a Seaway trader since 1960. Later, on May 11, 1984, as d) JIN XIAN QUAN, it sank the SEA CARRIER, another former Seaway trader as SVANEFJELL, in the Strait of Formosa off Taishan Island. TOPDALSFJORD was last noted as e) CHANGHI and was deleted from Lloyd's Register in 2005.
1998: CANADIAN ENTERPRISE loaded a record 32,366 tons of road salt at Goderich for delivery to Milwaukee.
Data from: Skip Gillham, Jody Aho, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.
U.S Senator tours Soo Locks complex
5/6 - Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. – "This is a piece of critical infrastructure that we need to make sure is operating," Michigan Senator Gary Peters said. Peters toured the Soo Locks for the first time Thursday. He got an inside look at how they work and the aging infrastructure.
The Army Corps of Engineers at the Soo Locks is in the middle of a feasibility study that could determine if a new lock is in the future.
"It's not a question of whether or not this lock will need to be shut down during the summer, it's just a question of when and that's why urgency to get this fixed is there and we have to act as quickly as possible," Peters said.
During the tour of the Soo Locks, Senator Gary Peters got an up close look at the aging shipping locks.
"Walking around, it's clear this was something that was built a long time ago," Peters said. "To see that there are pumps that are 100-years-old, it certainly, it's a tribute to the Army Corps of Engineers that they're able to keep this going, but also it's very understandable why we need to make replacements."
Ever since the 20-day shut down of the smaller MacArthur, the urgency is more apparent than ever.
For years there has been talk of a new twin to the Poe Lock. "If anything happens we would have a catastrophic impact on the economy, so we need redundancy," Peters said.
The community hopes this visit helps in the continued push for the new lock.
"For us, it's an attraction, but it's not just an attraction, it's so much more," Sault Ste. Marie Conventions & Visitors Bureau executive director Linda Hoath said. "We see the ships going through. We know what the value is here."
The current feasibility study will likely be completed in the next year, but it will still be years until a new $500 million lock is built.
9 & 10 News
Federal officials join fight to keep Coast Guard station year-round
5/6 - Ashtabula, Ohio – Ashtabula County has allies at the highest level unhappy with the U.S. Coast Guard's proposal to shut down its Ashtabula Station during the winter months starting in 2018.
U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown is in the fight to maintain year-round operation at the station. In a statement issued Wednesday, Brown said he has sent a letter to U.S. Coast Guard Admiral Paul F. Zuknft requesting he "maintain 12-month operation" at stations in Ashtabula and Lorain, both of which may be seasonalized.
“The coastal waters of Lake Erie are used year-round for trade and industry, and these two stations represent substantial resources to support public safety in the region,” Brown wrote in the letter. “Tourism and recreational fishing are major industries in northern Ohio, and Lake Erie plays a central role in Ohio’s economy. These stations ensure that Ohioans are able to take full advantage of the economic resources of Lake Erie year-round, without fear that their access to public safety assets is limited by the season.”
Brown also cites border security concerns in his letter to Zuknft.
Several local governments have passed resolutions opposing the proposal, including Ashtabula County's three commissioners. Daniel Claypool, board president, said Brown's letter joins documents also sent to the Coast Guard by U.S. Sen. Rob Portman and U.S. Rep. Dave Joyce.
"It's important all our legislators get on board," Claypool said Wednesday. "That's who is going to change it."
Several weeks ago, local leaders learned the Coast Guard was mulling a plan to keep the station open during boating season only. At a meeting in Ashtabula last month, Coast Guard officials said the boating season is roughly defined as May through October and possibly into November. During the winter, operations would be transferred to the Fairport Harbor Station.
At the Ashtabula meeting, an array of government and safety officials said the Ashtabula station is a critical component to life in the county.
Claypool said another meeting, this one to be attended by Brown, is being scheduled.
In April, Joyce publicly opposed the proposal in a posting on his Facebook page.
"I do not agree with the decision to seasonalize the Coast Guard station in Ashtabula and I will be urging the Commandant of the Coast Guard to maintain the current, necessary levels of operation," he wrote at the time.
Geneva City Manager Doug Starkey said Wednesday the campaign to retain year-round service merits attention.
"The Coast Guard Station Ashtabula is a vital resource of our lakefront communities," he said in an email message. "They provide safety inspections, emergency response, ice rescue and other operation to protect our residents and visitors. They also live and become a part of our communities during their time here. Their closing for even a single day, regardless of the time of year, puts people at a greater risk and adds a greater burden to our first responders who are faced with limited staffing and large demands already."
Port Reports - May 6
Escanaba, Mich. – Raymond H.
Port Weller, Ont.
Updates - May 6
Today in Great Lakes History - May 6
On May 6, 1984 the CANADIAN RANGER sailed from Port Weller on her maiden voyage to load coal at Toledo, Ohio.
In 1944 the HILDA (2) and the barge MAITLAND NO.1 started the rescue operation of freighter GEORGE M. HUMPHREY (1) which sank in a collision with the D.M. CLEMSON (2) in the Straits of Mackinac.
This day in 1923 the EDWIN E. SLICK was struck by the steamer J. LEONARD REPLOGLE in the ice on Whitefish Bay, Lake Superior.
HARVEY D. GOULDER entered service on May 6, 1906.
On May 6, 1934, ROYALTON (1) helped rescue the steamer TEN, which had lost power in a Lake Superior ice field and required a tow to safety.
On May 6, 1975 while unloading iron ore at Conneaut, Ohio, a leg and bucket from No.2 Hulett gave way and fell into the RALPH H. WATSON's cargo hold. A crane was rigged to remove the wreckage. A nine by twelve foot patch was required on her port side tank, which was holed in the accident.
On 6 May 1847, CUBA (wooden schooner, 89 foot, 139 tons, built in 1844 at Peninsula, New York as a brig) was carrying wheat near Point Breeze, New York in Lake Ontario when she was run down and sunk in a collision with the steamer GENESEE CHIEF. No lives were lost.
On 6 May 1858, the bark E.S. ADAMS began her voyage from Amherstburg, Ontario to London, England with a load of walnut timber. The transatlantic portion of the voyage took only 26 days and the vessel was back on the lakes in September 1858.
EASTLAND was launched on 06 May 1903 at the Jenks Ship Building Company (Hull #25) at Port Huron, Michigan for the Michigan Steamship Company. She was christened by Mrs. Frances E. Perene.
1914: CITY OF ROME caught fire in Lake Erie and the blaze spread quickly. The vessel was run aground near Ripley, NY and the 15-member crew took to the lifeboats and rowed ashore. The 33-year old wooden freighter was a total loss.
1977: The West German freighter SUSANNE FRITZEN made 19 trips through the Seaway from 1963 through 1967. The vessel arrived at Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, with engine trouble as c) MARGRIT B. on this date in 1977. It remained idle and had to be towed to Piraeus, Greece, and laid up in 1978. The ship left there February 15, 1979, for the scrapyard in Barcelona, Spain.
1988: The Cypriot flag freighter PONTOKRATIS was under tow and downbound in the Little Calumet River at Chicago when the CSX railroad bascule bridge ended up across the stern cabin and pilothouse. There were no injuries and both sides launched a lawsuit. The vessel was released May 16 and continued to visit the Seaway as late as 2006. It renamed NAVIGATOR M. in 2010.
Data from Skip Gillham, Jody Aho, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.
Port Reports - May 5
Port Inland, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Cedarville, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Calcite, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Stoneport, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Milwaukee, Wis. – Alan
Saginaw River – Gordy Garris
Toledo, Ohio – Denny Dushane
Buffalo, N.Y. – Brian W
Seaway saltie statistics so far for 2016
5/5 - As of May 1, there were 57 westbound transits at the Eisenhower Lock in Massena, N.Y., by saltwater vessels. The 57 westbound transits are up from 49 transits during the same period in 2015, and is also up just over 7 transits from the 5-year average from 2011-2015. It is also important to note that the 57 westbound transits is also the first time since the 2013 shipping season that there were transits made by vessels during March. The past two shipping seasons, the St. Lawrence Seaway and the locks along the Seaway were late in opening due to severe ice conditions. In 2015 the Seaway did not open until April 2, whereas in 2014 it opened late on March 31 and the first westbound transits did not take place until April 1.
2016 list of new saltwater visitors
5/5 - - As of May 1, there were 10 new saltwater vessels that made westbound transits at the Eisenhower Lock in Massena, N.Y. They are Ardita, Cape (ex-Heloise), Federal Biscay, Federal Caribou, Floretgracht, Jan Van Gent, Minervagracht, Ocean Castle (ex-Federal Mattawa), SCT Monte Rosa (ex-MCT Monte Rosa) and Vectis Castle. Ardita is expected to be purchased by McKeil Marine and will be renamed Florence Spirit. The Vectis Castle is under charter to the Groupe Desgagnes Inc. fleet and was reflagged Canadian on April 13.
Jet Express reviving boat service to Cedar Point from Sandusky, Lake Erie islands
5/5 - Sandusky, Ohio – For the first time in years, Cedar Point guests will be able to arrive at the park by public ferry. The Jet Express is reviving a century-old tradition this summer, by adding service between downtown Sandusky, the Cedar Point Marina and the Lake Erie islands.
Nicole DeFreitas, marketing director for the Jet Express, described the new service as a pilot program in 2016 that will be expanded in 2017 if there is enough demand.
The service launches Sunday, June 12, and will run twice a day Sunday through Friday from Sandusky's Jackson Street Pier to Cedar Point's marina, with a third run on some Fridays. The service will not run on Saturdays the first year. Cost will be $5 per person one way, $2.50 for children 6-12.
After dropping off guests at Cedar Point, the ferry will continue on to Kelleys Island and Put-in-Bay – so the new service also will give overnight guests at the park the ability to hop on a boat for a trip to the islands.
And overnight visitors to Kelleys Island and Put-in-Bay will be able to reach Cedar Point via ferry service, as well.
(Note: The schedule and fares should be online, at jet-express.com, by mid-May; in the meantime, call 1-800-245-1538.)
For decades, boat was the favored way to reach Cedar Point, which was founded in 1870 on the south shore of Lake Erie. But there has been no public boat service to the park for at least a decade (private boat owners, of course, continue to arrive via Sandusky Bay).
DeFreitas said Cedar Point officials approached the Jet Express this year about reviving the tradition. It was too late to completely rework the ferry's schedule, she said. But a more regular service to the park will likely be offered next year. She said the boat company may invest in a smaller vehicle for the Sandusky-to-Cedar Point service, more like a water taxi.
Currently, the Jet Express uses four boats, two with a capacity of 147 passengers and two that can hold up to 375 each, and offers regular service between Port Clinton, Sandusky and the Lake Erie islands.
Tony Clark, a spokesman for Cedar Point, said park guests have been asking for a return of boat service.
"It's certainly unique to arrive to Cedar Point by boat, which can't be replicated anywhere at any other amusement park," he said. "Lake Erie is beautiful – why not highlight what makes our region so special?"
Updates - May 5
News Photo Gallery
Today in Great Lakes History - May 5
May 5, 1904 the Crisp Point Light on Lake Superior went into service.
WILLIAM CLAY FORD (Hull#300) was launched at River Rouge, Michigan, by Great Lakes Engineering Works, May 5, 1953, for the Ford Motor Co.
On May 5, 1980, the SHARON, a.) ARCHERS HOPE of 1945, grounded in the Trenton Channel of the Detroit River. She was freed on May 7th and proceeded to Monroe, Michigan, and was laid up there on May 8, 1980. No repairs were made and she never sailed again.
On May 5, 1914, the GEORGE F. BAKER was traveling down bound in Lake Superior in dense fog with 10,500 tons of iron ore from Ashland, Wisconsin. She ran hard aground on Sawtooth Reef off Eagle River, on Upper Michigan's Keweenaw Peninsula.
May 5, 1914 - An unusual cargo, two "Jack Johnsons" (Navy guns) were hauled by the PERE MARQUETTE 17.
The small schooner ST PETER was loaded with grain when she sank 35 miles from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on 5 May 1874. The crew reached shore in the yawl.
The steam barge KITTIE M. FORBES was launched in Bay City, Michigan, on 5 May 1883. She was owned by Capt. William Forbes and named for his daughter. Her keel was laid on 1 December 1882. Her dimensions were 195 feet keel, 209 foot overall, 35 foot beam and 14 foot depth. Her engine was built by Samuel F. Hodge.
On 05 May 1902, MILWAUKEE (steel propeller freighter, 325 foot, 3,327 gross tons) was launched at the Chicago Ship Building Company (Hull #55) at South Chicago, Illinois, for the Western Transit Co. She lasted until 1940, when she was scrapped at Hamilton, Ontario.
1960: The coastal freighter FEDERAL EXPRESS had been built at Midland in 1944 as H.M.C.S. WEST YORK. It was hit at the dock in Montreal on this date in 1960 by the Swedish freighter POLARIS, drifted downstream and sank. The stern was raised August 12, 1960, and the remainder of the hull came up in pieces.
1964: The downbound bulk carrier ERNEST T. WEIR sustained damage to the port bow when it collided with tanker MERCURY in Lake St. Clair. The latter had sheered to the left, went aground after the accident and developed a list. Both ships were repaired and ERNEST T. WEIR survives today as the idle self-unloader AMERICAN FORTITUDE.
1978: JALAVIHAR first visited the Great Lakes in 1966 under the flag of India. It ran aground in the Red Sea as d) KATERINA on this date in 1978. After being released it continued to Palermo, Italy, where it was declared beyond economical repair and was eventually scrapped at Split, Yugoslavia.
2009: VICTORIA first came through the Seaway in September 2004. On May 5, 2009, the ship, loaded with 10,000 metric tonnes of rice and its crew of 11 Romanian sailors, were captured by pirates, about 75 miles south of Yemen and held hostage. After the payment of a reported $1.8 million ransom, the vessel was released on July 18, 2009. It was back on the Great Lakes in 2011.
Data from: Skip Gillham, Max Hanley, Jody Aho, Joe Barr, Father Dowling Collection, Historical Collections of the Great Lakes, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.
Algoma Navigator’s markings painted out, name shortened for scrap tow
5/4 - At Montreal, Algoma Navigator’s name has been shortened to Navi and her stack has been painted all black in preparation for an overseas scrap tow. Her Canadian registry has been closed, however the Canadian flag still flies on her stern.
Foreign delegates to descend on Duluth port
5/4 - Duluth, Minn. – Nearly 20 delegates from foreign consulates based in Chicago will tour Duluth on Thursday as local and state officials showcase the city as a vital — and international — port.
"We really wanted to roll out the red carpet and explore the state outside of the Twin Cities," said Kathleen Motzenbecker, executive director of the Minnesota Trade Office based in St. Paul. "Duluth was the perfect location."
While in Duluth, the 19 delegates will tour the port aboard a Vista Fleet vessel and be audience to a presentation led by Duluth Seaway Port Authority Executive Director Vanta Coda. Afterward, the delegation will take in furniture maker Loll Designs before finishing at Cirrus Aircraft.
The delegates will visit the medical technology giant Medtronic in Fridley on Wednesday before traveling by bus to Duluth for a night's stay at Fitger's Inn.
Motzenbecker said the intent is to give delegates from China, Indonesia, the Philippines and more a chance to witness business savvy on scales both large and small. She called Loll "a cool, innovative smaller manufacturer," and tabbed Cirrus for its "wow factor" and being an example of foreign direct investment for having Chinese ownership.
"It unpacks a lot of different economic issues and different examples of what the state has to offer," she said, "and we're excited to show it off for a global audience."
The Port Authority announced the visit at its monthly meeting last week — one of two major efforts designed to drum up future business in the port of Duluth-Superior.
The other is an upcoming new website and branding initiative, Duluth Cargo Connect, that is designed to reduce any confusion for customers of the Port Authority and its longtime operator of the Clure Public Marine Terminal, Lake Superior Warehousing Co.
Developed by Duluth's Flint Group, the website — www.duluthcargo.com — goes live in a couple of weeks and will not replace either organization. Rather, the intent is to consolidate the marketing message of both entities, said Port Authority spokeswoman Adele Yorde.
"We both have long names with lots of letters," she said, before later adding, "This new Duluth Cargo Connect marketing initiative should make it easier to understand us as one enterprise, rather than two completely separate organizations."
Visitors to the website will be routed to the appropriate entity, and both entities will maintain their own websites that will be featured with hyperlinks on the new site. "We put together a real nice branding effort," Coda said at the Port Authority meeting last week. "I'm really proud of how this came together."
Lake Superior Warehousing has operated the Clure terminal and its warehouses under contract with the Port Authority for the past 25 years, Yorde said. The Port Authority, created by state statute in 1955, is primarily responsible for port promotion, government relations and the business development side of the equation — particularly maintaining and upgrading infrastructure, like the current and ongoing $17.7 million reconstruction of Docks C and D.
Lake Superior Warehousing, Yorde explained, executes the business: preparing quotes, securing shipments, hiring crews (to load and unload cargo), overseeing inventories and managing delivery schedules by water, road and rail for its customers.
The Port Authority's burgeoning relationship with the Minnesota Trade Office began more than a year ago, when Motzenbecker heard the since-retired Port Authority Trade Development Director Ron Johnson give an address about the trade merits of the local port. She's continued to work closely with his successor, Kate Ferguson.
"We've made some inroads with the trade organization and this is some of those fruits being born," Coda said.
During the Port Authority's meeting last week, Coda said it was important for the city and its port to get on the radar of the Chicago International Trade Commissioners' Association, which the delegates represent and which has a tendency to perceive the Great Lakes as ending with Lake Michigan, he said.
Motzenbecker agreed, saying, "They live in Chicago and get to know Chicago pretty well; they don't always connect to Lake Superior and we've got to change that. We've got to get people up north to show off all the opportunity — transit and trade-wise — Duluth has to offer."
The delegates' visit is the start of a busy marketing season for the port.
Port Authority representatives will be taking their Duluth Cargo Connect initiative on the road later this month to both Breakbulk Europe 2016 in Antwerp, Belgium, and the American Wind Energy Association's Windpower 2016 conference in New Orleans.
Coda spoke to the News Tribune earlier this year about the boon the port expects from a five-year renewal of federal wind energy tax credits that begins next year. He reiterated that position at last week's meeting, citing major new wind field projects in Iowa and the Dakotas.
"I can see the fallout for us in traffic coming in," he said, projecting the start of an extended period flush with wind cargoes coming into the port.
Duluth News Tribune
Great Lakes Shipyard completes two-day turnaround ferry drydocking
5/4 - Great Lakes Shipyard hauled out the Kelleys Island Ferry Kayla Marie on April 18th for its USCG five-year inspection survey. The yard promptly completed all work, and refloated the vessel just two days later, on April 20th. The vessel was able to immediately return to service, to support its daily auto/passenger ferry operation between Marblehead and Kelleys Island.
“The shipyard prides itself on its ability to provide high quality services that its customers can depend upon. Kelleys Island Ferry Boat Line needed a very quick turn-around, and the yard was glad to accommodate them,” said Chris Henderson, Project Manager.
“With the use of our Marine Travelift, we can offer much more flexibility in our drydocking schedule, and can usually accommodate any customer requirement,” Henderson added.
Great Lakes Shipyard
Updates - May 4
Today in Great Lakes History - May 4
On May 4, 1958, JOHN SHERWIN entered service. The SHERWIN has now been in lay-up for half of her life on the Great Lakes. She last sailed on November 16, 1981.
On her maiden voyage May 4, 1976, ST. CLAIR departed Sturgeon Bay for Escanaba, Michigan, to load 39,803 gross tons of iron ore pellets for Indiana Harbor, Indiana arriving there on May 5th.
OREFAX ran aground on May 4, 1963, way off course near Manistique, Michigan. She was lightered and pulled off by the Roen Salvage Co. and made her way to Toronto, Ontario, where she discharged her cargo and left for repairs.
The tanker VENUS, a.) MARTHA E. ALLEN of 1928 suffered an explosion on May 4, 1972, when the crew was cleaning tanks while at anchor waiting for the fog to lift about seven miles west of the Eisenhower Lock in the Seaway. Two explosions rocked the ship, killing her skipper, Captain Stanley, and injuring three crewmen.
On 04 May 1839, ATLAS (wooden schooner, built in 1836, at Dexter, New York) was carrying building stone from Chaumont Bay to Oswego, New York, when she foundered 6 miles from Oswego. The steamer TELEGRAPH rushed out of Oswego to assist her but only found a little flotsam. All five on board were lost: Capt. Asahel Wescott, Ortha Little, William Ackerman, John Lee and Asa Davis (a passenger).
1889: The new Canadian Pacific steamer MANITOBA was launched at Owen Sound.
1911: The STEPHEN M. CLEMENT sank the ERWIN L. FISHER in a collision on the Detroit River. The former last sailed as PEAVEY PIONEER and was scrapped in 1968-1969.
1968: The Swedish freighter BRORIVER made 9 trips to the Great Lakes in 1965-1966. It was sold and renamed d) THALIA later in 1966 and caught fire on the Atlantic on this date in 1968. The blaze originated in the engine room but gutted the ship. It was abandoned the next day and was eventually towed to Dakar, Senegal, where it was forced to anchor 8 miles out, as officials did not want it in the port. The vessel later sank at the anchorage.
Data from: Skip Gillham, Jody Aho, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.
Great Lakes are on an upswing after long period of low levels
5/3 - After setting a record low in January 2013, Lake Michigan and Lake Huron are above their average levels, and are predicted to increase their depth over the next six months.
Anyone who pays close attention to the Great Lakes may be able to determine whether the water levels are low or high compared to the last year. But to really understand the lake levels, experts say it's important to consider the long view.
Lake levels are monitored by federal agencies like The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Through the 2000s, lake levels were consistently low, for the longest period on record, said Drew Gronewold, a research scientist at NOAA's Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory.
The Lake Michigan and Lake Huron system, which is measured and monitored as one continuous body of water, has an average of 578.8 feet for the entire period that the system has been monitored. Records date back to 1918, according to Keith Kompoltowicz, chief of watershed hydrology Army Corp of Engineers in Detroit.
"It's a short history considering the age of the lakes themselves, but it's a good amount of time to establish ranges," Kompoltowicz said.
While the two lakes are measured together, Kompoltowicz said, and both have similar traits and follow similar patterns, each lake is affected by its own characteristics. An easy analogy would be to compare them as siblings. They may go through similar conditions, but behave differently from their kin.
Historically, water levels tend to cycle between highs and lows (you can explore the full dataset through a website run by NOAA). But from the late 1990s to about 2013, the Michigan-Huron levels have been consistently below the average level, said Gronewold. Both December of 2012, and January of 2013, the levels dropped to record lows for that respective month.
"That was one of the longest periods we have on record that we were consistently at record lows," he said. "What's interesting, though, starting in 2013 water levels in Michigan and Huron have been rising. From 2013 to 2014, they either equaled or exceeded the highest rate of rise in our recorded history," Gronewold said.
Kompoltowicz said that the extreme winter in 2013 with high levels of ice and snow provided more precipitation and less evaporation off the lakes than normal. Along with a wetter than average 2013, it caused the water levels to rise.
"Typically from high to low is about a foot. In 2013, it rose about 16 to 18 inches from the low level in January to the peak in July. Then we had the extreme winter in 2013 and a very wet spring, so the water levels in 2014 climbed above average in September. That was the first time it climbed above the average in 15 years," Kompoltowicz said.
As part of the monitoring service, NOAA also creates forecasts in a range of what could be the future water levels at least six months in advance.
"They use computer models that take into consideration how much it's rained in the past, how much it's expected to rain, how warm or cool it's going to be in the future, and in turn how the anticipated changes in precipitation and temperature are going to affect water flowing in to and out of each lake," Gronewold said.
For Michigan and Huron, the peak of the season may see a high of about 14 to 15 inches above the average of the lake level historically, or about six to nine inches above last year's levels.
"It's very likely water levels will follow the typical seasonal cycle, and then probably begin hitting a peak midsummer and begin their decline around early fall," Gronewold said.
Lake levels have a profound effect on Michigan as a whole, and Kompoltowicz said it's impossible to consider any level "perfect." Freighters and boats want higher lake levels to prevent the possibility of getting stuck in shallow water. Freighters might also carry less cargo per trip with lower lake levels, reducing the potential profit margins. But the beachgoers and property owners have larger beaches to enjoy when levels are lower.
On the other hand, when higher water levels are around, the risk of shoreline damage and property damage near the lake is greater.
"There's always someone who's going to want a different water condition. There's no one optimal water level that will make everybody happy," said Kompoltowicz.
Lake levels average and current
Lake Superior: 601.7 feet average. 601.9 feet in March 2016.
Check out an interactive website of data on lake water levels by visiting www.glerl.noaa.gov/data/dashboard/GLWLD.html
The Petoskey News
Lake Express begins Milwaukee to Muskegon service
5/3 - Milwaukee, Wis. – The Lake Express ferry set sail across Lake Michigan last Friday for the first time this season. It left Milwaukee around six o'clock in the morning, bound for Muskegon, Michigan. Two-and-a-half hours later, the season's first leg was history.
"For those folks who are driving around the lake they get stuck in traffic in Chicago on a regular basis it takes normally on a good day it takes 6 hours and most people know there aren't that many good days driving through Chicago," said Lake Express president Ken Szallai.
This is the ferry's 13th season. It takes two round-trips a day through June 14, and then adds a third trip per day through September 5.
Port Reports - May 3
Holland, Mich. – Allen Walters
Updates - May 3
Our AIS server, the maps and automated vessel passage, is back up and running.
Thunder Bay-area efforts to attract dive tourism focus on wreck near Silver Islet
5/3 - Thunder Bay, Ont. – A shipwreck off Trowbridge Island in Lake Superior, south of the Sleeping Giant, is the focus of ongoing efforts to attract tourism to the area.
The large number of wrecks in the lake near Thunder Bay and the north shore means there is a lot of potential to bring in dive tourism, said Richard Harvey, the mayor of Nipigon, and an avid diver.
Current efforts are focused on a sunken freighter named the Theano, which went down just off Trowbridge Island.
"It's right there, it's a deep wreck starting at about 270 feet, so this is not a typical recreational dive," he said. "This is a technical diver's type of site, but it brings attention to our area if we have the success there that we're hoping to have."
That hope includes bringing a world-renowned dive team to the northwest to explore the site, Harvey said, adding that very few people have attempted to dive at the site.
Developing a marketing strategy aimed at expert divers, particularly from Europe, would then be the goal, he said. The promotion of shipwreck sites to divers works well with ongoing projects to restore lighthouses along the north shore of Lake Superior, Harvey added.
"What better experience as a diver, as an international explorer, than to come into an area to stay at an old historic lighthouse and go dive on the wrecks that hit the rocks where that lighthouse is now built," he said.
Other efforts aimed at divers this year include expanding a project that marks area shipwrecks with buoys, in order to better highlight them, Harvey continued. The end goal of that project is to create a type of trail from the U.S. border northeast, initially, to Marathon by putting the mooring buoys on wrecks along that expanse.
"People can come into the area, can start at either end and go right through the entire region, diving every day on a different wreck," he said.
Dart Boat Lecture at National Museum
5/3 - Toledo, Ohio – On May 4, the National Museum of the Great Lakes’ second program in the spring series, “Resurrecting the Dart Boat Company” by Scott and Dave Ramsey, has sold out. However, a second showing has been added at 5 p.m. to accommodate additional guests.
Christopher Gillcrist of the National Museum of the Great Lakes said that their first program on passenger boats by Joel Stone sold out the second showing as well. “We encourage everyone to make their reservation early so no one is disappointed,” he advised.
Scott and Dave Ramsey own Ramsey Brothers Boat Restoration and the Dart Boat Company in Toledo, Ohio and have been producing the Toledo Antique and Classic Boat Show for over a decade. They have worked on hundreds of boats including Gar Wood, Chris Craft, Lyman and Century boats. Because Dart Boats were built for a time in Toledo, the brothers resurrected the defunct company and recently have been building custom Dart Boats. Their program discusses the history of the Dart Boats and the original company as well as their plans to build, market and sell the new Dart Boats.
The Annual Lecture Series is free to members of the National Museum of the Great Lakes. The program is available to non-members with a paid admission to the museum. The second program will begin at 5 p.m. on May 4 at the National Museum of the Great Lakes in Toledo, Ohio. Reservations are required. Call 419-214-5000 for more information and to reserve your space.
Today in Great Lakes History - May 3
On May 3, 1959, the first large saltwater vessel to transit the new St. Lawrence Seaway arrived at Duluth. The RAMON DE LARINAGA of 1954, took the honors as the first salty, passing under Duluth's Aerial Bridge at 1:16 p.m., followed by a salty named the HERALD of 1943, sixteen minutes later.
In 1922, the PERE MARQUETTE 16, as the barge HARRIET B, collided with the steamer QUINCY A. SHAW, and sank off Two Harbors, Minnesota.
On 3 May 1840, CHAMPLAIN (wooden side-wheeler, 225 tons, built in 1832, at Chippewa, Ontario) was carrying general merchandise when a storm drove her ashore four miles south of St. Joseph, Michigan. Although abandoned, she was later recovered and rebuilt.
On 03 May 1883, lightning struck and set fire to the barge C F. ALLEN while she was loading at North Muskegon, Michigan. She burned to the water's edge. Her loss was valued at $6,000, but she was not insured.
1905: HESPER was blown aground in 60 mph winds near Silver Bay, MN. The vessel was carried over a reef by a giant wave and broken to pieces. All on board were rescued.
1909: The EDWIN F. HOLMES hit a dredge in the Detroit River. The 108-year-old vessel still survives as the J.B. FORD.
1941: TRAJAN had been built at Ecorse, MI as a) YAQUE in 1915. It returned to the Great Lakes as b) DORIS in 1928 taking out the head gates at Lock 13 of the Welland Canal on September 23 and was back for several trips after becoming c) TRAJAN in 1932. The vessel was bombed and sunk by German aircraft in the North Sea on this date while enroute from Blyth to London with a cargo of coal.
1961: The tug BERT VERGE was towing the retired laker FORESTDALE across Hamilton Bay to the scrapyard at Stelco when it got caught by the wind, pulled over on its beam ends and sank with the loss of 2 lives. The tug was later salvaged and survives today as a pleasure craft out of Port Dover.
1982: A fire in the officer's quarters aboard the rail car barge SCOTIA II broke out at Sarnia. The damage was repaired and the ship resumed cross-river service until making its last run in April 1995.
1987: The Polish freighter ZIEMIA BIALOSTOCKA began Great Lakes service in 1980 after 8 years of deep sea trading. The ship hit the Sidney Lanier Bridge at Brunswick, GA, on this date in 1987 with major damage to the vessel and structure. The ship last visited the Great Lakes in 1996 and arrived at Alang, India, for scrapping on September 20, 1998.
Data from: Skip Gillham, Al Miller, Max Hanley, Jody Aho, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.
Canadian registry closed for Algoma Navigator
5/2 - According to Transport Canada's website, Algoma Navigator's registry was closed on Wednesday, April 27. She laid up in Montreal last December 25. An overseas scrap tow is likely.
Port Reports - May 2
Escanaba, Mich. – Raymond H.
Detroit, Mich. – Capt. Mike Nicholls
Port Weller, Ont. – Mike
Buffalo, N.Y. – Brian W. American Mariner arrived at 6 p.m. Sunday for General Mills.
U.S. Brig Niagara set for shakedown, training sails
5/2 - Erie, Pa. – The U.S. Brig Niagara Capt. Billy Sabatini and his crew launched another season of exploration, adventure and training Sunday when they put Erie's iconic flagship through its shakedown sail on Presque Isle Bay and Lake Erie.
The training sail for about 65 professional and volunteer crew members got underway shortly after noon and lasted about five to six hours.
"I can't wait to go sailing,'' said Sabatini, 34, a Natick, Mass., native who begins his third season as the Niagara's captain. "The nerves never go away.''
The Niagara will visit seven of the nine Tall Ships America festivals scheduled throughout the Great Lakes this summer. Erie and the Flagship Niagara League will host a Tall Ships Festival Sept. 8-11.
Ten vessels are scheduled to appear at the four-day event, which will feature a parade of ships into Presque Isle Bay, dockside tours onboard the vessels, public days sails, live music and entertainment, children's activities, a festival marketplace, food vendors and a beer garden.
"We have a few feelers out there to get a couple more ships," said Shawn Waskiewicz, Flagship Niagara League executive director. "We would like to have as many as 12."
High school and college students will learn and train aboard the Niagara on seven sail-training voyages throughout the Great Lakes.
Most of the sail-training voyages will coincide with the Niagara's Tall Ships festival visits.
"We've spent the past two years, in essence, prepping for this,'' Sabatini said. "Now we can go out there and show what we've learned in the past two years. Everybody's roles changed in 2014. We last sailed with all the rest of the tall ships in 2013, so now it's a different crew, a different cast of characters, different everything.''
Sabatini will oversee a crew of 18 professionals and about 100 volunteers this season.
"Now we're going to go out there and show the tall ships world what Niagara is capable of with this crew, which is different from the ones we had in the past,'' Sabatini said. "Because we have so many crew members returning, I think we're going to be able to really show off Niagara in a very big way.''
Sabatini and his crew will determine if the ship's engines are running properly, its sails are working and all of its lines are led in the proper places.
"We have 6 miles of rigging, so we have to make sure it's all going in the right direction,'' Sabatini said. "We do everything on a slow pace. We're training our new people if we have any, especially our new volunteers, because it will be their first time that they get a chance to sail on a ship.''
Niagara crew training days also are scheduled for Sunday, Monday and Tuesday in Presque Isle Bay and Lake Erie.
"We'll do about 10 fire drills and at least five man-overboard drills,'' Sabatini said. "Drill after drill after drill. That's the most important thing. We have to do our emergency drills right from the get-go, because you just can't wait a couple of months. We have to make sure we're ready for it.''
The Niagara's first extended Great Lakes voyage is scheduled to begin May 10 as a college "History Under Sail'' program.
Twenty-six students and the Niagara crew will visit Lake Erie maritime museums and historic sites in Cleveland; Toledo, Ohio; Put-in-Bay, Ohio; and Buffalo.
The Niagara will return to Erie on June 1.
The Niagara's second extended sail is a Lake Erie voyage from June 8 through 22 for high school students from Erie, Cleveland and New England. The vessel will make a port call at Put-in-Bay, Ohio, for its maritime heritage festival. From June 29 through July 17, the Niagara will take another group of high school students on a training sail in Lake Erie and Lake Huron, ending in Bay City, Mich.
Other scheduled sail-training voyages are scheduled for July 18 through Aug. 4, a voyage from Bay City, Mich., to Green Bay, Wis.; Aug. 4-21, a sail from Green Bay to Duluth, Minn.; Aug. 21 through Sept. 11, a voyage from Duluth to Erie; and Sept. 19-27, a sail in Lake Erie.
Eleven public day sails highlight the vessel's summer schedule -- three in May, five in June and three in July.
"Typically, we try and book 15 to 20 day sails in a non-Tall Ships year. In a Tall Ships year, we have the capacity to do as many as maybe 10 or 11 day sails," Waskiewicz said. "We want to do as many day sails as we can because we're going to be gone two months this summer."
Although the Niagara will be gone for most of July, it will be in Erie on July Fourth for the Flagship Niagara League's annual Friends and Family Day, when admission to the Erie Maritime Museum and tours aboard the Niagara are free.
Updates - May 2
We are working on our AIS server, the maps and automated vessel passage will be down temporarily.
Today in Great Lakes History - May 2
The STEWART J. CORT created a sensation as she passed Detroit/Windsor on mid-day on May 2, 1972, amid throngs of people lining both sides of the Detroit and St. Clair Rivers, whistling acknowledging salutes on her up bound maiden run.
ADAM E. CORNELIUS (Hull#53) was launched at St. Clair, Michigan by Great Lakes Engineering Works on May 2, 1908. Renamed b.) DETROIT EDISON in 1948, c.) GEORGE F. RAND in 1954. Sold Canadian in 1962, renamed d.) AVONDALE. She was scrapped at Castellon, Spain, in 1979.
On 2 May 1874, the steamer 8TH OHIO was chartered by Magner & Company to carry their circus to various Great Lake ports throughout that season.
The 3-mast schooner EDWARD KELLEY was launched at Dunford & Leighton's yard in Port Huron on 2 May 1874. She was built for the Lake Superior Transportation Company of Cleveland, Ohio. A. O. Miller's coronet band played at the launching.
On 02 May 1903, ACADIA (wooden schooner-barge, 102 foot, 188 tons, built in 1873, at Smith's Falls, Ontario) was carrying coal from Oswego, New York to Kingston, Ontario, when she went aground in a storm near the Duck Islands on Lake Ontario. She was later recovered, but foundered again in July 1908. Again she was recovered and this time rebuilt as a barge.
1895 N.K. FAIRBANK was traveling from Chicago to Ogdensburg, NY with 50,000 bushels of corn when it stranded, due to fog and smoke, off Morgan's Point 6 miles west of Port Colborne. The wooden steamer caught fire and burned to the waterline. The hull was later refloated and, in 1899, rebuilt as the ELIZA H. STRONG only to burn again in October 1904.
1967 SHELTER BAY went aground in the Brockville Narrows when a bolt in the steering gear sheared off and the vessel veered off course, was holed by rocks and had to be beached off Royal Island. This member of the Q. & O. fleet was bound for Chicago with iron ore, but had to be lightered and then sailed to Port Weller Dry Docks for repairs.
Data from: Skip, Gillham, Jody Aho, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series. This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history.
Cliffs beats expectations, turns profit in first quarter
5/1 - Duluth, Minn. – Cliffs Natural Resources beat industry expectations in the first quarter of 2016 with revenues of $306 million and a net profit of 62 cents per share, the company announced Thursday.
It’s a remarkable turnaround from the first quarter of 2015, when Cliffs lost $773 million and was preparing to shutter two of its taconite iron ore operations in Minnesota because its steel mill customers weren’t producing steel and weren’t buying ore.
Lourenco Goncalves, Cliffs' president and CEO, told industry analysts Thursday that the quarterly results “clearly demonstrate how far we have come on our turnaround.”
The company produced taconite pellets for $48 per ton in the first three months of the year and sold them for $84 per ton, said Kelly Tompkins, the company’s chief financial officer, as foreign steel imports into the U.S. began to drop after government action against unfairly traded steel.
Tompkins said Cliffs’ U.S. taconite “shipments are starting to pick up right now,” as its customers’ steel prices have increased from less than $400 per ton in December to $520 per ton this week.
Cliffs earlier this year announced it would reopen its Northshore Mining operations in Silver Bay and Babbitt starting in May thanks to increased orders for more taconite. That reopening puts more than 540 people back to work.
Goncalves said last month he expects to reopen Cliffs’ United operations in Eveleth and Forbes later this year as business picks up. He reiterated that pledge on Wednesday in written comments but stopped short of giving any date for United’s 425 employees to go back to work.
The company also is part owner and operator of Hibbing Taconite and the Empire/Tilden operations in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
Goncalves said his company has earmarked $25 million to start retooling United to build a so-called “superflux” taconite pellet to supply ArcelorMittal with a specialty product. That project will take a total of $65 million and help ensure United's future, he said.
“The restart of United Taconite is a necessity in order to supply our biggest customer, ArcelorMittal,” Goncalves said, noting United will take over supplying ArcelorMittal from Cliffs’ Empire mine in Michigan, which is closing permanently this year.
Goncalves said that he continues to be interested in getting involved with the so-far failed effort by Essar Steel Minnesota to build a taconite iron ore mine and processing center in Nashwauk. The Essar project sits about half-built and idled with Essar unable to pay creditors, vendors or contractors and desperately searching for cash to finish the $1.9 billion project.
Goncalves said he expects Essar’s creditors to inherit the project soon. Sources have reported that Essar has hired legal experts to move toward reorganization by bankruptcy or by other means.
“I believe that thing is hopeless” under Essar, Goncalves said. “Bondholders... will end up owning that thing.”
Goncalves said he continues to “like the iron ore that’s in the ground there” because it is suitable for direct-reduced iron “and we will be talking. But that’s not happening yet.”
He said Cliffs’ position as the largest player on Minnesota’s Iron Range makes it a logical choice to be involved in a revived Nashwauk project no matter who ends up owning the project.
“It’s only natural that anyone who wants to do anything on that site will come to talk with us,” he said.
Goncalves also announced Thursday that Cliffs is now selling pellets to U.S. Steel Canada in Hamilton, Ontario, which has fully separated from U.S. Steel in the U.S. Goncalves said Cliffs will supply nearly all of the large steel mills’ iron ore starting in the third quarter.
“They were a captive client to U.S. Steel but they are now a Cliffs client,” Goncalves said.
Goncalves also announced that Cliffs has reached a legal agreement with Essar Steel Algoma in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. The two companies had been in a legal dispute over a contract but both companies said Thursday that Cliffs will start shipping pellets to the mill by July.
With those additional contracts, Cliffs said it expects to sell 17.5 million tons of taconite iron ore pellets in 2016.
Goncalves said Cleveland-based Cliffs continues to cut costs and outperform expectations as the company buys down what had been crippling debt. Cliffs officials said the company’s total debt at the end of the first quarter of 2016 was $2.5 billion, versus a comparable $2.9 billion at the end of the prior-year quarter.
“The steel market in the United States has started to show consistent signs of a real recovery, with a direct positive impact on our steel clients’ order books and, consequently, a totally expected improvement in our clients' appetite for the pellets we supply them,” Goncalves said in releasing the financial results.
"With Northshore back in operation in the second quarter, United Taconite restarting later this year, and a very efficient and cost-competitive (Australian iron ore mine), Cliffs is well positioned to fully benefit from all the initiatives implemented since August 2014, and deliver a strong financial performance this year."
Goncalves said he would continue to cut costs and seek new sales, and said he would force his competitors out of the market. “They are going to lose their pants,” the colorful CEO said in a teleconference with analysts.
Industry analysts had expected Cliffs to show a small loss per share for the quarter.
Duluth News Tribune
Port Reports - May 1
Thunder Bay, Ont. – Denny Dushane
Lorain, Ohio – Phil Leon
Updates - May 1
News Photo Gallery
Today in Great Lakes History - May 1
EDMUND FITZGERALD collided with the Canadian steamer HOCHELAGA at the mouth of the Detroit River, May 1, 1970, suffering slight damage at hatches 18 and 19.
STEWART J. CORT departed Erie on her maiden voyage at 0400 May 1, 1972. She was delayed by fog in Western Lake Erie.
The steel-hulled bulk carrier SHENANGO (Hull#62) was launched on May 1, 1909, by Great Lakes Engineering Works, Ecorse, Michigan.
Scrapping began on the CHICAGO TRADER at Ashtabula, Ohio, on May 1, 1978.
The JOHN T. HUTCHINSON (Hull#1010) was launched at Cleveland, Ohio, by American Ship Building Co. on May 1, 1943.
The IRVING S. OLDS sustained an eight-foot long crack across her spar deck and eight inches down one side in a storm on Lake Huron May 1, 1963.
LIGHTSHIP 103 (HURON) was launched at Morris Heights, New York by Consolidated Shipbuilding Corp. on May 1, 1920, for the U.S. Lighthouse Service. The SOO RIVER TRADER brought the first shipment of bulk cement to open the $18 million St. Lawrence Cement distribution dock at Duluth, Minnesota on May 1, 1982.
May 1, 1903 - The ANN ARBOR NO 1 sighted a burning vessel about 15 miles out of the Sturgeon Bay Ship canal, the steamer JOHN EMERY OWEN. The crew had already been picked off after the fire started, so the ANN ARBOR NO 1 put out the fire with her fire hoses. The NO 1 then towed the abandoned steamer to Sturgeon Bay and tied her up at the west end of the canal.
On 1 May 1875, CONSUELLO (wooden schooner, 103 foot, 142 gross tons, built in 1851, at Cleveland, Ohio) left Cleveland with a load of black stone for Toledo. Near Kelley's Island, a storm caused the cargo to shift and the ship capsized and sank. When she hit bottom, she jerked upright so the tops of her masts were above the water. Two of the crew, Fred Donahue and James King, were able to cling to the masts and they were rescued after about an hour and a half. Five others, including the captain and his wife, were drowned.
On 1 May 1876, the little steamer W.D. MORTON, which for two years had run as a ferry between Port Huron's Black River and Sarnia, left her dock for the Delaware River where she ran on a centennial excursion route for the exposition held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania She left the Lakes via the Erie Canal.
On 01 May 1858, OGONTZ (wooden propeller steamer, 343 tons, built in 1848, at Ohio City, Ohio) was purchased by Capt. A. E. Goodrich and George C. Drew for $5,600. This was the second vessel in the Goodrich Line. Just two years later, Capt. Goodrich had her machinery removed and she was sold to W. Crostin for $500. He converted her to a sailing vessel and she operated for two more years before she foundered in a storm.
1892: CELTIC, enroute from Fort William to Kingston with wheat and general cargo, sank in Lake Erie east of Rondeau after a collision with the steamer RUSSIA. The accident occurred in fog and one life was lost.
1909: ADELLA SHORES foundered with the loss of 14 lives in a Lake Superior storm while enroute from Ludington to Duluth with barreled salt.
1917: CASE began leaking on Lake Erie and was beached at East Sister Island, near Point Pelee and the ship caught fire when a lantern was knocked over. Some cargo was salvaged in August but the hull was left to break up in place and today the remains are scattered on the bottom.
1933: WILLIAM SCHUPP stranded on a shoal off Cockburn Island, Lake Huron, while enroute to Fort William in ballast. Once released, the vessel was repaired at Collingwood. It became MONDOC (ii) in 1945 and was scrapped at Deseronto, ON in 1961.
1940: ARLINGTON foundered in a Lake Superior storm on the second trip of the 1940 season. The wheat laden steamer was bound for Owen Sound went down stern first, taking Capt. Burke to his death. The rest of the crew survived and were picked up by the COLLINGWOOD.
1963: CAPE TRANSPORT was mauled overnight in a wild storm on Lake Huron off Harbor Beach. The steering gear was damaged, the radio knocked out and pilothouse windows were smashed. The HOLMSIDE, and later the RALPH S. MISENER, stood by. The ship reached a safe anchorage on May 2. Fleetmate OREFAX sustained damage to the forward cabins while upbound on Lake Huron in the same storm.
Data from: Skip Gillham, Jody Aho, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series. This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history.
News Archive - August 1996 to present
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