Updated as the News Happens
If you have information to contribute, choose the convenient form to the left or send by e-mail
J. B. Ford to be towed to Azcon scrapyard in Duluth
10/8 - The retired cement carrier J.B. Ford will be towed across Duluth-Superior harbor to the Azcon Metals scrap dock in Duluth Thursday morning around 8 a.m., where the 100-plus-year-old vessel will be cut up.
Duluth Shipping News
Cliffs Ends Pellet Sales to Essar Algoma
10/8 - Cliffs Natural Resources, which operates several mines in northeastern Minnesota, announced Tuesday that it has immediately ended sales of taconite pellets to Essar Steel's facility in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.
Cliffs said Essar Steel Algoma had committed "multiple and material breaches" of its pellet sale and purchase agreement. Cliffs said it "remains open to discussing supplying Essar with pellets on commercially reasonable terms consistent with a just-in-time iron ore supply arrangement."
Tensions between the two companies have been high as Essar constructs a new taconite facility in Nashwauk, which Cliffs CEO Lourenco Goncalves has said could displace current jobs in the industry. Essar has said its pellets will replace ones no longer produced when Cliffs closes its Empire Mine in Michigan.
Cliffs also operates Hibbing Taconite, United Taconite in Eveleth and Forbes, Northshore Mining in Babbitt and Silver Bay, and the Tilden Mine in Michigan.
Essar Steel Algoma produces steel used in the automotive, shipbuilding, and construction industries.
Lookback #690 – Barge Pasadena cut loose and smashed Keweenaw east pier on Oct. 8. 1906
By 1906, the wooden freighter Pasadena was working as a barge. It had been built at Cleveland in 1889 and served in the Bradley fleet.
The ship was converted from a steamer to a barge in 1905. On its final voyage, the ship was loaded with iron ore from Superior for Cleveland and under tow of the steamer Gladstone. They got into trouble 109 years ago today.
The pair encountered foul fall weather as they approached the Keweenaw Waterway and Pasadena was cut loose. The anchors failed to hold and the powerless barge struck the east pier and was ultimately broken up on the rocks.
Seven members of the crew were saved but two sailors perished. The loss of the Pasadena was set at $42,000.
Gladstone survived the trouble and sailed until sinking at her moorings at St. Clair, Mich., during the winter of 1918-1919.
Today in Great Lakes History - October 8
On 08 October 1871, PHILO PARSONS (wooden side-wheel steamer, 221 tons, built in 1861, at Algonac, Michigan) burned to a total loss in the great Chicago fire. She burned so completely that her remains were not located in the Chicago River until 1877. She was the vessel commandeered by Confederate raiders in a plot to capture the iron gunboat U.S.S. MICHIGAN on Lake Erie during the American Civil War. The Chicago fire destroyed many fine vessels while they were docked in the harbor. These included the new propeller NAVARINO, the schooner GLENBULA, the schooner ECLIPSE, the schooner BUTCHER BOY, the bark VALETTA, the schooner ALNWICK, the bark A. P. NICHOLS, the bark FONTANELLA, the fore-and-aft schooner STAMPEDE, the schooner N. C. FORD, and the schooner CHRISTINA NEILSON. The only recorded casualties among the sailors were on the ALNWICK; her mate died and the captain burned his hands severely.
The keel was laid October 8, 1976, for the 660-foot forward section of the BURNS HARBOR, but was completed as b.) LEWIS WILSON FOY for the Bethlehem Steel Co., Cleveland, Ohio. Purchased by Oglebay Norton and renamed c.) OGLEBAY NORTON in 1991, and d.) AMERICAN INTEGRITY in 2006.
The MATHEWSTON (Hull#47) entered service on October 8, 1922. On her maiden voyage she sailed from Port Arthur, Ontario with 11,634 tons of barley and wheat. Renamed b.) RALPH S. MISENER in 1954 and c.) MATHEWSTON again in 1967. Scrapped at Vado, Italy in 1970.
The Canadian registry for MENIHEK LAKE was officially closed on October 8, 1985, with the notation "sold Spain." She was scrapped at Gijon, Spain.
WILLIAM G. MATHER arrived on October 8, 1988, in tow of the Great Lakes Towing Co. tugs WYOMING and ALABAMA at the G&W Shipyard at Collision Bend in the Cuyahoga River to be refurbished.
On 8 October 1906, PASADENA (wooden barge, 250 foot, 1,761 gross tons, built in 1889, at Cleveland, Ohio as a propeller bulk freighter) was carrying coal, in tow of the steamer GLADSTONE, bound for Superior, Wisconsin. The PASADENA went out of control in a gale and her skipper had the tow line cut. She was thrown against a pier near the upper entry to the Keweenaw Waterway and pounded to pieces in a few hours. Two lives were lost, but 8 made it to shore on the floating wreckage.
On 8 October 1854, E. K. COLLINS (wooden passenger/package freight side-wheeler, 256 foot, 1,095 gross tons, built in 1853, at Newport, Michigan) caught fire and beached near the mouth of the Detroit River where she burned to the waterline. About 23 lives were lost. About 43 persons were rescued in small boats and by the steamers FINTRY and GLOBE. There was some speculation that arson was the cause. The hull was recovered in 1857, and rebuilt as the barge ARK.
On October 8, 2000 the tug UNDAUNTED and barge PERE MARQUETTE 41 departed Calumet Harbor loaded with pig iron for Marinette, Wis., under favorable conditions and were later caught by the heavy weather. During the storm, the 5,000 tons of pig iron and the barge's four pieces of heavy loading equipment were washed into Lake Michigan. Both the tug and barge suffered damage in the incident.
1899: The tug RECORD sank at Duluth after a collision with the whaleback steamer JAMES B. NEILSON and one life was lost.
1906: The barge PASADENA, loaded with iron ore for Cleveland and under tow of the steamer GLADSTONE, was cut loose approaching the Keweenaw Waterway. The anchors fail to hold. The ship smashed into the east pier of the waterway and broke up on the rocks. Seven sailors were rescued but two were lost.
1964: A fire aboard West German-flag freighter ERATO at Detroit left two dead when they were trapped in their stern quarters. Another three sailors were injured. The 2-alarm blaze was brought under control and the ship was eventually repaired at Toledo. It arrived at Bombay, India, and laid up as d) VIJAYA DARSHANA on May 26, 1983, and eventually scrapped there beginning in May 1986.
1971: DIDO went aground leaving Goole, U.K. for Porsgrunn, Norway, but returned to Goole the next day after being refloated. The 22-year-old Norwegian freighter was listed as a total loss and sold for scrap. It was taken to Hull, U.K., a year later and dismantled. The ship had been a pre-Seaway trader as early as 1951 and made 14 voyages to the Great Lakes from 1959 through 1963.
Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series
Great Lake visitor Flinterstar sinks after collision with LNG carrier
10/7 - A Dutch freighter sank Tuesday after colliding nearly head on with the Marshall Islands-flagged liquid natural gas carrier carrier Al-Oraiq in the North Sea off Belgium on Tuesday morning.
All 12 crewmembers from the freighter Flinterstar were rescued. The crew members were rescued from the cold North Sea, including one person who was reportedly suffering from hypothermia, according to a Coast Guard spokesperson.
Flinterstar was last on the Great Lakes in November 2014, when she unloaded at Chicago, followed a trip to Thunder Bay. Her first trip inland was in 2002.
Photos of the Flinterstar showed the vessel partially sunk, resting on a sandbank in calm seas and clear visibility. Dutch ship owner Flinter has confirmed that the ship sank, the crew is safe and the vessel is “stable.” A small oil sheen has been reported. An AIS replay of the collision shows the ships collided nearly head on.
“At this time, we are talking to salvage companies together with insurance to decide how the vessel will be salvaged,” Flinter said in a statement.
The 122,000 DWT Al-Oraiq was also damaged, but was able to continue to its destination of Zeebrugge, Belgium, with the help of a tug.
The 129-meter Flinterstar was built in 2002 and is flagged in the Netherlands. The vessel had just departed Antwerp bound for Bilbao, Spain, when it collided with the Al Oraiq about 16 miles (10 km) from the coast.
Flinter’s fleet consists of more than 50 vessels under its ownership or control. Most are multi-purpose ships ranging in sizes up to 11,000 DWT.
gCaptain, René Beauchamp
Port Reports - October 7
Alpena, Mich. – Ben & Chanda McClain
Montreal - Lake Ontario Notice to Shipping #29
Lookback #689 – Edward Y. Townsend broke in two en route to Spanish shipbreakers Oct. 7, 1968
The same Nov. 29, 1966, storm that sank its Bethlehem Transportation Co. fleetmate Daniel J. Morrell left the Edward Y. Townsend with a cracked hull. On arrival at Sault Ste. Marie, the latter ship was condemned and remained idle there until 1968.
The 602-foot-long bulk carrier had been built at Superior, Wis., in 1906 and was briefly the largest ship on the Great Lakes. It set a record carrying 10,912 tons of iron ore from Duluth to Cleveland on Oct. 3, 1906, as part of the Cambria Steamship Co.
The vessel had been idle at Erie, Pa., from 1962 until August 1964, when it was reactivated. After the close call on Lake Huron, the ship was sold, traded to the U.S. Maritime Administration for the C-4 troop ship General Hershey and then resold to Marine Salvage for scrap.
It passed down the Welland Canal under tow of Salvage Monarch and James Battle on Sept. 14, 1968, and departed Quebec City Oct. 1, 1968, in tandem with the Dolomite. A week later, 47-years ago today, the Edward Y. Townsend broke in two about 400 miles southeast of St. John's, N.F.
The bow sank the next day, on Oct. 8, and the stern was observed still afloat on Oct. 11. There is one, unconfirmed report that indicates that the after end was taken in tow by another vessel and managed to reach Santander, Spain, on Oct. 28 where it was scrapped.
Dolomite made it safely into Santander for dismantling behind the original towing tug Hudson on Oct. 20.
Today in Great Lakes History - October 7
On October 7, 1968, the NORMAN P. CLEMENT was damaged in a grounding off Britt, Ontario. The Canadian boat was towed to Collingwood for repairs. However, while in dry dock, an explosion occurred on October 16 that injured 11 workers and further damaged the hull. Rather than repair her, the owners had the CLEMENT towed out into Georgian Bay where she was intentionally sunk on October 23, 1968.
On this day in 1939, the E. G. MATHIOTT collided with the steamer CORVUS on the St. Clair River. Damage to the CORVUS totaled $37,647.70.
On this day in 1958, the WALTER E. WATSON, Captain Ralph Fenton, rescued the sailing vessel TAMARA on Lake Huron.
On October 7, 1871, GEM (wooden schooner, 120 foot, 325 tons, built in 1853, at Buffalo, New York) was sailing up bound in a storm on Lake Erie with a load of coal. She began to leak and was run to shore in an effort to save her. However, she went down before reaching shoal water and settled with six feet of water over her decks.
ALGOWOOD was launched October 7, 1980, at Collingwood, Ontario, for Algoma Central Marine, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.
PAUL THAYER was launched October 7, 1973, for the Union Commerce Bank Trustee, Cleveland, Ohio and managed by Kinsman Marine Transit Co., Cleveland. She was built under Title XI of the Merchant Marine Act of 1970, for $12.6 million. Renamed b.) EARL W. OGLEBAY in 1995.
The WILLIAM MC LAUCHLAN (Hull#793) was launched at Lorain, Ohio, by American Ship Building Co., on October 7, 1926, for the Interlake Steamship Co., Cleveland, Ohio. Renamed b.) SAMUEL MATHER in 1966, c.) JOAN M. MC CULLOUGH in 1975 and d.) BIRCHGLEN in 1982. Scrapped at Sydney, Nova Scotia, in 1988.
BLACK RIVER, a lake bulk freighter, was built as a steel barge in 1897, by the F.W. Wheeler & Co., she was launched October 7, 1896, as a.) SIR ISAAC LOTHIAN BELL (Hull# 118).
HUTCHCLIFFE HALL was raised October 7, 1962, and taken to Port Weller Dry Docks for repairs. She had sunk after a collision a few days earlier.
October 7, 1923 - The ANN ARBOR NO 4 went back into service after being overhauled and having new cabins built on her main deck.
MADISON suffered a fire on October 7, 1987, while lying idle at Muskegon, Michigan, and was badly damaged.
In 1903, ADVENTURE (wooden propeller bulk freighter, 108 foot, 142 gross tons, built in 1875, at Detroit, Michigan, as a schooner) caught fire while tied to the Kelleys Island Line & Transport Co. Dock. The blaze spread so quickly that those on board barely escaped. She was towed from Kelleys Island out into Lake Erie by the tug SMITH to save the dock and the adjacent schooner ANDERSON.
In a severe gale and rain/hail storm on October 7, 1858, the 247-ton schooner OSPREY approached Oswego, New York. As she was about to enter the harbor, the vessel struck the east pier broadside. Her masts and rigging were carried away and she started to sink. Capt. John Parsons got his wife and child out of the cabin to try to escape to the pier. His wife was washed overboard and drowned. Capt. Parsons held on to his child, but another wave struck the wreck and swept the child into the water. George Crine, the mate, was also swept overboard. Those three were lost, but the next wave swung the wreck about with her bowsprit over the pier and the captain and the six remaining crewmen scrambled to safety. The entire town and harbor mourned those deaths and held a dockside service two days later with many prayers and all flags at half-mast. Donations were accepted for the surviving sailors since they escaped with only the clothes on their backs.
On October 7,1873, the PULASKI was launched at the Archibald Muir yard on the Black River in Port Huron. Her dimensions were 136 feet x 26 feet x 11 feet, 349 gross tons. She was a three mast "full canaller", painted white and her private signal was a red M on a white ground bordered with blue. Her sails were made by Mr. D. Robeson of Port Huron, Michigan.
On October 7, 1886, The Port Huron Times reported that "The old side-wheel ferry SARNIA, which was a familiar sight at this crossing [Port Huron-Sarnia] for so many years, and which is said to have earned enough money in her time to sheet her with silver, the hull of which has been for some years back used as a barge by the Marine City Salt Company, has closed her career. She was last week scuttled near the Marine City Salt Works wharf."
1902: ANN MARIA hit a sandbar approaching Kincardine while inbound with a cargo of coal and broke up as a total loss. Four crew and a volunteer rescuer were reported lost.
1917: GEORGE A. GRAHAM was wrecked off Manitoulin Island, Georgian Bay, when the cargo shifted when turning in a storm. The ship ran for the safety of South Bay but stranded on the rocks. All on board were saved but the ship was a total loss.
1919: The wooden steamer HELEN TAYLOR was damaged by a fire in the pilothouse near Hessel, Mich., but was repaired.
1937: M & F DREDGE NO. 14, Hull 39 from the Collingwood shipyard, foundered in the St. Lawrence off Batiscan, QC as b) D.M. DREDGE NO. 14.
1956: The consort barge DELKOTE of the Hindman fleet was adrift for 9 hours in a Lake Superior storm with 13 on board and waves up to 20 feet. The ship had broken loose of the GEORGE HINDMAN but was picked up by the CAPT. C.D. SECORD.
1968: EDWARD Y. TOWNSEND, under tow for scrapping in Bilbao, Spain, broke in two about 400 miles southeast of St. John's, NF, and the bow sank. The stern was apparently retrieved and towed into Santander, Spain, for scrapping on October 28.
Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Max Hanley, Russ Plumb, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.
Great Lakes ships face change after court slams EPA ballast water rules
10/6 - A federal appeals court has ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to rewrite its rules governing the release of ballast water from ships in the Great Lakes and other U.S. waterways.
The unanimous decision by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York is a major victory for environmental groups that had argued the EPA's 2013 permit governing the discharge and treatment of ballast water was insufficient to curb the spread of aquatic invasive species like zebra mussels and the spiny water flea.
The EPA erred in numerous ways, according to the ruling, including by adopting international limits on live organisms in ballast water when technology was available to require tougher standards.
For example, the agency only evaluated on-board technologies to cleanse ballast water of invasive species, and failed to consider on-shore technologies that shipping companies could utilize, wrote Judge Denny Chin.
The court also ruled that so-called "lakers," ships that only ply the Great Lakes and don't travel to the Atlantic Ocean through the St. Lawrence Seaway, should be subject to some of the same ballast requirements as ocean-going vessels. The EPA's 2013 permit exempted lakers built before 2009 from meeting certain effluent limits.
The Natural Resources Defense Council, Northwest Environmental Advocates, Center for Biological Diversity and National Wildlife Federation sued the EPA over its 2013 permit. That permit will remain in effect until the EPA issues new regulations that comply with the Clean Water Act.
"This is a huge ruling," said Marc Smith, Policy Director for the National Wildlife Federation. "It basically, in our opinion, changes the seascape, for how we can set protections in place against aquatic invasive species into our Great Lakes."
A spokesman for the Lake Carriers' Association, which had intervened in the case, declined comment, saying his group was still reviewing the ruling. In the past shippers have argued that no sufficient technologies exist to economically purge ballast tanks of invasive species.
Ships take on and discharge enormous quantities of water — in some cases enough to fill 38 Olympic-sized swimming pools — into and out of ballast tanks for balance when they load and unload cargo.
But when a ship sucks in ballast water, it also can inadvertently pick up microscopic organisms and unknowingly transport them to distant waters where they can establish non-native populations that sometimes explode in their new environments.
An estimated 10,000 marine species each day hitch rides around the globe in the ballast water of cargo ships, according to the court ruling.
Zebra mussels, for example, were first introduced to Lake Erie in the 1980s by a freighter from Europe. The mussels have since infested lakes throughout Minnesota, the Midwest, and some western states, disrupting aquatic habitats and causing tens of millions of dollars of damage.
Minnesota Public Radio News
Port Colborne bridge to be closed for months
10/6 - St. Catharines, Ont. – A Port Colborne bridge, damaged after being hit by a ship last Wednesday, will remain closed to all but emergency vehicles and pedestrians until the end of the shipping season.
Chris Lee, acting direct of engineer for Port Colborne, said the St. Lawrence Seaway contacted the city Friday afternoon, informing the city that Bridge 19 is going to be closed until the shipping season ends, likely in late December – “at which point they will start to conduct repairs.”
“It may be five months, at least,” until it's opened to all traffic, he estimated. Lee said the the bridge crossing the Welland Canal at Main Street was to be lowered Friday evening, and raised as normal for passing ships.
However, when the bridge is lowered it will only be accessible to emergency vehicles and pedestrians, due to the structural damage to the span when it was hit by the cargo ship Lena J at about noon on Wednesday.
“The department, police and ambulance will still be able to get through on one lane that is being designated specifically for them, and them only,” Lee said. “It's not for general use in any way shape or form.”
Lee said the city has yet to learn if the damaged bridge will affect the Seaway's plans for a construction project that would close the Weir 8 Bridge on Main Street to traffic, starting Oct. 5. If that project continues as planned, it will leave a single span to access the island, crossing the canal at Killaly Street.
“We have other meetings planned early next week with the Seaway and Niagara Regional Police, and the MTO (Ministry of Transportation),” he said. “We're trying to sort out some of those details yet.”
He said a full structural analysis of the damaged bridge is expected to be completed by early next week.
St. Catharines Standard
Lake Superior level dips, but it's still above average
10/6 - Duluth, Minn. – The level of Lake Superior dropped below 2014 levels for the first time this year but remains well above average, the International Lake Superior Board of Control reported Friday.
The big lake dropped an inch in September, a month it usually drops about 0.4 inches. Lake Superior stood 6 inches above average for Oct. 1 but an inch below the Oct. 1 level of 2014. Water supply to the big lake was above average, but more water was being released from the lake in September as well.
Meanwhile the level of Lake Michigan and Lake Huron fell 2 inches in September, their usual drop for the month. The lakes were 8 inches above normal on Oct. 1 and still 6 inches above the Oct. 1 level of 2014.
Duluth News Tribune
Port Reports - October 6
Lorain, Ohio – Drew Leonard & Phil Leon
875 miles of Lake Michigan shipwrecks to become national sanctuary
10/6 - Sheboygan, Wis. - It's looking pretty certain the second Great Lakes National Marine Sanctuary is going to be in Lake Michigan.
During a Monday, Oct. 5, video message to the "Our Ocean" conference happening in Chile, President Barack Obama announced the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is moving forward with designating an 875-square-mile area off Wisconsin as one of two new national underwater preserves.
The 80-mile-long "mid-lake" section of Lake Michigan between Port Washington and Two Rivers, Wis., along with a 14-mile section of the Potomac River's Mallows Bay in Maryland, would become the first National Marine Sanctuaries designated since 2000.
"These actions will protect waters of historic and national importance," said Obama.
In Lake Michigan, the sanctuary would include more than 30 known shipwrecks; the most famous of which is the Rouse Simmons, a three-masted schooner known as the "Christmas Tree Ship," which sunk with all hands off Two Rivers in Nov. 1912.
Tamara Thomsen, a maritime archeologist with the Wisconsin Historical Society who helped prepare research for the Lake Michigan nomination, was ecstatic to learn of the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration announcement.
She said "it was kind of surreal" to hear the president talk about a project to which she's devoted years of time and effort. The nomination was submitted to NOAA in December 2014 and the area was added to an agency short list this February.
"Now, we'll built it and see if they come," Thomsen said.
Before that happens, though, there's some process to get through. Public meetings are scheduled Nov. 17-19 in the Wisconsin cities of Manitowoc, Port Washington and Sheboygan. After that, NOAA has to draft an Environmental Impact Statement and management plan that both must go back to the public for input.
"It does not mean all of a sudden these areas are national marine sanctuaries," said Ellen Brody, coordinator with the Great Lakes region of NOAA's national marine sanctuary office. She estimated another two or three years to finalize everything.
Currently, there are 14 designated marine sanctuaries in U.S. waters. The only one in the Great Lakes is the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary in Lake Huron off Alpena. It's currently the only freshwater sanctuary in the system.
Thunder Bay was established in 2000 and expanded from 448 square miles to 4,300 square miles in 2014. The underwater preserve is a tourist draw for Alpena, where the headquarters include nautical displays, wreck tours and exhibits.
Brody said each sanctuary is different, but the preserves adhere to guideline standards of resource protection, research and education. Buoys mark wrecks and give dive boats something to anchor to as opposed to dragging along the bottom.
There are no access restrictions in Thunder Bay, she said. Sanctuary status prohibits damaging or taking items from a wreck, something also banned by state law.
In Lake Michigan, the Wisconsin sanctuary wrecks are in water ranging from 10 to 460 feet deep. The collection includes schooners, steamships and other vessel types sunk between 1833 and 1918.
The proposed sanctuary boundary extends 9 to 14 miles into the lake.
Fourteen of the wrecks are largely intact and four of the vessels possess standing masts — a rarity among the Great Lakes shipwrecks. The sunken tug Robert Pringle still has nautical charts stowed in wheelhouse drawers. Intact sunken cargos include general merchandise, sundries, woodenware items, Christmas trees, cordwood, iron ore and a collection of 240 Nash automobiles.
Thomsen said some shallow water wrecks are easily visited through snorkeling or with a kayak. Deeper wrecks would require scuba diving skill and training.
"There's been a huge amount of local support along the lakeshore," she said. The historical society and the Wisconsin Coastal Management Program jointly submitted the application.
There are other Great Lake applications in various stages of pre-nomination status. In Lake Ontario, four New York counties and the city of Oswego are working on a nomination proposal.
On Lake Erie, Buffalo, N.Y. is working on a proposal to designate its waterfront as the Erie Niagara National Marine Sanctuary. Pennsylvania is working on a proposal called the Lake Erie Quadrangle that would encompass all of the state's lake waters.
Brody said Wisconsin is in the early stages of a proposal for part of Lake Superior.
Thunder Bay, she said, has piqued the interest of cities around the Great Lakes.
"They look at what's happened in Alpena and see the potential for their communities," she said. "That's very powerful."
Lookback #688 – Emsstein beached to avoid sinking in St. Clair River on Oct. 6, 1966
10/6 - Once the Seaway opened on April 25, 1959, the West German freighter Emsstein, and several company running mates, were soon making their presence known around the Great Lakes.
Emsstein had been built at Vegesack, West Germany, and completed in July 1951 for Roland Linie Schiffs, G.m.b.H. It moved under the banner of North German Lloyd in 1959 and traded on their behalf into 1970.
The 392 foot, 5 inch long vessel was registered at 2,785 gross tons and could carry 4,940 tons deadweight. Most of its service was uneventful but that changed 49 years ago today when the ship was in a collision a quarter mile south of St. Clair, Michigan.
Emsstein met up with the Greek-flag freighter Olympic Pearl on Oct. 6, 1966, and received a 100-foot-long gash in the bow, caught fire and almost capsized. The vessel was beached to avoid sinking and all of the crew was rescued.
Hard work by salvagers allowed Emsstein to be refloated and stablized sufficiently to clear the Seaway for repairs. The ship was back on the Great Lakes for three more trips in 1967.
Corporate changes brought Emsstein under the banner of Hapag-Lloyd in 1970 and the ship was sold and registered in Austria as b) Murtal in 1971, in the Somali Republic as c) Murjo in 1972 and in Greece as d) Violetta in 1976. None of these names made it back to the Great Lakes.
Violetta was sold to Pakistani shipbreakers and arrived at Karachi on May 18, 1978. The hull was moved to Gadani Beach on May 28 for scrapping by Ilyas Investments Ltd.
Olympic Pearl, the other combatant of Oct. 6, 1966, was sold to Corozal Shipping Inc. in 1983 and renamed b) Al Tahseen for service under the flag of Liberia. This ship arrived at Alang, India, on May 6, 1985, and was broken up by Indian Metal Traders.
Today in Great Lakes History - October 6
On October 6, 1893, DAVID STEWART (3-mast wooden schooner, 171 foot, 545 gross tons, built in 1867, at Cleveland, Ohio) foundered in a gale off Pigeon Bay, Ontario, on Lake Erie. She crew clung to the frozen rigging for 14 hours until saved by the fish tug LOUISE of Sandusky, Ohio. The STEWART was carrying iron ore at the time of her loss.
Herb Fraser & Associates completed repairs on the ALGOSOO at the Welland Dock on October 6 1986. She had suffered a serious fire at her winter mooring on the west wall above Lock 8 at Port Colborne, Ontario, on March 7, 1986.
The bow section of the barge PRESQUE ISLE arrived Erie, Pennsylvania, on October 6, 1972 under tow of the tugs MARYLAND and LAURENCE C. TURNER. The total cost to construct the tug/barge 1,000- footer was approximately $35 million.
October 6, 1981, the Reoch self-unloader ERINDALE's bow was damaged when she hit the Allanburg Bridge abutment running down bound in the Welland Canal. Built in 1915, as a.) W. F. WHITE, she was renamed b.) ERINDALE in 1976.
In 1980, the LAC DES ILES grounded in the Detroit River just below Grassy Island, the result of a faulty steering mechanism. She freed herself a few hours later. The damage caused by the grounding ended her career. She was scrapped at Port Colborne in 1985.
This day in 1870, the schooner E. FITZGERALD was launched at the Fitzgerald & Leighton yard at Port Huron, Michigan. Her dimensions were 135 feet x 26 feet x 11 feet.
In 1875, the MERCHANT (iron propeller passenger/package freight steamer, 200 foot, 750 tons, built in 1862, at Buffalo, New York) was carrying lumber on Lake Michigan when she stranded on Racine Reef near Racine, Wisconsin. Then she caught fire and was gutted before she could be refloated. She had stranded on that same reef twice previously. She was the first iron cargo ship built on the Lakes and the first one lost.
On October 6, 1873, JOHN A. MC DOUGALL (wooden schooner-barge, 151 foot, 415 gross tons) was launched at Wenona, Michigan. She was built at the Ballentine yard in only five weeks.
On October 6, 1889, PHILO SCOVILLE (3-mast wooden schooner, 140 foot, 323 tons, built in 1863, at Cleveland, Ohio) was sailing from Collingwood for Chicago when a storm drove her into the shallows and wrecked her near Tobermory, Ontario. Her captain died while trying to get ashore through the rocks. The Canadian Lifesaving Service saved the rest of the crew. At first the vessel was expected to be recovered, but she broke up by 10 October.
1910: The wooden freighter MUSKEGON, formerly the PEERLESS, was damaged by a fire at Michigan City, IN and became a total loss.
1958: SHIERCLIFFE HALL hit bottom in the St. Marys River and was intentionally grounded off Lime Island with substantial damage. The ship was refloated and repaired at Collingwood.
1966: EMSSTEIN and OLYMPIC PEARL collided south of St. Clair, MI and the former had to be beached before it capsized. This West German freighter made 19 trips to the Great lakes from 1959 through 1967 and arrived at Gadani Beach, Pakistan, for scrapping as d) VIOLETTA on May 28, 1978. The latter, on her first trip to the Great Lakes, had bow damage and was also repaired. This ship arrived at Alang, India, for scrapping as b) AL TAHSEEN on May 6, 1985.
1972: ALGORAIL hit the pier inbound at Holland, MI with a cargo of salt and settled on the bottom about 12 feet off the dock with a gash in the port bow. The vessel was refloated in 24 hours and headed to Thunder Bay for repairs.
1982: CONTINENTAL PIONEER made 8 trips through the Seaway from 1960 through 1964. A fire broke out in the accommodation area as c) AGRILIA, about 20 miles north of Porto Praia, Cape Verde Islands and the heavily damaged ship was abandoned before it drifted aground in position 15.06 N / 23.30 W.
Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Max Hanley, Jody Aho, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.
Public memorial for sole survivor Dennis Hale will be Oct. 25 in Toledo
10/5 - A public memorial service for Dennis Hale, the sole survivor of a Great Lakes shipwreck nearly 50 years ago, will be held Sunday, Oct. 25 at 2 p.m. at the National Museum of the Great Lakes in Toledo, Ohio.
Hale, who was well-known and respected in ship, shipping and lighthouse circles, died Sept. 2 in Ashtabula, Ohio, after a battle with cancer. He was 75. In recent years he traveled the Great Lakes region telling his story of rescue after the sinking of the steamer Daniel J. Morrell in 1966 on Lake Huron in which all his other shipmates perished. He often said talking about the tragedy helped him to recover.
Hale wrote the book “Shipwrecked: Reflections of the Sole Survivor” in 2010 about his survival and rescue. It was his second volume on the subject.
The family has chosen to have a public memorial service in Toledo, as it is more centrally located for all the groups that Dennis visited many times throughout the Great Lakes area. The National Museum of the Great Lakes is located at 1701 Front St. (near I-280 freeway and Maumee River).
All are welcome to attend this informal event.
Race to North Pole not hurting Great Lakes – yet
10/5 - Duluth, Minn. – The international race to open up exploration routes through shrinking ice cover in the Arctic Ocean has the White House pressing for greater icebreaking capabilities in and around the North Pole.
Such attention would seem to clash with the well-publicized desire for another heavy icebreaker to aid the Great Lakes’ maritime industry. Heavy icebreakers are incredibly expensive and suddenly in high demand. But the race to fulfill one national prerogative has yet to affect more regionalized desires along the Great Lakes.
Since last spring, both houses in Congress have given attention to a new vessel for use in the Great Lakes.
“The ice coverage we’ve seen on Lake Superior over the past few years has hurt our ability to get Minnesota goods and products to market and underscores the urgent need for another Coast Guard icebreaker on the Great Lakes,” Sen. Amy Klobuchar said in a statement to the News Tribune. “I will continue to work with the Minnesota congressional delegation and my colleagues from the Great Lakes region to make sure that the Coast Guard has the resources it needs to keep shipping lanes open for business.”
Before Arctic expeditions became a trending topic late this summer, the Great Lakes drumbeat to increase icebreaking capacity grew loudly following two straight springs fraught with ice-cover.
Last April, a soup of heavy ice formations in Whitefish Bay on the eastern end of Lake Superior left 18 vessels tied up in the bay. Their extraction required a massive ice-breaking effort that drew in the Canadian Coast Guard.
The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, including Rep. Rick Nolan, D-Crosby, responded by authorizing the construction of a new freshwater icebreaker — with the hope that it will be included in the 2017 Coast Guard appropriations bill.
Then things grew more complicated in September. A U.S. Coast Guard vessel reached the North Pole unaccompanied — a first for the U.S.
As it did so, President Barack Obama accelerated funding for a new Arctic icebreaker by two years, to 2020 from 2022, so that the United States and its two functioning vessels can attempt to keep up in a new frontier. The President’s decision was not made without pressure. Russia already features a gaudy fleet of 40 Arctic icebreakers, the White House said, with intentions to build more.
The cost for a new Arctic icebreaker has been widely estimated at around $1 billion — significantly more than the $240 million estimated for a vessel similar to the Coast Guard’s existing heavy icebreaker on the Great Lakes, the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw.
The Mackinaw fronts a fleet of nine icebreaking vessels on the Great Lakes — an assemblage of buoy tenders, including the Duluth-based Alder, and ice-breaking tugs that are all less capable than the Mackinaw.
“We are supportive of having adequate icebreaking wherever we need it,” said Glen Nekvasil, vice president of the Lake Carriers’ Association, based in Cleveland, that represents 16 American companies operating 56 U.S.-flag vessels. “But in no way should it diminish bringing another icebreaker to the Great Lakes.”
In the Senate, Nekvasil explained that provisions for a new Great Lakes icebreaker are being taken up under the auspice of the Homeland Security appropriations bill. A study has been directed to determine a need for icebreaking assets, but it also indicates the squabble that can ensue over who’s footing the bill. The Coast Guard, the Navy and the Department of Homeland Security have all been drawn into the fray over Arctic icebreaking.
“This is the beginning of what’s going to be a process,” Nekvasil said. “The fact that both the House and Senate clearly illustrated (the need) means we remain hopeful.”
Duluth News Tribune
Charlevoix County ferry damaged in fire
10/5 - Charlevoix, Mich. – A Northern Michigan ferry is out of service after a fire Friday afternoon. The Charlevoix County Sheriff’s Department says a car on the Ironton Ferry caught fire. The ferry is no longer operational due to the damage. The ferry manager said his captain tried to put out the flames with a fire extinguisher, but that didn't work.
She finished the three-minute trip across Lake Charlevoix and got everyone off the ferry safely. But now the ferry will not be taking passengers, possibly for the remainder of the season.
“Fortunately we’re not an island, it means that it's going to add another 25 minutes from their daily commute, It's a great service for people who live close by here that want to go to Charlevoix and vice versa that want to go to Boyne City. It'll be an inconvenience.”
The ferry takes about 200 vehicles a day this time of year. Crews do not know what started the car fire. The ferry captain said the Coast Guard is coming from Sault Ste. Marie to assess the damage.
9 & 10 News
Port Reports - October 5
Sturgeon Bay, Wis. – Jim Conlon
Layoffs at Essar start Sunday
10/5 - Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. – About 100 layoffs will take place at Essar Steel Algoma, beginning Sunday evening. Brenda Stenta, manager of corporate communications with Essar Steel Algoma, confirmed that the general layoff will begin to occur with the Sunday evening shift. Essar Steel Algoma receives its raw materials via Great Lakes freighters. “We've had to match staffing levels to production and we have experienced a sustained drop in steel prices and demand across North America and we can't sustain current production levels. We need to respond appropriately, curtail our costs and our production levels,” Stenta said.
Mike DePrat, president of USWA Local 2251 confirmed that the union has received notice that about 100 layoffs will begin Sunday as the company's response to poor market conditions.
DePrat said the jobs affected will be plant wide but some areas will be reducing operations more than others. The plate mill and cold mill plants will be the most heavily affected, he said.
Stenta said that at this point, there is no indication as to when the employees affected will be called back to work. “We're confident we can weather the cycle but we're not sure when the market recovery will occur,” she said.
DePrat said the employees are bracing for a six month layoff and blamed market conditions on the federal government's slow response to the significant steel dumping issue.
Stenta said more layoffs have not been ruled out in the coming weeks.
Lookback #687 – John J. Boland Jr. sank in Lake Erie on Oct. 5, 1932
The canal-sized Canadian freighter John J. Boland Jr. had taken on a load of coal for Hamilton when it got into trouble shortly after leaving Erie, P., for the short cross-lake trip to the entrance of the Welland Canal.
The sixth hatch was left open and piled with extra coal, a fairly common custom for calm water sailing, when they encountered heavier than expected seas out on the lake. The exposed hold took on water and the cargo shifted about 20 miles east of Erie and 10 miles off Barcelona, N.Y.
The John J. Boland Jr., rolled over at about 6:50 a.m. and four sailors lost their lives on Oct. 5, 1932. The other 15 members of the crew drifted ashore in the lifeboat and were saved.
The five-year-old vessel had been built on speculation at Wallsend, England, and was launched as a) Tyneville. It was sold to the Sarnia Steamship Co. of Capt. R. Scott Misener, renamed b) John J. Boland Jr., and completed in April 1928. The ship soon sailed for Canada and spent its time in the bulk trades using the St. Lawrence and Third Welland Canals.
The hull of the sunken John J. Boland Jr. has been located and it rests on its starboard side.
Today in Great Lakes History - October 5
September 5, 1899, the DOUGLASS HOUGHTON grounded at Sailors Encampment and sank when rammed by her barge, JOHN FRITZ. The HOUGHTON completely blocked St. Marys River traffic for five days. More than 300 boats were delayed at an estimated loss of $600,000.
On 05 September 1898, the MONTGOMERY (wooden schooner-barge, 204 foot, 709 tons, built in 1856, at Newport [Marine City], Michigan as a passenger/package freight steamer) sank in 21 feet of water on Lake St. Clair after colliding with the whaleback barge 137 (steel barge, 345 foot, 2,480 gross tons, built in 1896, at W. Superior, Wisconsin) which was being towed by the ALEXANDER McDOUGALL (steel propeller semi-whaleback freighter, 413 foot, 3,686 gross tons, built in 1898, at West Superior, Wisconsin). The MONTGOMERY was raised and repaired. She lasted another two years before breaking up in a storm in 1901.
CHI-CHEEMAUN completed her sea trials on September 5, 1974, and then cleared the Collingwood shipyard on September 26th.
BENJAMIN F. FAIRLESS cleared Lorain on her maiden voyage September 5, 1942 for the Pittsburgh Steamship Co.
J. P. MORGAN, JR. returned to service September 5, 1948, after repairs suffered in an accident in June.
NEW QUEDOC arrived at McLouth Steel, Trenton, Michigan, on her maiden voyage September 5, 1960, with a load of Labrador iron ore. Renamed b.) QUEDOC in 1963. QUEDOC was scrapped at Curacao Island, Lesser Antilles in 1985.
The WYANDOTTE of 1916, a.) CONNEAUT, was towed down the Welland Canal on September 5- 6, 1973, on her way to the cutter’s torch at Santander, Spain.
On 5 September 1905, ABERCORN (wooden propeller 'rabbit', 126 foot, 261 gross tons, built in 1873, at Marine City, Michigan) burned at the dock at Goderich, Ontario, while unloading coal. She reportedly caught fire from the explosion of a signal lamp.
The schooner CALEDONIA, wrecked the previous autumn near the Fishing Islands on Lake Huron, was raised and arrived in Port Huron, Michigan, on September 5, 1882, under tow to be rebuilt.
1896: The Canadian passenger ship BALTIC, built in 1867 as FRANCES SMITH, burned at the dock in Collingwood. The hull drifted to shallow water and remained there for several years.
1964: A. & J. MID-AMERICA, a Seaway caller in 1963, was driven ashore at Lantau Island near Hong Kong by typhoon Ruby. The vessel was refloated October 5 but came ashore again days later during typhoon Dot on October 13. Refloated October 21, the vessel returned to service and was scrapped as e) UNION TIGER at Inchon, South Korea, after arriving in April 1968.
1964: The former HEMSEFJELL, a pre-Seaway trader, was also blown aground at Hong Kong as d) PROSPERITY during typhoon Ruby but released on October 5. It was scrapped in Thailand during 1972.
1964: The three-year old bulk carrier LEECLIFFE HALL sank in the St. Lawrence, 65 miles below Quebec City, following a collision with the APOLLONIA. Efforts to beach the ship failed and three lives were lost. The hull was dynamited as a hazard to navigation in 1966. The latter, a Greek freighter, had been a Seaway trader in 1964 and was repaired at Levis, QC. The ship was scrapped at Shanghai, China, as c) MAYFAIR after arriving on May 3, 1985.
Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Russ Plumb, Father Dowling Collection, Jody L. Aho, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.
Catharine Desgagnes bought by Nova Scotia company
10/4 - According to the Transport Canada website, Catharine Desgagnes is now owned by the R.J. MacIsaacc Construction Ltd. of Antigonish, N.S. She has been renamed Catherine III. The 410-foot-long vessel was built in 1962 as Gosforth, and also sailed the lakes and Seaway as Thorold before being sold to the Desgagnes interests in 1985.The MacIsaac firm recently handled the removal of the wreckage of the former laker Canadian Miner from Scatarie Island.
Marine News Demolitions – October 2015
10/4 - C Marine News, the monthly journal of the World Ship Society, reports the following ships with Great Lakes connections going for scrap in the October 2015 issue.
Birch 3 was registered in Hong Kong when it arrived at Mumbai, India, on May 15, 2015. Scrapping began on the 16-year old vessel by Kasturi Commodities Pvt. Ltd. beginning May 26. It is hard to imagine that the 13,781 gross-ton vessel is no longer useful. It had been fresh from the Wuhu Shipyard, in Wuhu, China, when it brought steel to the Great Lakes in July 1999. The ship was under Liberian registry and returned in 2001 and twice in 2002 for Egon Oldendorff under Aruba Maritime Inc. Mathilde Oldendorff was renamed b) Kent Pioneer in 2005 and was back through the Seaway in 2006. Then, in 2008 it became c) Pacific Glory and acquired the final name of d) Birch 3 in 2009.
Meem had been a Seaway trader as a) Bahia de La Habana. The vessel dated from 1986 and later sailed as b) Havik, c) Bureba, d) Thor Sun, e) Sun and f) Sun Rise V before becoming Meem in 2012. The general cargo carrier had been built at Sestao, Spain, in 1986 and was scrapped at Alang, India, shortly after arriving on May 16, 2015.
Compiled by Rene Beauchamp, Barry Andersen and Skip Gillham
Port Reports - October 4
Marquette, Mich. – Rod Burdick
Obituary: Captain Gary W. Schmidt
Captain Gary W. Schmidt, master of vessels on the Great Lakes for more than 40 years, died Friday, Oct. 2, at his home in Allouez, Wis. He Schmidt was age 69 and succumbed to cancer. For 13 years at the close of his career, Capt. Schmidt was master of the 711-foot tug-barge combination Dorothy Ann/Pathfinder of the Interlake Steamship Company.
Following service in the U.S. Navy aboard the USS Chicago during the Vietnam War and during the USS Pueblo crisis, he started his career in tugs in Sturgeon Bay, Wis. He quickly worked his way up through the ranks because of his skills at sailing and compatibility with crews under him. Capt. Schmidt was a devoted fan of the Green Bay Packers, drawing attention to the Dorothy Ann/Pathfinder when he displayed his 10-foot-tall Packers player balloon in such places as Detroit, Chicago and the Soo Locks. Whether the rugged-looking Packers player balloon was cheered or booed, Capt. Schmidt savored the moments.
He was also co-author of the autobiographical book, “Real, Honest Sailing with a Great Lakes Captain,” describing in detail all the facets of mastering a large freighter on the Great Lakes today. The book won a Silver Award from the Nonfiction Authors Association. At widespread book signings and slide presentations, Capt. Schmidt fascinated audiences with his knowledge of Great Lakes commercial sailing and his personable manner. Folks simply liked him. A presentation at the Neville Public Museum in Green Bay attracted an overflow crowd, requiring a back-by-popular demand second appearance. The first presentation was recorded for posterity, and copies of the DVD are held in university libraries. The title of the book, “Real, Honest Sailing,” is drawn from a crewman’s description of the kind of experience Captain Schmidt provided for all aboard.
Funeral functions will be held in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Visitation is at Malcore Funeral Home, 701 N. Baird St., Friday, Oct. 9, from 5-8 p.m. Visitation continues at 9 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 10, at the funeral home until the time of the memorial service at 11 a.m., followed by military honors. Visit www.malcorefuneralhome.com to share a condolence with the family.
Lookback #686 – E.B. Osler delivered first cargo to new Government Elevator on Oct. 4, 1908
When the Canadian government built a new grain storage elevator at Port Colborne in 1908, the initial customer was the bulk carrier E.B. Osler. The ship arrived to discharge the first cargo on Oct. 4, 1908, or 107 years ago today.
E.B. Osler had been built not far away from Port Colborne. It was constructed as Hull 1 of the Canadian Shipbuilding Co. shipyard at Bridgeburg, Ont., now part of Fort Erie, and the ship was launched there on Sept. 7, 1907. The 510 foot long steamer joined the St. Lawrence and Chicago Steam Navigation Co. and remained in their service until joining Canada Steamship Lines in 1916.
C.S.L. changed the name to b) Osler in 1926. The vessel made its first trip down the Welland Canal on Aug. 30, 1931, and had a total of 18 transits of the new waterway in 1932.
Osler was converted to a self-unloader at Collingwood in 1939-1940 and a new pilothouse was installed in 1943. The ship was utilized in the coal trade and was a frequent trader to Lake Ontario ports.
Renamed c) R.O. Petman in a ceremony at Toronto on June 24, 1954, the new name honored the President of the Canada Coal Co. who were important customers of C.S.L. R.O. Petman operated through the 1966 season and tied up at Kingston, Ont. It was sold to Marine Salvage on Dec. 1, 1967, resold to overseas shipbreakers and headed down the Seaway, under tow, on May 11, 1968. R.O. Petman arrived at Vado, Italy, in tandem with the Soodoc (i), on June 17, 1968. Both were pulled overseas behind the Polish tug Jantar.
Today in Great Lakes History - October 4
On October 4, 1887, ORIENT (wooden propeller tug, 60 foot, 37 gross tons, built in 1874, at Buffalo, New York) foundered three miles west of Point Pelee on Lake Erie in a storm. She was seen going down by the schooners LISGAR and GLENFORD but neither was able to help. All six on the ORIENT were lost. She was out of Marine City, Michigan.
On October 4, 1979, the ST. LAWRENCE NAVIGATOR arrived at the Port Weller Dry Docks, St. Catharines, Ontario, where she was lengthened to the Seaway maximum length of 730-foot overall. A new bow and cargo section was installed including a bow thruster and was assigned Hull #66. New tonnage; 18,788 gross tons, 12,830 net tons, 32,279 deadweight tons. She was renamed c.) CANADIAN NAVIGATOR in 1980 and ALGOMA NAVIGATOR in 2012. She sails for Algoma Central Corp. She was converted to a self-unloader in 1997.
TEXACO BRAVE (Hull#779) was launched October 4, 1976, by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Shimonoseki, Japan for Texaco Canada Ltd., Don Mills, Ontario. Renamed b.) LE BRAVE in 1987, c.) IMPERIAL ST LAWRENCE in 1997, and d.) ALGOEAST in 1998.
On October 4, 1980, Bethlehem's ARTHUR B. HOMER was laid up for the last time at Erie, Pennsylvania. As a result of the collision between the PARKER EVANS and the SIDNEY E SMITH JR, four months earlier, alternate one-way traffic between the Black River Buoy and Buoys 1 and 2 in Lake Huron was agreed upon by the shipping companies on October 4, 1972
The JAMES E. FERRIS' last trip before scrapping was from Duluth, Minnesota, with a split load of 261,000 bushels of wheat for Buffalo, New York, arriving there October 4, 1974.
The JIIMAAN, twin screw ro/ro cargo/passenger ferry built to Ice Class 1D standards had its keel laid October 4, 1991, at Port Weller Drydocks, Ltd. (Hull# 76).
On October 4, 1982, the BENJAMIN F. FAIRLESS laid up for the last time in Duluth, Minnesota. She was towed out of Duluth, on her way to Kahoshiung, Taiwan for scrapping, on June 17, 1988.
October 4, 1940 - The Ludington Daily News reported "The Pere Marquette car ferries handled approximately 95,000 freight cars last year." (1939)
On October 4,1877, BRITISH LION (3 mast wooden bark, 128 foot, 293 tons, built in 1862, at Kingston, Ontario) was carrying coal from Black River, Ohio, to Brockville, Ontario. She was driven ashore at Long Point in Lake Erie by a storm and wrecked. She was the first bark on the Lakes to be wire rigged and she was built for the Great Lakes - Liverpool trade.
On October 4, 1883, JAMES DAVIDSON (wooden propeller bulk freighter, 231 foot, 1,456 gross tons, built in 1874, at W. Bay City, Michigan) was carrying coal and towing the barge MIDDLESEX in a storm on Lake Huron. She was driven onto a reef near Thunder Bay Island and ripped up her bottom. The barge was rescued by the tug V SWAIN. No lives were lost. Financially, the DAVIDSON was the most extensive loss on the Lakes in the 1883, season. She was valued at $65,000 and insured for $45,000. Her coal cargo was valued at $8,000.
1904: CONGRESS burned at the dock at South Manitou Island, Lake Michigan while loading lumber. The ship was towed away, abandoned, burned to the waterline and sank.
1966: ROBERT J. PAISLEY ran aground in heavy weather off Michigan City, IN. The ship was released the next day but went to Sarnia with hull damage and was laid up.
2008: MERKUR BAY came through the Seaway in 1984. It hit a rock as m) NEW ORIENTAL in heavy weather off Tuy An, Vietnam, and settled on the bottom with a large hole in the bow. The crew abandoned ship on October 18 when it showed signs of sinking. It was enroute from Thailand to China with iron ore and was a total loss.
Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Max Hanley, Jody Aho, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.
Wind sends lakers to anchor
10/3 - Water levels were expected to peak Friday night as strong northeast winds will push water into the western basin of Lake Erie, causing water levels to rise and lead to minor flooding along the lakeshore. Friday many boats had gone to anchor, off Colchester was the H. Lee White, Thunder Bay and Dorothy Ann and Pathfinder, Roger Blough and Atlantic Huron. Manitowoc, Capt. Henry Jackman and John G. Munson were anchored off Point Pelee. The Tug Genesis Victory and her loaded barge were stopped in the Detroit River's Ojibway Anchorage waiting for weather to clear to enter Toledo.
On Lake Michigan strong winds caused the Presque Isle to anchor Friday between St. Ignace and Mackinac Island. Alpena and Algomarine anchored NW of St. Helena Island in Lake Michigan Friday and the Victory/James L. Kuber has been anchored since Thursday off St. Joseph/Benton Harbor. Philip R. Clarke, Cason J. Callaway and Burns Harbor were on the hook near Holland, Mich.
Manitoulin naming ceremony held in China
10/3 - The naming and delivery ceremony was held for the 25,000 DWT lake-size self-unloading bulk carrier Manitoulin in Chengxi Shipyard on Sept. 28. The ship was built and converted from the tanker Lalandia Swan by Chengxi for Lower Lakes Towing Ltd. of Canada.
Present at the ceremony were Scott Bravener, president of LLT and Bonnie Bravener; Eric McKenzie, vice president of LLT, and Laura McKenzie, sponsor; Wang Yongliang, chairman and secretary to the party committee of Chengxi Shipyard; Lu Ziyou, president of Chengxi Shipyard; Ji Jun, vice president of Chengxi Shipyard; and other heads from related departments and guests.
Wang Yongliang and Scott Bravener delivered a speech about this project, expressing their appreciation for all the personnel who had contributed to this achievement, and they look forward to a further cooperation relationship between both companies.
Following that, Laura McKenzie named the vessel Manitoulin and wished it Godspeed and all its officers and crew a safe journey.
Manitoulin is scheduled to arrive in Canadian waters in about 45 days after its trans-Pacific journey, passage through the Panama Canal, up the East Coast of the United States and down the St. Lawrence Seaway.
Port of Muskegon container shipping could start as early as 2016, officials say
10/3 - Muskegon, Mich. – Insisting plans to ramp up traffic through the Port of Muskegon are not far-fetched, officials say that container shipping could start as early as next season.
Logistics professional Les Brand – principal and Chief Executive Officer of Supply Chain Solutions in Grand Rapids – has been studying logistic possibilities for the region. Back in June he gave a talk about the possibility of shipping containers through Muskegon to Milwaukee and Cleveland.
But on Tuesday, Sept. 29, he said those plans are closer to reality. An initial survey indicated interest from major West Michigan manufacturers, and now serious conversations are taking place with other potential customers, he said.
"We're starting to have conversations with the agriculture folks, so you've got some big farmer activity," Brand said. He said container shipping could start as early as next season if shipping contracts are signed.
Backing up Brand at a Sept. 29 meeting with elected officials and media was the man proposing to actually purchase the ships and oversee regular shipping runs.
Newaygo's Jon Van Wylen, co-founder and Head of Operations of ECO-Ships – has a history in the merchant marine. He founded ECO-Ships with a partner, Aaron Pitrago of Superior, Wis., about nine years ago, he said.
Van Wylen said he's ready to purchase a couple of offshore support vessel, or OSV's – built to service offshore oil platforms in the gulf or Alaska. The ships are U.S.-built, U.S.-flagged, don't use ballast water and can deal with Michigan ice. He said the ships' modern diesel engines would spend about 30 percent of the energy to deliver a shipment to Milwaukee than it would take to deliver the same shipment to Chicago on trucks.
Van Wylen said the ships only draw about 8 to 15 feet of water – meaning they would be able to access harbors that are shallower than the deep-draw ports in Muskegon and Milwaukee.
"If we do want to take 10 containers out of Manistee, or Grand Haven or Holland, we have a lot of options," he said.
Muskegon would need a staging area for containers and a boom crane, he said. Those operations could start out at the Mart Dock or Verplank, and move or expand later on.
Port of Muskegon planning has sped up recently, in part due to the scheduled shutdown of Consumers Energy's B.C. Cobb energy plant. The plant's April 2016 shutdown means that roughly 140 acres of prime real estate on the port will open while regularly-scheduled shipments of coal will stop coming.
The Muskegon public recently had a chance to give feedback on the Port's future during Vision 2020, a forum hosted by the West Michigan Shoreline Regional Planning Commission.
"As a society, we're much more aware of energy issues that we were years ago," said Muskegon County Board of Commissioners Chairman Terry Sabo. "We've worked very closely with WMSRDC, their environmental people. ... We literally have all hands on deck."
Container shipping through Muskegon appeals to the business crowd because it would bypass the Chicago bottleneck, and truck freight rates are expected to rise, Brand said. Pursuing better logistics through the Port of Muskegon was voted the top priority of the West Michigan Regional Prosperity Region one year ago.
"Really, we're going to try to change the flow of shipping on the Great Lakes," said Dennis Marvin, communications director of Consumers' New Generation Department. "It's not a Muskegon story. It's not a West Michigan story. It's a Michigan story."
Gales of November celebrates, explores Lake Superior maritime heritage Nov. 6-7
10/3 - Duluth, Minn. – The 28th annual Gales of November, the Lake Superior Marine Museum Association’s annual maritime conference and fundraiser will be held Nov. 6-7 in Duluth.
This year the event pays special tribute to the 40th anniversary of the Edmund Fitzgerald tragedy with a panel of experts featuring noted maritime authors Frederick Stonehouse and Michael Schumacher in addition to Ric Mixter, diver and videographer who has been to the wreckage site, Pam Johnson, family member of the Fitzgerald; and researcher and administrator of the web site S.S. Fitzgerald Online, Timothy McCall Ph. D.
The two-day educational, fundraising and networking event begins Friday, November 6 at noon with a joint luncheon with the Duluth-Superior Propeller Club and continues throughout the day with speakers, tours and an evening gala.
Gales of November festivities resume at 9 a.m. on Saturday, November 7 and run until 7:30 p.m. The day is filled with maritime related educational breakout presentations, exhibit hall, silent auction, and an opportunity to win the summer 2016 Cruise of a Lifetime raffle on the 1,000-foot Edwin H. Gott.
Tickets to Gales of November are required. Details and registration information can be found at www.LSMMA.com. All events take place at the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center.
Lookback #685 – Winslow caught fire at Duluth on Oct. 3, 1891
The wooden-hulled passenger and freight carrier Winslow was built at Cleveland by Peck & Masters in 1863. The ship saw service between Buffalo and Milwaukee and accommodated 80 passengers in first class and another 250 in steerage as well as 1,000 tons of freight.
It had other routes over the years and loaded wheat in bulk for the first time at Duluth on Aug. 29, 1876, taking on 4,200 bushels from 12 rail cars.
Winslow was upgraded over the years but caught fire while loading at Duluth on Oct. 3, 1891. The blaze was discovered in the coal bunker and the flaming hull was moved from the dock and the ship was destroyed.
The remains were refloated in August 1892 and the machinery was salvaged. The hull was taken to St. Louis Bay in 1908 and scuttled. But in 1999, due to low water on Lake Superior, the hull became visible again but only for a short time.
Today in Great Lakes History - October 3
On October 3,1887, EBENEZER (3-mast wooden schooner-barge, 103 foot, 158 gross tons, built in 1847, at Buffalo, New York) was driven ashore off the breakwater at Holland, Michigan, during a storm. She had sprung a leak in the terrific storm, lost her deck load of shingles and struck the pier trying to get into the harbor. She broke in two but was later raised and rebuilt. She lasted until 1903.
On October 3,1887, CITY OF GREEN BAY (3-mast wooden schooner, 145 foot, 346 gross tons, built in 1872, at Green Bay, Wisconsin) was carrying iron ore from Escanaba to St. Joseph, Michigan, on Lake Michigan and having difficulty in a strong westerly gale. She sprang a leak and anchored four miles from South Haven and put up distress signals. The wind and waves were so bad that the crew could not safely abandon the vessel. She slipped her anchor and was driven on to a bar at Evergreen Point, just 500 feet from shore. The crew scrambled up the rigging as the vessel sank. The South Haven Life Saving crew tried to get a breeches buoy out to the wreck, but their line broke repeatedly. So much wreckage was in the surf that it fouled their surfboat. Soon the masts went by the board and the crew members were in the churning seas. Six died. Only Seaman A. T. Slater made it to shore. The ineffective attempts of the Life Saving crew resulted in Keeper Barney Alonzo Cross being relieved of his command of the station.
The E. G. GRACE was delivered to the Interlake Steamship Co., Cleveland on October 3, 1943. The GRACE was part of a government program designed to upgrade and increase the capacity of the U.S. Great Lakes fleet during World War II. In order to help finance the building of new ships, the U.S.M.C. authorized a program that would allow existing fleets to obtain new boats by trading in their older boats to the government for credit. As partial payment for each new vessel, a fleet owner surrendered the equivalent tonnage of their existing and/or obsolete vessels, along with some cash, to the Maritime Commission.
October 3, 1941 - The CITY OF FLINT 32, eastbound from Milwaukee, collided with the PERE MARQUETTE 22 westbound. The PERE MARQUETTE 22 headed directly for Manitowoc for repairs while the CITY OF FLINT 32 continued to Ludington where she discharged her cargo, then headed for the shipyard in Manitowoc, Wisconsin.
The barges BELLE CASH and GEO W. HANNAFORD, owned by Capt. Cash of East China Township, Michigan, were driven ashore on Long Point in Lake Erie on 3 October 1875.
On October 3, 1900, the steel freighter CAPTAIN THOMAS WILSON left Port Huron on her maiden voyage for Marquette, Michigan, where she loaded 6,200 tons of iron ore for Cleveland, Ohio.
ARK (3-mast iron-strapped wooden scow-schooner-barge, 177 foot, 512 tons, built in 1875, at Port Dalhousie, Ontario) was in tow of the steam barge ALBION (wooden propeller, 134 foot, 297 gross tons, built in 1862, at Brockville, Ontario) on Lake Huron when a terrific storm struck on October 3,1887. Both were loaded with lumber. Both vessels were driven ashore near Grindstone City, Michigan. The U.S. Lifesaving Service rescued the crews. The ALBION was pounded to pieces the next day and the ARK was declared a total loss, but was recovered and was sailing again within the month.
1907: The wooden tug PHILADELPHIA dated from 1869 and briefly served in the Algoma fleet. It was wrecked at Gros Cap, Lake Superior, on this date in 1907.
1911: The wooden freighter A.L. HOPKINS had cleared Bayfield the previous day with a full load of lumber and foundered in a storm on this date near Michigan Island, Lake Superior. Buoyed by the cargo, the hull floated a few more days before it disappeared. All 15 on board were picked up by the ALVA C. DINKEY.
1928: The steel bulk carrier M.J. BARTELME ran aground at Cana Island, Lake Michigan. The bottom was ripped open and the ship was abandoned. It was dismantled on site in 1929.
1953: The superstructure of the idle passenger steamer PUT-IN-BAY was burned off in Lake St. Clair and the remains of the iron hull were later dismantled at River Rouge.
1963: The Liberian flag Liberty ship TRIKERI, on her only trip to the Great Lakes, swung sideways in the Welland Canal near Welland, blocked the waterway and delayed traffic for 4 hours. The ship arrived at Kaohsiung, Taiwan, for scrapping as e) DAHLIA on December 27, 1967.
1963: A fire broke out in the cargo hold of the FRED CHRISTIANSEN while downbound at Sault Ste. Marie. The stubborn blaze took 4 hours to put out and was believed caused by some of the grain igniting as it was close to a steam line. The Norwegian freighter began Seaway trading in 1959 and returned as b) HERA in 1964. It arrived at Pasajes, Spain, under this name for scrapping on May 30, 1974.
1969: JOSEPH H. ran aground at Bic Island, in the St. Lawrence while enroute from Milwaukee to Russia with a cargo of rawhides. The Liberian-flag vessel sustained heavy bottom damage. It was refloated on October 6, taken to Levis, QC, and subsequently broken up there for scrap. The ship was operating under her fifth name and had first come through the Seaway as a) GRANADA in 1959.
1980: POLYDORA first came inland for four trips as a) FERNFIORD in 1963 and returned under her new name in 1964 on charter to Canadian Pacific Steamships. The ship had been at Marina di Carrara, Italy, and under arrest as d) GEORGIOS B., when it sailed overnight without permission. A fire in the engineroom broke out the next day and, while taken in tow, the ship foundered east of Tavolara Island, Sardinia.
1999: MANCHESTER MERCURIO traded through the Seaway in a container shuttle service beginning in 1971. It was abandoned by the crew and sank off the coast of Morocco as f) PHOENIX II on this date in 1999.
2000: The tug KETA V. usually operated on the St. Lawrence for Verreault Navigation but came to the Great Lakes with barges for Windsor in 1993. It ran aground and sank near Liverpool, NS on this date in 2000 but all on board got away safely on life rafts.
Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Max Hanley, Jody Aho, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series
Strong winds send boats to anchor
10/2 - Lake Erie - Persistent and strong northeast winds will push water into the western basin of Lake Erie, causing water levels to rise and lead to minor flooding along the lakeshore. Water levels are expected to peak Friday night, but will remain elevated Saturday. Many boats have gone to anchor in Western Lake Erie, off Colchester was the H. Lee White, Thunder Bay and Dorothy Ann and Pathfinder, Roger Blough and Atlantic Huron. Manitowoc, Capt. Henry Jackman and John G. Munson were anchored off Point Pelee. The Tug Genesis Victory and her loaded barge were stopped in the Detroit River's Ojibway Anchorage waiting for weather to clear to enter Toledo.
Overnight the water level at Toledo had reached plus 70-inches before dropping to 55-inches by late morning.
Rand Logistics takes delivery of newest Canadian-flagged self-unloader
10/2 - New York, N.Y. – Rand Logistics, Inc. on Thursday announced that it has taken delivery of its newest Canadian self-unloading vessel. The new vessel, which bears the name Manitoulin and which is undergoing finishing touches at a Chinese shipyard, will have the largest carrying capacity of any existing river-class self-unloader and is anticipated to be the most efficient vessel of its class on the Great Lakes.
"This vessel is the first new river-class self-unloader to be introduced into Great Lakes service in over 40 years and will arrive in Canada in approximately 45 days," said Scott Bravener, President of Rand's Lower Lakes Towing subsidiary.
"This additional capacity reaffirms the company's commitment to support the growth of its customers and further solidifies our position as the premier service provider in the Canadian river-class market."
The new addition increases the size of Rand's fleet to 16, including 10 Canadian flagged and 6 U.S. flagged vessels, and supports recent new long-term contracts, which took effect in April 2015.
"As reported in our first quarter fiscal 2016 financials, the new vessel will service existing business that is presently being delivered through a third party time charter, resulting in minimal profit to Rand," said Mark Hiltwein Rand's CFO.
"We anticipate transferring tonnage to our new vessel at or near the time the third party time charter agreement expires. Once fully utilized, we expect per day profitability generated from our newest vessel to exceed that of any of our existing assets."
Collision closes Port Colborne Bridge 19 until Friday
10/2 - Port Colborne, Ont. – Bridge 19 in Port Colborne will remain out of commission until at least Friday afternoon, after the cargo ship Lena J collided with it at about noon, Wednesday.
A bent steel girder supporting the bridge deck as well as other damages were visible on the lift bridge Thursday, while workers dressed in orange coveralls were making temporary repairs to the Lena J – placing sheets of plywood over the broken bridge window, shattered during the collision.
St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation spokesman Andrew Bogora said no injuries were reported as a result of the collision. The cause and extent of the damage was still under investigation, he added.
“I’m not going to speculate as to the nature of the contact, that’s something that the investigators will look at,” he said in an interview from the Seaway’s Cornwall office. “That is a matter for the investigators and we’ll have to wait for them to complete their work.”
Although shipping traffic through the canal resumed Wednesday afternoon, Bogora said the bridge crossing the Welland Canal on Main Street (Hwy. 3) will remain closed to vehicles and pedestrians until at least Friday afternoon.
“At that stage, engineers will be able to reassess the state of affairs and provide an update,” he said. “It may well be that the bridge might reopen (Friday), however that’s not something I can ascertain, today.”
In the meantime, Bogora said the Seaway will try to coordinate ships passing through the waterway, to minimize the impact of traffic. “We’re going to do the best we can to keep one bridge available,” he said. Depending on how badly Bridge 19 is damaged, Port Colborne’s engineer Ron Hanson said the collision could have an impact on another Seaway project.
The Seaway was scheduled to start work Oct. 5, to replace the Weir 8 Bridge on the opposite side of the island, closing the bridge to vehicles for seven weeks.
“Getting Bridge 19 hit kind of complicates the Weir 8 project, given that there’s going to be more traffic diverted and more delays probably at the canal itself,” Hanson said.
If that project goes forward as scheduled before Bridge 19 reopens, it would limit access to the island to only the crossing near Killally Street. Instead, Hansen said he suspects that the start of the Weir 8 Bridge closure would be delayed by a week.
“We’re trying to keep in communication with (the Seaway) so we can keep residents and businesses informed,” Hanson added. “I’m waiting to hear back from the Seaway to see what the decision is for Oct. 5. It’s their call.”
Montreal based Gresco Ltd. is acting as agent for the Lena J, a 8,388 tonne cargo ship from the Caribbean island of Antigua and Barbuda. A representative from Gresco said the company had an investigator aboard the ship Thursday morning assessing the damages. The ship was tied along the east bank of the canal, south of Clarence St., as repairs were underway.
He said the company would not be able to provide further information until after the investigation was concluded. The ship left Montreal at about 2:30 p.m., Sept. 28 en route to Burns Harbor on the southern tip of Lake Michigan, where it was expected to arrive Saturday.
St. Catharines Standard
Port Reports - October 2
Lorain, Ohio – Drew Leonard
Ex-Canadian Coast Guard vessel Louisbourg sold
10/2 - The CCGS Louisbourg was laid up at Sorel-Tracy in 2013 . It was then renamed 2013-03 and offered for sale. Its Canadian registry was closed on July 20, 2015 following its sale to Panamanian-flag interests, by whom it was given the new name La Cristy. As of October 1, it was still at Sorel-Tracy at the Coast Guard base. The vessel was built in 1977 at Point Tupper, N.S. René Beauchamp
Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown named Great Lakes Senator of the Year
10/2 - Washington, D.C. – Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown (D) has been named 2015 Great Lakes Legislator of the Year by the largest labor/management coalition representing workers and industries dependent on shipping on America’s Fourth Sea Coast.
The award is presented annually by Great Lakes Maritime Task Force (GLMTF) to a legislator who has helped advance shipping on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway.
“Sherrod Brown’s keen understanding of Lakes shipping has been invaluable to our industry,” said John D. Baker, President of GLMTF. “Whenever the Senate takes up issues that affect us, Senator Brown is like a Captain on the bridge carefully choosing the best course.
The Water Resources Reform and Development Act WRRDA) of 2014 is a case in point. The years of the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund (HMTF) amassing surpluses while harbors go un- or under-dredged are over because WRRDA requires the government to incrementally increase expenditures from the HMTF until they reach 100 percent of receipts by 2025.”
Baker, who is also President Emeritus of the ILA’s Great Lakes District Council, noted waterborne commerce on the Fourth Sea Coast is critically important to Ohio’s economy. “Lakes/Seaway shipping supports more than 28,000 jobs in the Buckeye State. Imagine how many more jobs we can generate once the Great Lakes Navigation System is again properly maintained.”
The past two winters have dramatically slowed shipping on the Lakes and Seaway during the ice season. “Senator Brown’s support will be critical when the Senate takes up the House’s Coast Guard Authorization Act which authorizes the Commandant to design and build another heavy icebreaker for the Great Lakes,” said Thomas Curelli, 1st Vice President of GLMTF. “The delays and cancelled cargos during the past two ice seasons cost the economy nearly $1.1 billion in business revenue and 5,000 jobs.”
Curelli, who is also Director of Operations for Fraser Shipyards, Inc. and a retired Coast Guard Commander, praised Senator Brown’s commitment to American manufacturing and his efforts to create a national manufacturing policy. “Great Lakes and Seaway shipping would not exist if it weren’t for heavy manufacturing. It takes 2.2 tons of raw materials that move on the Lakes to make a ton of steel. And now with more scheduled liner services through the Seaway, Great Lakes basin manufactures are finding it easier to export.”
Senator Brown’s political career has been dedicated to protecting American workers from unfair trade and practices, so his support for the Jones Act is unshakeable.
“Senator Brown understands that market-distorting practices have slashed the number of America vessels in the international trades, so he is adamant that our domestic trades must be governed by U.S. laws and regulations so that the playing field is level and the commerce creates jobs for Americans,” said James H.I. Weakley, 3rd Vice President of GLMTF. Weakley, who is also President of the Lake Carriers’ Association, emphasized that the Lakes Jones Act fleet pioneered such innovations as the self-unloading vessel and remains the world’s largest fleet of self-discharged ships and barges.
Lake Carriers’ Association
Lookback #684 – Former Sir John Crosbie sank in the Gulf of Mexico on Oct. 2, 1992
The coastal freighter Sir John Crosbie was Hull 30 of Port Weller Dry Docks in St. Catharines. The 253 foot long freighter was completed in 1962 and headed down the Seaway for Maritime Canada on its maiden voyage on July 15.
The ship was owned by Crosbie Shipping Ltd. and made its first trip to Thule, Greenland. It saw regular seasonal service to Arctic communities and, in 1969, used a helicopter for the first time to unload cargoes to shore. It also worked on the East Coast off Sable Island unloading to barges for drilling work by Mobil Oil.
On Jan. 1, 1977, the Sir John Crosbie was awarded the gold-headed cane as the first arrival of the season at the port of Montreal. The ship had been overseas to Newcastle, England, and loaded a cargo there for Ontario Hydro.
In 1980, the ship was sold to Puddister Trading and renamed b) Terra Nova. It was used in the East Coast seal hunt, saw some service on fisheries patrol, suffered an explosion and small fire off St. Anthony, NF on Feb. 9, 1981, and received heavy ice damage in the Arctic on Oct. 3, 1990, that led to the ship having to be beached.
Terra Nova was refloated and received temporary repairs in the north to enable a return south. There it was laid up at Botwood, NF and declared a total loss.
The freighter was sold, repaired and registered in Honduras as c) Holsten in 1992. It did not last the year. The vessel sank off the west coast of Florida on Oct. 2, 1992, after encountering heavy seas that stove in the bunker tank. Holsten went down in an hour but all on board were able to abandon safely and were rescued.
Today in Great Lakes History - October 2
On her maiden trip in 1905, the PETER WHITE grounded outside the Lackawanna breakwall. After lightering 200 tons, she proceeded to the Lackawanna Steel mill where the remainder of the cargo was unloaded.
On this day in 1979, the ELTON HOYT 2ND unloaded her last cargo as a straight decker at the Ashtabula & Buffalo Dock, Ashtabula, Ohio.
On October 2,1901, M. M. DRAKE (wooden propeller freighter, 201 foot, 1,102 gross tons, built in 1882, at Buffalo, New York) and her consort MICHIGAN (3-mast wooden schooner-barge, 213 foot, 1,057 gross tons, built in 1874, at Detroit, Michigan) were loaded with iron ore while sailing in a strong gale on Lake Superior. The MICHIGAN began to leak and the DRAKE came around to take off her crew, but the two vessels collided. Both sank off Vermilion Point, Michigan. One life was lost. As the vessels sank, the passing steamers NORTHERN WAVE and CRESCENT CITY stood by and rescued the crews.
Upper Lakes Shipping's new self-unloader CANADIAN OLYMPIC was christened on October 2, 1976, at St. Catharines, Ontario. Her name honored the Olympic Games that were held at Montreal that year.
TADOUSSAC (Hull#192) departed Collingwood on her maiden voyage for Canada Steamship Lines Ltd. on October 2, 1969, to load iron ore at Fort William, Ontario.
The sandsucker AMERICAN last operated in 1956, and laid up at Manitowoc, Wisconsin. She was scrapped in S. Chicago in 1984.
JOHN T. HUTCHINSON and CONSUMERS POWER arrived at Kaohsiung, Taiwan on October 2, 1988, where dismantling began on October 14t by Li Chong Steel & Iron Works Co. Ltd.
On her maiden voyage October 2, 1943, E. G. GRACE cleared Lorain, Ohio, bound for Superior, Wisconsin, to load iron ore.
HOCHELAGA of 1949 departed Toronto October 2, 1993, in tow of the McKeil tugs GLENBROOK and KAY COLE for Montreal, Quebec, and then to the cutter’s torch.
October 2, 1954 - The PERE MARQUETTE 21 sailed into Ludington, Michigan, on her second maiden voyage of her career.
On October 2,1888, OLIVER CROMWELL (wooden schooner-barge, 138 foot, 291 tons, built in 1853, at Buffalo, New York) was being towed by the steamer LOWELL in a storm in Lake Huron when she broke her towline. She rode out most of the storm at anchor, but then she snapped her anchor chains and she was driven ashore at Harbor Beach, Michigan, where she broke up.
The 183 foot, 3-mast wooden schooner QUEEN CITY was launched at W. Bay City, Michigan, on 2 October 1873.
The Port Huron Times reported the following shipwrecks from a severe storm that swept the Lakes over 2-3 October 1887: Schooner CITY OF GREEN BAY lost near South Haven, Michigan; the schooner-barge CHARLES L HUTCHINSON, lost near Buffalo, New York; the steam barge ALBION and her consort the schooner-barge ARK ashore near Grindstone City, Michigan; the 3-mast schooner EBENEZER ashore near Holland, Michigan; the wooden package freighter CALIFORNIA sunk in the Straits of Mackinaw; the schooner HOLMES ashore at Middle Island on Lake Huron; the schooner GARIBALDI ashore near Port Elgin on Lake Huron; the barge MAYFLOWER disabled near Grand Haven, Michigan; the schooner D. S. AUSTIN ashore at Point Clark; and the schooner HENRY W HOAG ashore at Erie, Pennsylvania.
1891: WINSLOW ran aground in fog while inbound at Duluth. The hole in the wooden hull was patched and the ship was released and able to be docked. The vessel caught fire while unloading the next day and destroyed.
1938: The first WINDOC was struck when Bridge 20, a railway bridge across the Welland Canal, was lowered prematurely and removing the stack, spar and lifeboats of the N.M. Paterson steamer.
1953: A collision occurred between PIONEER and WALLSCHIFF in the St. Clair River on this date and the latter, a West German visitor to the Great Lakes, rolled on its side and settled in shallow water. One crew member perished. PIONEER, a Cleveland-Cliffs steamer, was repaired for further service and was later scrapped at Genoa, Italy, in 1961. WALLSCHIFF, on her first and only trip to the Great Lakes, was refloated and departed for permanent repairs overseas in 1954. The vessel was still sailing as g) GOLDEN MERCURY in 2011.
1973: A head-on collision in fog off Gull Island, Lake Michigan between the T-2 tanker MARATHONIAN and Norwegian freighter ROLWI left both ships with massive bow damage. The former had begun Seaway service as f) MARATHON in 1960 and was repaired at South Chicago. It disappeared in the Bermuda Triangle as h) SYLVIA L. OSSA in October 1976. ROLWI, a Norwegian salty, was also repaired and returned inland as b) DOBERG in 1974 and c) LORFRI in 1976. It arrived at Alang, India, for scrapping as e) PEROZAN on February 6, 1996.
1992: The Canadian coastal freighter SIR JOHN CROSBIE was built in St. Catharines by Port Weller Dry Docks in 1962. It sank in the Gulf of Mexico off the west coast of Florida as c) HOLSTEN on this date but all on board were rescued.
Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Jody Aho, Max Hanley, Russ Plumb, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.
Ship clips bridge 19 in Port Colborne
10/1 - Port Colborne, Ont. – A ship came into contact with Bridge 19 in Port Colborne Wednesday. In a statement to Erie Media from Andrew Bogora, Communications and Public Relations Officer, The Seaway Management Corporation, made details of the incident available.
“At approximately 12 noon today, the vessel Lena J came into contact with Bridge 19. The cause of this incident is currently under investigation,” he said in the statement. “Both the ship and the bridge sustained some damage.”
“Navigation on the Welland Canal in the vicinity of Port Colborne was suspended following the incident, and should resume later this afternoon,” he said.
“The bridge is currently undergoing an inspection. A determination as to the bridge’s ability to resume normal operation to accommodate motorists and pedestrians is pending,” he said.
In the statement he also said: “During the time in which Bridge 19 is not available to motorists and pedestrians, efforts will be made avoid having both remaining bridges (19a and 21) raised at the same time.”
Indiana, Quebec form partnership to boost shipping
10/1 - Portage, Ind. – Quebec's exports to the Midwest have grown by 30 percent over the last five years, and now the Canadian province and Indiana are looking to see how they can build on that trade.
Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann and Quebec Minister of International Relations Christine St-Pierre announced Tuesday Indiana and Quebec will launch a new Great Lakes shipping partnership.
An estimated 40 percent of the business from Great Lakes shipping is generated in Indiana, an entry point to the Midwest, and Quebec, a portal to international markets that can be reached on the Atlantic Ocean. Quebec is looking to invest $9 billion in maritime shipping over the next 50 years.
"Indiana is a significant economic partner of Quebec in the Midwest, especially with respect to maritime transportation," St-Pierre said. "This partnership with Indiana shows that the new Quebec Maritime Strategy already has a strong positive impact in our relations with our largest trading partner, the United States."
The Port of Indiana's stevedore, Quebec-based Fednav, is investing $500 million in new ships and spent $1.3 million last year on upgrades at the deepwater port on Lake Michigan in Portage. Fednav typically ships steel to Portage and then grain from Indiana to Canada and other overseas markets, Government Affairs Director Marc Gagnon said. Other cargoes include European-made brewery tanks bound for Chicago craft breweries such as Laguinitas and Revolution.
A new partnership between Quebec and Indiana could help identify new cargoes and boost existing shipping volumes, Gagnon said. Lake freighters could handle freight that's now traveling by rail or semi-trucks, since the Great Lakes shipping system is only operating at roughly 50 percent of capacity.
The Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor is coming off a record year but could easily handle twice as much cargo without any significant investments, Ports of Indiana Vice President Jody Peacock said.
Indiana currently handles about 30 million tons of Great Lakes cargo, mostly iron ore that's bound for the steel mills. The new partnership could boost traffic, creating more opportunity for Indiana business and leading to more investment in the state, Ellspermann said.
"Burns Harbor has never been bigger or better; 2014 was our highest cargo volume with shipments up 30 percent," she said.
The port received more than 500 river barges, a 25 percent increase over the previous year. Ocean vessels were up by 30 percent.
"Together Indiana and Quebec are more than 40 percent of the shipping revenue that goes on between the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence Seaway," she said.
"That's quite phenomenal. At this summer's Conference of the Great Lakes, Minister St-Pierre and I discussed how we might take advantage of these waterways, particularly this idea of short-sea shipping, which is a very important advantage that we have in Quebec and Indiana."
$174K in federal grants given for Port of Muskegon development
10/1 - Muskegon, Mich. – More than $174,000 in federal grants for Muskegon County economic development were announced Tuesday, Sept. 29.
U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters announced two Economic Development Administration grants focused on the Port of Muskegon.
A $62,500 grant will pay for studies on how to increase the flow of locally manufactured goods through the Port of Muskegon. The grant would be received by the West Michigan Shoreline Regional Development Commission and matched with local money for a total budget of $125,000.
The money would fund two studies centered on the Port. The first study would examine the infrastructure near the port for water, rail, air and road, and the current limits or capacity of that infrastructure. The second study would examine different ways of organizing the Port of Muskegon – everything from a privatized port to a fully public Port Authority, said Commission Executive Director Erin Kuhn.
"One of Muskegon's top priorities is to increase the flow of goods like agricultural products through their Port," Stabenow said in released statement. "This support will help the Commission develop the Port and expand shipping opportunities, which will create jobs, boost the local economy and benefit communities and families throughout the region."
A $111,706 grant would fund study the economic benefits of using the Port of Muskegon to recycle and reuse structural debris from around the Great Lakes for other projects in the region.
The grant would be received by Michigan State University and the West Michigan Shoreline Regional Development Commission and matched with other money for a total budget of $223,412, Kuhn said. Just $7,500 would be allocated from Muskegon county, she said.
The idea – a brainchild of Muskegon County Grants Coordinator Connie Maxim-Sparrow – is to study the shipping and re-purposing of structural materials like asphalt, bricks, and concrete from the tear-downs of blighted properties for other projects in the region.
"The Great Lakes are a vital economic engine for Michigan, and we must ensure that our port communities have the resources and infrastructure needed to support commerce throughout the region," said Peters, a member of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee. "This funding will help boost the Muskegon Port's position as a logistics hub for moving commercial goods as well as repurposed materials that will help improve our neighborhoods, support business development and create new jobs in West Michigan."
Carbon debate must consider Great Lakes-Seaway shipping’s environmental advantages
10/1 - As the debate continues at home and abroad on carbon offsetting measures, the Chamber of Marine Commerce is urging stakeholders and governments to carefully consider the environmental advantages and the competitive challenges faced by the bi-national Great Lakes-St. Lawrence shipping industry.
The call comes as the Ontario government develops details of a new cap-and-trade system to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and federal government negotiators head to Paris in December for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) meeting.
Stephen Brooks, President of the Chamber of Marine Commerce, said that some past Canadian and U.S. regulations arising from international environmental commitments didn’t properly differentiate between domestic and global shipping.
He explained: “Unlike the global shipping fleet, most domestic shipping competes directly with road and rail. The more we unnecessarily burden this short-sea shipping with extra costs, the greater likelihood this freight moves to less environmentally-friendly modes. We also need to think about the negative impact of thousands, even millions of more heavy trucks on our overburdened highways and in neighborhoods where our families live, work and play.”
Ships have the lowest carbon footprint per tonne-kilometre. A recent study done by Research and Traffic Group showed that rail and truck would respectively emit 19 per cent and 533 per cent more greenhouse gas emissions per cargo tonne-kilometre if these modes carried the same cargo the same distance as the Great Lakes-Seaway fleet.
Added Allister Paterson, president of Canada Steamship Lines: “Canadian ship owners are investing over $2 billion in new Great Lakes ships and technologies that significantly further reduce fuel consumption, greenhouse gases and air emissions.”
Great Lakes-Seaway shipping supports 227,000 jobs and $35 billion in business revenues in Canada and the U.S., and contributes to the competitiveness of North American manufacturing, mining, energy and agricultural sectors.
Chamber of Marine Commerce
Montreal - Lake Ontario Notices to Shipping #27 and #28
Lookback #683 – Former Annemarie Kruger laid up in Turkey with damage on Oct. 1, 1984
The 338 foot long general cargo carrier Annemarie Kruger was launched at Papenburg, West Germany, on Oct. 27, 1962. It was completed the following January and began Seaway trading later in the year. The ship made three trips inland in 1963 and was back five more times in 1965 and four more in 1967.
Annemarie Kruger was chartered to Canadian Pacific Steamships during parts of 1966, 1967 and 1969 and made 13 trips on their behalf.
In 1976, the ship was sold and registered in Singapore as b) City of Bochum and no longer traded to the Great Lakes. It became c) Sabine I in 1979, Panama flag, and d) Sabine II for the same owners in 1980.
The final name of e) Banko came in 1983 when the ship was resold while retaining Panamanian registry. The vessel suffered engine damage while on a voyage from Alexandria, Egypt, to Greece in 1984 and was sent to Finike, Turkey, arriving for lay-up 31 years ago today.
The former Seaway trader was not repaired and it remained idle until sold to Turkish shipbreakers in 1986. As Banko, the ship arrived at Aliaga, under tow, on Aug. 3, 1986, and was broken up by Gursay Gemi Sokum Ticaret A.S.
Updates - October 1
Saltie Gallery updated with pictures of the Atlantic Patriot, Eva Schulte, Federal Beaufort, Floragracht, Industrial More, Nordana Sky, Sundaisy E.
Today in Great Lakes History - October 1
In 1986, the HERBERT C. JACKSON rescued Carl Ward and his nephew after they had been adrift on lower Lake Michigan for 80 hours.
On October 1,1888, the ST CLAIR (3-mast wooden schooner, 156 foot, 296 gross tons, built in 1859, at Montreal as a bark) was carrying coal in a storm on Lake Huron as part of a 5-barge tow of the tug CHAMPION. She broke loose and came to anchor off Harbor Beach, Michigan. The anchor dragged and she sank near the mouth of the harbor. The crew was rescued by the U.S. Life Saving Service. However, this rescue was ill fated since all were taken in the lifesavers surfboat and the boat was rowed 23 miles to Port Sanilac. 100 yards from shore, just a half mile from Port Sanilac, the surfboat capsized and five lives were lost. The wreck of the ST. CLAIR was later lightered, raised and towed out into the lake and re-sunk.
CHICAGO TRADER, a.) THE HARVESTER of 1911, was laid up on October 1, 1976, at the Frog Pond in Toledo, Ohio.
Dismantling commenced October 1, 1974, on the KINSMAN INDEPENDENT a.) WILLIAM B. KERR of 1907, at Santander, Spain.
October 1, 1997 - The CITY OF MIDLAND 41 was towed out of Ludington to be converted to a barge.
On October 1, 1843, ALBANY (wooden brig, 110 tons, built in 1835, at Oswego, New York) was carrying merchandise and passengers when she went aground in a storm and was wrecked just a few miles from Mackinaw City, Michigan.
The steam barge C. H. GREEN was launched at E. Saginaw, Michigan, for Mason, Green & Corning of Saginaw on October 1, 1881. She was schooner rigged and spent her first year as a tow barge. The following winter her engine and boiler were installed. Her dimensions were 197 feet X 33 feet X 13 feet, 920 tons. She cost $70,000.
On October 1,1869, SEA GULL (wooden schooner, 83 tons, built in 1845, at Milan, Ohio) was carrying lumber in a storm on Lake Michigan. She was driven ashore and wrecked south of Grand Haven, Michigan. The wreck was pulled off the beach a few days later, but was declared a constructive loss, stripped and abandoned. She was owned by Capt. Henry Smith of Grand Haven.
1918: The Canadian bulk carrier GALE STAPLES was blown ashore Point au Sable about 8 miles west of Grand Marais. All on board were saved but the wooden vessel, best known as b) CALEDONIA, broke up.
1942: The former CANADIAN ROVER, Hull 67 from the Collingwood shipyard, was torpedoed and sunk as d) TOSEI MARU in the Pacific east of Japan by U.S.S. NAUTILUS.
1946: KINDERSLEY, loaded with 2074 tons of excess munitions, was scuttled in the deep waters of the Atlantic. The former C.S.L. freighter had been on saltwater to assist in the war effort.
1984: ANNEMARIE KRUGER arrived at Finike, Turkey, as e) BANKO with engine damage on this date and was laid up. The ship, a frequent Seaway visitor in the 1960s, was sold for scrap and arrived at Aliaga, Turkey, under tow on August 3, 1986, and was dismantled.
1998 The tank barge SALTY DOG NO. 1 broke tow from the tug DOUG McKEIL and went aground off Anticosti Island the next day. The vessel was released and it operated until scrapping at Port Colborne in 2005.
Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Max Hanley, Jody Aho, Russ Plumb, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.
Coast Guard cutter Morro Bay returns to Cleveland following 14-month overhaul
9/30 - Cleveland, Ohio – Coast Guard cutter Morro Bay returned to homeport in Cleveland Tuesday following a 14-month Service Life Extension Project at the Coast Guard Yard in Baltimore.
SLEP is a major mid-life overhaul that is expected to extend the cutter's service life 15 years.
Morro Bay is one of nine 140-foot WTGB icebreaking tugs built between the late 1970s and early 1980s in Tacoma, Wa. Having served on the Great Lakes, mid-Atlantic and New England waterways for more than three decades, the WTGBs were due for a mid-life overhaul. Morro Bay is the first of the class to undergo SLEP.
Major SLEP work items included renewal of the crew's berthing and messdeck, comprehensive navigation and steering systems upgrades, main propulsion motor overhaul, and installation of a new engine room water-mist fire fighting system and a modern small boat davit system.
Additionally, the icebreaking bubbler system located on the fantail was decommissioned, and a new bubbler system was installed in the engine room. This large diesel engine and its compressor required plenty of space, so the ship's service diesel generators were moved to make room. The cutter was also sandblasted and painted top to bottom, stem to stern.
With the cutter in SLEP, Morro Bay's crew maintained icebreaking proficiency by crew-swapping with the cutter's sister ship Neah Bay, also homeported in Cleveland, during the 2014-2015 icebreaking season.
Bay Shipbuilding tug and barge christening held Tuesday
9/30 - Sturgeon Bay, Wis. – Bay Shipbuilding Co./Fincantieri held a christening for the tug Leigh Ann Moran and the barge the Mississippi Tuesday morning in Sturgeon Bay.
The owner of the tug is Moran Towing Corp., which is leasing the tug for five years to Chevron Shipping Co. The tug is named after longtime Chevron employee Bill Engibous' wife, Leigh Ann Engibous. The Engibouses – who have both worked for Chevron – and their four children attended the event at Bay Ship. The Mississippi is named after the state where Leigh Ann Engibous was born and where the couple met and married.
The ATB type tug Leigh Ann is 121 feet long and 36 feet wide. The tug and barge are expected to head to Corpus Christi, Texas, to be turned over to the Chevron Shipping Co.
A number of local dignitaries, including Sturgeon Bay Mayor Thad Birmingham and state Rep. Joel Kitchens, R-Sturgeon Bay, attended the event along with more than 500 Bay Ship employees.
Paul R. Tregurtha, founder and chairman of Moran Towing Corp., gave the ceremony’s opening address.
"It’s so great to see all of you who have physically have hands on doing the welding, bending the pipe, putting in the electrical things," Tregurtha said to the crowd. “It’s because of your work and pride you obviously take in efficiency, that we have this beautiful tug and barge. I can assure you we will make you proud of how we are going to use it."
Francesco Valente, president and CEO of Fincatieri, praised the Bay Ship workers and called Tuesday a “great day.”
"I say it’s a great day as it marks the continuation of a great partnership between Bay Shipbuilding, Moran and Interlake (Steamship Co.),” Valente said.
Bay Shipbuilding still has another tug and barge to complete for Moran.
Bill Engibous christened the Mississippi and Leigh Ann christened her namesake. The Rev. Anthony Birdsall blessed the tug and barge. Leigh Ann Engibous called the tug being named after her “amazing.”
“It’s something I never thought would happen to me,” she said after the ceremony. A number of her friends came along to witness the ceremony.
Green Bay Press Gazette
CSL retires Birchglen and Mapleglen as part of fleet renewal program
9/30 - Montreal, QC – In the past week, Canada Steamship Lines bid farewell to two distinguished ladies – Birchglen and Mapleglen– as they set sail on their final journey. The two bulk carriers are en route to Turkey, where they will be responsibly recycled at an eco-friendly shipyard.
The dismantling of the two mature vessels is part of CSL's fleet optimization and capacity management programs. Since 2012, the Great Lakes shipping company has introduced six new state-of-the-art Trillium Lakers and taken four older and less efficient ships out of service.
"Great Lakes shipping is a mature market, it isn't growing," said Allister Paterson, President of Canada Steamship Lines. "Our Trillium program has always been about renewing our fleet, not growing it."
As new ships equipped with advanced technology continue to improve the operational and environmental performance of Great Lakes shipping, companies like CSL must adapt to maintain a fine balance between new tonnage and market demand.
"CSL invested in the most efficient, safe, and environmentally-responsible ships for the future of Great Lakes shipping," noted Paterson. "Now it is time to responsibly recycle some of the vessels that have defined our past."
The recycling of Birchglen and Mapleglen is scheduled to begin at a facility in Aliağa, Turkey, in mid-October, and will be conducted in full compliance with international rules and regulations, and with CSL's own rigorous ship recycling policy.
Birchglen was delivered from a Scottish shipyard in 1983 and began serving Canada Steamship Lines in 2002 when CSL bought the vessel from Fednav. The ship made history in July 2010 when she carried the largest cargo of windmill parts into the Great Lakes from Gros Cacouna, Quebec, to Burns Harbor, Indiana. Mapleglen was built in Hoboken, Belgium in 1981 and was purchased by CSL in October 2008. She was a steady workhorse for the company until 2014.
Canada Steamship Lines
Port Reports - September 30
Lorain, Ohio – Drew Leonard
Lookback #682 – Joe S. Morrow sank City of London on Sept. 30, 1913
The steel steamer Joe S. Morrow was no match for the wooden freighter City of London when the two collided in Lake Erie off Point Pelee 102 years ago today. The overwhelmed City of London sank as a total loss. The hull was considered a hazard to navigation and had to be dynamited in 1914.
Joe S. Morrow had been built at Lorain in 1907 and served several owners, including the well-known Cleveland Steamship Co., the Interlake Steamship Co., American Steamship Co. and Kinsman Marine Transit, as well as the Red Arrow Steamship Co. of the Reiss fleet, all without a change in name.
Only 440 feet long, it found a niche later in its career as a grain carrier delivering smaller loads to smaller storage elevators. It usually discharged at Buffalo before loading coal for the trip back up the lakes. On occasion, Joe S. Morrow was known to come down the Welland Canal for Oswego, New York.
Joe S. Morrow unloaded its last cargo at Cleveland in Nov. 1973. It was sold to Marine Salvage and came down the Welland Canal, under tow of the tugs C.O. Paradis and Oklahoma on Dec. 3,1973, and spent the winter on the St. Lawrence. Following a resale to Spanish shipbreakers, it departed behind the tug Jantar, and in tandem with Henry LaLiberte, on April 19, 1974. The trio arrived at Santander on May 8, delivering the two veteran lake freighters for dismantling.
Today in Great Lakes History - September 30
On September 30, 1896, SUMATRA (wooden schooner-barge, 204 foot, 845 gross tons, built in 1874, at Black River, Ohio) was loaded with railroad rails in tow of the steamer B.W. ARNOLD in a storm on Lake Huron. The SUMATRA was blown down and foundered off the Government Pier at Milwaukee. Three of the crew was lost. The four survivors were rescued by the ARNOLD and the U.S. Lifesaving Service. The SUMATRA was owned by the Mills Transportation Company.
The 660-foot forward section of the BELLE RIVER (Hull#716) was side launched on September 30, 1976, at Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, by Bay Shipbuilding Co. Renamed b.) WALTER J. McCARTHY, JR. in 1977.
ARTHUR SIMARD entered service on September 30, 1973, sailing to Montreal, Quebec, to load gasoline.
GOVERNOR MILLER was towed down the Welland Canal on September 30, 1980, in tow of TUG MALCOLM, STORMONT and ARGUE MARTIN on her way to Quebec City.
ROBERT C. STANLEY departed light on her maiden voyage from River Rouge, Michigan, on September 30, 1943, bound for Two Harbors, Minnesota, to load iron ore.
On September 30, 1986, the Canadian Coast Guard vessel CARIBOU ISLE struck a rock in Lake Huron's North Channel and began taking on water. C.C.G.S. SAMUEL RISLEY arrived and helped patch the ship. The pair then departed for Parry Sound, Ontario.
On September 30, 1888, AUSTRALIA (wooden schooner, 109 foot, 159 gross tons, built in 1862, at Vermilion, Ohio) was carrying cedar posts from Beaver Island to Chicago when she encountered a gale. She was laid on beam ends and sprung a leak. She headed for shelter at Holland, Michigan, but struck a bar and foundered in the mouth of the harbor. The wreck blocked the harbor until it was removed on October. 5 Her crew was rescued by the U.S. Lifesaving Service.
On September 30, 1875, AMERICAN CHAMPION (wooden scow-schooner, 156 tons, built in 1866, at Trenton, Michigan) dropped anchor to ride out a gale near Leamington, Ontario, on Lake Erie. The chains gave way and she struck a bar and sank to the gunwales. The crew of eight spent the night in the rigging and the next day a local woman and her two sons heroically rescued each one.
1906: The first FAYETTE BROWN ran into the pier entering Lorain, became disabled and stranded on the beach. The ship was refloated with considerable damage. It last operated as c) GLENMOUNT in 1923 and was scrapped about 1928.
1913: CITY OF LONDON sank off Point Pelee, Lake Erie after a collision with the JOE S. MORROW. The hull was later dynamited as an obstacle to navigation.
1964: DUNDRUM BAY was a pre-Seaway visitor to the Great Lakes on charter to the Hall Corporation. The vessel was driven aground on this date as f) ESITO near Necochea, Argentina, while traveling in ballast. The hull broke in two and was a total loss.
1965: PROTOSTATIS, a Greek Liberty ship, went aground on Traverse Shoal, Lake Ontario, while enroute from Detroit to Genoa, Italy, with a cargo of scrap. The vessel was lightered and refloated with the aid of tugs. It went to Kingston to anchor and reload in the shelter of Wolfe Island.
Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Jody Aho, Ahoy & Farewell II, Father Dowling Collection, and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.
Canada Steamship Lines expands saltwater fleet
9/29 - While we won't see these ships on the Great Lakes, Canada Steamship Lines has added two newly-purchased vessels to their ocean-going operations. One has been given a name that will bring back memories to many of our readers.
The historic name of Donnacona is again sailing in the CSL fleet. This new ship was acquired from Stema Shipping and will serve in Australian coastal service. The self-unloading bulk carrier was built at Neuenfelde, Germany, and completed on May 23, 2001, for Stema Shipping. It has operated as a) Stones around Europe until being sold to CSL in May 2015.
The 546 foot 11 inch long Stones headed from Hamburg to Australia via Port Said, the Suez Canal and on to Thevenard, Austrailia. There the 28,115 deadweight capacity vessel was renamed b) Donnacona.
The first Donnacona was a small bulk carrier and then package freighter built in 1900, for trading through the St. Lawrence and Third Welland Canal of the day. It joined the original CSL fleet in 1913 and was requisitioned for saltwater service during World War 1. Donnacona foundered in the Atlantic on Sept. 19, 1915, after heroically battling a storm for 16 days. The vessel, on a voyage from Sydney, NS, to Maryport, U.K., with ferro-manganese ore, finally succumbed to the elements and, once they realized their vessel was doomed, the crew scuttled the ship to make sure it did not fall into enemy hands. All on board were saved.
The second Donnacona shares the record of having the longest tenure in the CSL fleet. It was built as W. Grant Morden in 1914 and was renamed b) Donnacona (ii) in 1925. This 625 foot long bulk carrier was the largest Canadian ship on the Great Lakes when it was launched on April 4, 1914. As such, it set a number of Great Lakes cargo records including those for oats, wheat, iron ore and barley. It carried its final cargo in 1969. Following a sale to Spanish shipbreakers, Donnacona was towed to Bilbao arriving on July 12, 1969, to be broken up. With 56 years in CSL service, it shares the company longevity record with the Midland Prince.
The new Donnacona replaces CSL Pacific, which had provided excellent service to the company since 2000 and had previously sailed as a) Selwyn Range and b) River Torrens. This 1977-vintage bulk carrier had worked along the south and east coasts of Australia with trips to New Zealand and Tasmania. It also carried sand from China to Japan for two years. This vessel arrived at Xinhui,China, for dismantling on April 8, 2015.
The second new addition to the CSL fleet is CSL Frontier. This 646 foot, 8 inch long by 105 foot, 8 inch wide self-unloader had been built at Ulsan, South Korea, and completed on Nov. 14, 2001, for Gypsum Transportation Ltd. Originally the Gypsum Centennial, it operated along the Atlantic seaboard carrying gypsum from Hantsport or Little Narrows, Nova Scotia, to U.S. destinations. In recent years the vessel has worked around West Africa carrying iron ore from Sierra Leone. It will now trade on behalf of CSL Americas.
Time tested: Superior's Fraser Shipyards celebrates 125 years
9/29 - Superior, Wis. – In the shadow of the Blatnik Bridge, with traffic streaming noisily overhead, shipyard mechanics and crewmembers crawled about a rapid response craft belonging to the U.S. Coast Guard.
The vessel was on blocks like a coupe in the driveway, but in the water it can hit upwards of 55 mph. There aren’t many vessels on the water that can outrun it, said James Farkas, senior vice president of operations for Fraser Shipyards Inc.
The twin-engine vessel wouldn’t be finished until it received a fresh coat of paint. “The Coast Guard is very particular about the look of their vessels,” Farkas said.
The Coast Guard craft seemed to stand as a metaphor for Fraser Shipyards. Now celebrating its 125th year, the 60-plus-acre shipyard has experienced a series of iterations — becoming more nimble with each one.
It’s still a home to some of the more modest-sized wintering lake freighters that will anchor or nestle into its two dry docks for maintenance and repairs.
“We’re more of a repair yard now,” said Farkas in talking about lake freighters, “as opposed to a construction yard.”
Lately, Fraser Shipyards also has embraced mining by fabricating steel drums and other structures for the Iron Range. Under the moniker of its Duluth-based corporate holding company, Capstan Corp., the yard has even tackled aluminum construction with the subsidiary Lake Assault Boats — swift craft engineered from scratch that are favored by law enforcement and fire-and-rescue agencies.
The shipyard also will assemble crews at a moment’s notice to work off-site. Their mechanics will pile into a heavy-duty pickup and haul out at any hour to ports across the Great Lakes in the name of service and repair.
Just before Labor Day, Fraser sent a crew sailing down U.S. Highway 2 across Wisconsin to Escanaba, Mich., for repair work there.
“It’s a revenue thing,” Farkas said. “A ship that’s sitting is not making revenue.”
The yard’s ability to jump to work at a moment’s notice recalled a letter it once received in the middle of the last century from the late Henry Steinbrenner, a shipping magnate and father of the late George Steinbrenner, the famous New York Yankees owner.
One of Henry Steinbrenner’s ships was damaged and couldn’t make it to one of his yards in Lake Erie. It docked for repairs in the finger of water called Howard’s Pocket that Fraser calls home in east Superior.
“He was so impressed with the work and speed,” said Joel Johnson, whose family used to own the shipyard. “It was faster out than what his own shipyards would do. Anything coming up this way later he said he’d use Fraser. It was kind of a neat letter.”
Johnson is the owner of Lakehead Boat Basin on Park Point. He was 2 years old when his grandfather and uncle, Henry and Eigil Knudsen, respectively, sold the shipyard. Johnson, 63, learned the maritime industry at the knee of his grandfather. Though never a shipbuilder, Johnson took over the Lakehead marina when he was 14 and has been there since, training generations of his own.
Johnson recalled riding through neighborhoods with his Grandpa Hank. They’d stop and mingle. A one-time shipbuilder, and a primary philanthropist for Superior’s first hospital, Hank always carried a pack of spearmint gum. He would pick out a stick of gum and snap it in two, lighting the nostrils of a young neighborhood kid with the scent.
“We gotta share,” Hank would tell the young boy before handing over the gum.
“I learned a lot from him,” Johnson said. “People nowadays learn business or social skills. Looking back, it was one of those lessons. You gotta share a little bit.”
The Duluth Seaway Port Authority, in its winter 2003 magazine, described Fraser Shipyard as starting when Alexander McDougall moved his whaleback shipbuilding operation from Duluth to the underdeveloped strip in Superior. It rose to prominence after McDougall installed the first of its “graving” or dry docks, built of timber. It was the first dry dock on Lake Superior and, for a while, the largest on the Great Lakes. Thirty lake vessels and 25 oceangoing vessels were built there through World War I.
But after pumping out ships and barges for many years — going from its original American Steel Barge Co., to Superior Ship Building Co., to American Ship Building Co. — it felt its age.
The Knudsen family resurrected the yard when they owned it from 1945 to 1959. They blended their small machine shop, Northern Engineering, into the yard, and that business still specializes in marine repair to this day.
Johnson recalled tales passed down from his grandfather about mid-century glory years at the shipyard. Crews of 400 employees turned the shipyard into a bustling industrial enterprise. There were sometimes up to 20 architects on staff, directing work on an endless stream of vessels.
An employee at the yard, Robert M. Fraser, took over in the late 1950s, following Eigil (Ike’s) death. Bursting with enthusiasm, Fraser led the shipyard into a renaissance — the first vessel-lengthening projects — halving freighters and adding whole new sections in the middle — replacing boilers, converting ships to self-unloaders and installing bow thrusters.
“My grandfather couldn’t run it by himself,” Johnson said, describing how Fraser was chosen over other interested parties for his vigor and ability to keep the yard as local as possible and away from those who would revamp the mission.
“The fact that the company has been rooted in the Twin Ports for 125 years is testament to their craftsmanship and resiliency in riding the commodity cycles we all experience,” said Vanta Coda, executive director of the Duluth Seaway Port Authority.
Al Jacobson has worked for Fraser since 1971. Outfitted in gray bib overalls, he’s looking forward to the day he retires this December. At 63, he’s sharp-minded and lean in the frame. Working in a steel shop will do that to a man.
“I enjoy it myself,” he said. “I get along with the foreman and I listen to what everyone has to say.”
With the garage doors open on a sunny day, he cut steel on a table using a brilliant blue flame. He’ll also operate rolling machines that bend the heavy metal.
“I made a whole mess of bilge plates last year,” he said.
Fraser might not bustle with 400 employees any longer, but it’s still a viable home for Northland boilermakers, machinists, mechanics and engineers all the same.
“Fraser is a very major industry in our community,” said Superior Mayor Bruce Hagen. “They’ve employed a lot of people over the years and they continue to be a strong member of the community. I appreciate their presence every day.”
The shipyard continues to adapt in the ever-changing industry. Most American shipbuilding has migrated to the Gulf of Mexico. The 1,000-foot vessels that sail the lakes today have pressed the yard to improve, and it’s in the midst of a multiphase, $10 million update that is adding to its total dock footage.
Farkas said he’s just now looking ahead to the winter season, hoping for another shipping offseason of berthings that amount to the busiest time of year at the yard, when 15,000 to 20,000 hours of work comes available.
There’s a sign at the entrance to the Fraser yard that said the company is hiring. Farkas said he figures to be lining up a half-dozen or more ships in the coming months that will berth through the winter at Fraser and at other docks around the Port of Duluth-Superior.
Fraser’s foothold in the largest loading harbor on the Great Lakes helps make it the viable business it continues to be. Repairs can be made on the fly, minimizing downtime for loading and unloading vessels. Ships coming out of winter layup can load and go as soon as the season begins anew every March.
Even after 125 years of familiarity, it’s not taken for granted.
“Fraser Shipyards has played an important role in the evolution of the Port of Duluth-Superior and the entire Great Lakes maritime industry as they’ve built, serviced and repaired multiple generations of bulk freighters,” Coda said. “It’s part of the critical infrastructure needed to operate a port of this magnitude.”
Duluth News Tribune
Port Reports - September 29
Lorain, Ohio – Phil Leon
Buffalo, N.Y. – Brian W.
Lookback #681 – Former Ace stranded and sank off Canada's West Coast on Sept. 28-29, 1946
Ace was one of the World War One “lakers.” It was built at Lorain, Ohio, as a) Lake Frohna and delivered to the U.S. Shipping Board on July 8, 1919. The ship left for the Atlantic and service between U.S. East Coast ports and the United Kingdom.
After being laid up at Staten Island, the Lake Frohna was sold and returned to the Great Lakes in 1924 for the Minnesota-Atlantic Transit Co. and began sailing as b) Ace in 1925. It was rebuilt as a package freighter and saw service between Port Huron and Duluth but later traded east to Buffalo.
The 261 foot long carrier was requisitioned for World War Two service and delivered to the United States Maritime Commission at Boston in Sept. 1941 for work under the U.S. Army Quartermaster's Corp. Renamed c) Brig. Gen. M.G. Zalinski, the ship saw service on the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
The vessel was on a voyage from Seattle, Wash., to Whittier, Alaska, with army supplies when it stranded in a driving rain during the night of Sept. 28-29, 1946, and sank within 20 minutes near Pitt Island, British Columbia. The crew were rescued by the tug Sally N. and taken to the fishing village of Butedale.
The hull was discovered resting upside down on the bottom in June 2011. The cargo of bombs and munitions remains on board and, although at a depth of over 80 feet of water, they are still considered a hazard.
Today in Great Lakes History - September 29
September 29, 1930, for the first time in the history of Pittsburgh Steamship Company, the boats of the fleet loaded more than one million tons in a seven-day period. The 64 Pittsburgh boats loaded 1,002,092 tons of cargo between 9/23 and 9/29.
The J. H. SHEADLE (Hull#22) of the Great Lakes Engineering Works, was launched September 29, 1906, for the Grand Island Steamship Co. (Cleveland-Cliffs Iron Co., Cleveland, Ohio, mgr.) Renamed b.) F. A. BAILEY in 1924, c.) LA SALLE in 1930. Sold Canadian in 1965, renamed d.) MEAFORD, and e.) PIERSON INDEPENDENT in 1979. She was scrapped at Santander, Spain, in 1980.
Henry Ford II, 70, of Grosse Pointe, Michigan, passed away on September 29, 1987. Mr. Ford's namesake was the Ford Motor Company self-unloader.
On September 29, 1986, the Polish tug KORAL left Lauzon, Quebec with the JOHN E. F. MISENER and GOLDEN HIND enroute to Cartagena / Mamonal, Columbia, for scrapping.
September 29, 1892 - The ANN ARBOR NO 1 was launched.
On 29 September 1872, ADRIATIC (3-masted wooden schooner-barge, 139 foot, 129 net tons, built in 1865, at Clayton, New York as a bark) was in tow of the tug MOORE along with three other barges in Lake Erie in a heavy gale. She became separated from the tow and foundered. The entire crew of 7 was lost. The wooden schooner DERRICK was used in salvage operations. On 29 September 1854, she had just positioned herself above the wreck of the steamer ERIE off Silver Creek, New York on Lake Erie when she went down in a gale. She had spent the summer trying to salvage valuables from the wreck of the steamer ATLANTIC.
On 29 September 1900, the steamer SAKIE SHEPARD was re-launched at Anderson's shipyard in Marine City. She had been thoroughly rebuilt there during the summer.
1974: J.A.Z. DESGAGNES and HAVRE ST. PIERRE collided while trying to pass on the St. Lawrence. The former often visited the Great Lakes but was scrapped in Croatia as e) A. LEGRAND in 2003-2004. The latter, originally a Dutch coastal vessel, worked on the St. Lawrence and around Eastern Canada but was deleted from Lloyds Register in 1999.
1982: ATLANTIC SUPERIOR went aground off Wellesley Island in the American Narrows of the St. Lawrence. This new member of the Canada Steamship Lines fleet was released October 1 and repaired at Thunder Bay. It was back on the Great Lakes in 2012.
EASTERN FRIENDSHIP first came to the Great Lakes in 1986. It had been stranded off the coast of Bangladesh as d) TONY BEST since April 10, 1993. While refloated on June 21, the anchors dragged on July 24 and the ship went aground again. The hull later cracked and the ship sank on this date in 1993.
Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Max Hanley, Russ Plumb, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.
Mapleglen sailed Sunday for Aliaga, Turkey, scrapyard
9/28 - The Canada Steamship Lines’ bulk carrier Mapleglen (iii) departed Montreal under her own power for a rendezvous with Turkish shipbreakers at Aliaga on Sept. 27. The vessel shows an ETA for Oct. 17.
Mapleglen was originally part of the Fednav fleet. It was built at the Cockerill shipyard in Hoboken, Belgium, with a launching date of Jan. 19, 1981. The vessel was completed as a) Federal Maas (i) in April and was soon engaged in Seaway service.
On the first visit to the Great Lakes in 1981, Federal Maas arrived at Toronto with a mixed cargo that included steel, aluminum, coffee, brandies, herbs and bicycle rims. The 730 foot long by 76 foot, 3 inch wide freighter was registered at 21,661 gross tons and able to carry 35,630 tons deadweight at saltwater draft. Burmeister & Wain diesel engines provided 11,600 bhp of power.
The ship was a regular Seaway trader although it was idle at Antwerp, Belgium, for part of 1987. Registry was changed from Belgium to Cyprus later in 1987.
An unusual cargo was delivered to Montreal on June 17, 1992. On board Federal Maas was a vintage Swedish steam locomotive for the tourist run between Ottawa, Ont., and Wakefield, Que. This had been loaded in Germany.
During the 1993 season, Federal Maas set a Great Lakes record for a saltwater vessel by loading 25,747 metric tonnes of wheat at Thunder Bay.
After making five trips through the Seaway in 1994, this ship was sold to Lake Michigan Inc. and registered in the Marshall Islands as b) Lake Michigan. On the first trip upbound through the Seaway on April 28, 1995, Lake Michigan was carrying steel for delivery to Toronto, Hamilton and Toledo.
In August 1995, Lake Michigan loaded in Brazil and took on 25,100 tons of steel for Sorel, Hamilton, Detroit and Chicago. It also had 4,000 tons of pig iron for New Haven, CT and 1,000 metric tonnes of granite for Quebec City. On the way out of the lakes, the ship loaded 25,214 M.T. of low sulfur coal at Superior for El Ferrol, Spain.
Lake Michigan was a regular trader in and out of the Great Lakes from 1995 through 2008. It was on freshwater each of those years except for 2005 when it concentrated on deep-sea routes. Steel bars and coils, were major cargoes during these years but the ship also carried potash, wheat, corn, pea beans, flaxseed, coke and sunflower seeds.
Lake Michigan was sold to Canada Steamship Lines and registered at Montreal on Oct. 22, 2008. The ship visited the Great Lakes, still as Lake Michigan but with a C.S.L. stack, later in the year. It was sailing under the Canadian flag and then renamed c) Mapleglen (iii) in 2009. The latter was upbound in the Seaway for the first time on Sept. 24, 2009, and headed from Quebec City to Hamilton.
Mapleglen served C.S.L. until tying up at Montreal on Dec. 24, 2014. The vessel remained idle through 2015 until departing, under its own power, for the scrapyard, on Sept. 27.
Skip Gillham, Ron Beaupre
Bramble shakes out the bugs in Lake Huron
9/28 - Port Huron, Mich. – Problems with a generator, problems with mooring equipment — the volunteer crew members of the retired U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Bramble were having problems Saturday getting the ship ready for sea trials in lake Huron.
“Welcome to the military,” shouted one crew member. “Hurry up and wait.”
Eventually the 71-year-old Bramble, with a crew of 29 volunteers, left its berth at the Bean Dock at about 12:45 p.m. and cruised majestically beneath the Blue Water Bridge and into Lake Huron.
Retired Coast Guard Capt. Charlie Park was happy to be aboard.
Park, who lives in Yorktown, Va., with his wife, Carol, was the captain of the Bramble and was based in Port Huron from 1978 to 1980. “Every old Coast Guardsman is drawn to be back on his old ship,” Carol Park said.
“I’d come back tomorrow if they’d let me,” Charlie Park said.
Bob and Carol Klingler own the Bramble, which was decommissioned in 2003. They purchased it from the Port Huron Museum in 2013.
The ship’s first set of sea trials was in June — the first time it had been under its own power since 2008. “You run everything and quite frankly you shake out the bugs,” Klingler said. “The ship’s been sitting for a while. We shook out the bugs and we repaired the bugs.”
The crew Saturday was able to do tests at the dock and conduct a man overboard drill.
Pat Shirkey, of Marysville, was one of the volunteers aboard the Bramble. “I am very fortunate to be on this,” she said. “It’s fun and it’s a good experience — and I love the water.”
Dan Gallagher, of the Lakes Pilots Association, was in charge of guiding the Bramble through the St. Clair River and into Lake Huron. He said having the ship moored at the Seaway Terminal’s Bean Dock is an asset for the community.
Klingler said the Bramble, because of its history and the history it preserves, is like a time capsule. “It’s been around for 70-some years,” he said. “It actually has been under Coast Guard usage for 60. ...
“It has years of people’s lives that have been on board,” he said. “You’re looking at 60 years of actually having about 50 people on board every day.”
Park said he was having a good time. “I always have fun,” he said. “I’m 73 years old. In a few years when they bring me here in a wheelchair ... I would still want to be here.”
Port Huron Times Herald
Port Reports - September 28
Port Inland, Mich.
Grand Haven, Mich.
Toledo, Ohio – Denny Dushane
New Fednav ships in Canada
9/28 - Federal Barents, a new vessel built in Japan at the Oshima Shipbuilding Co. Ltd. of Oshima, Japan for Fednav, arrived in Montreal on September 26 and departed on Sunday, September 27 for Hamilton, Ont., and its first ever visit to the Great Lakes/Seaway system. Federal Barents arrived in Sorel, Que., to discharge cargo on September 25 and departed Sorel on September 26 heading to Montreal.
Federal Barents is one of a new class of ships being built for Fednav at the Oshima yard. There are three other vessels in the series, the first one being the Federal Baltic. Federal Beaufort also recently visited the Great Lakes/Seaway system. Another in the class is the Federal Bering, due in Quebec City on October 3. Federal Beaufort was the first in the series to come inland on September 2 when she delivered cargo to Ashtabula, Ohio and Burns Harbor, Ind., before loading grain products in Thunder Bay, Ont., for Veracruz, Mexico.
The four new Fednav ships are registered in the Marshall Islands. Each vessel is around 200 meters in length and a beam of 23.76 meters. One noticeable difference when compared to their other Fednav fleetmates built in Japan at Oshima, is the new vessels have four deck cranes on them whereas their fleetmates have three.
$77,000 lens to be installed Monday in historic Buffalo Lighthouse
9/28 - Buffalo, N.Y. – The long-awaited installation of the Buffalo Lighthouse lens will begin at 9 a.m. Monday, the Buffalo Lighthouse Association announced.
The new Fresnel lens is an example of the classic lighthouse lens used in the mid-19th century. The updated version was made from optical acrylic by Dan Spinella of Artworks Florida, which specializes in Fresnel lens reproductions and restoration, said Michael Vogel, Lighthouse Association president.
The $77,000 lens will emit low-level lighting so it won’t be mistaken for a working aid to navigation. Third-order lenses were used in major harbor lights and could be seen 16 miles out.
The public is invited to watch the placement of the lens, which is expected to take much of the day, said Vogel. A $5 gate fee will be charged to help in restoration efforts. People are asked to bring blankets or chairs to sit on. Active or retired military with ID will be admitted freee. T-shirts marking the 30-year restoration effort will be available for sale.
Lookback #680 – Former Andros Transport began to flood off Trinidad on Sept. 28, 1998
The Greek freighter Andros Transport was built at Tokyo, Japan, and completed on Aug. 30, 1972. The 539 foot, 2 inch long Fortune Class bulk carrier initially sailed on saltwater routes but came through the Seaway for the first time in 1978.
The ship was sold and registered in Liberia as b) Sport in 1988 and then c) Marika Stravelakis in 1993. It continued under the same flag when it was resold and renamed d) Grigoroussa in 1997. It was soon a casualty.
On Sept. 28, 1998, flooding began in the engine room while the vessel was sailing, in ballast, off Trinidad. The crew was removed and the stricken ship was taken in tow to Port au Spain, Trinidad. It arrived safely only to be declared a total loss.
Following a sale to Mexican shipbreakers, the vessel was taken to Tuxpan, arriving under tow on Dec. 4, 1998, for dismantling.
Updates - September 28
Saltie Gallery updated with pictures of the Atlantic Patriot, Ebroborg, Erria Swan, Federal Barents, Foresight, Kirkeholmen, Lena J, Nordana Emilie, Nordana Sarah, Sundaisy E., and TransHawk
Today in Great Lakes History - September 28
On September 28, 1980, BURNS HARBOR entered service, departing Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, bound for Superior, Wisconsin, to load pellets.
THOMAS WILSON left Toledo on September 28, 1987, in tow of the tug TUSKER for overseas scrapping. WILSON had been laid up since December 16, 1979.
On 28 September 1891, THOMAS PARSONS (2 mast wooden schooner, 135 foot, 350 tons, built in 1868, at Charlotte, New York) was carrying coal out of Ashtabula, Ohio, when she foundered in a storm a few miles off Fairport in Lake Erie.
On 28 September 1849, W.G. BUCKNER (wooden schooner, 75 foot, 107 tons, built in 1837, at Irving, New York) was carrying lumber in a storm on Lake Michigan when she sprang a leak, then capsized. The man to whom the cargo belonged was aboard with his wife and five children. One child was washed overboard while the wife and three children died of exposure. The schooner ERWIN took off the survivors plus the bodies.
1921: The W.H. RITCHIE caught fire and sank at Port Arthur, ON where it had become a bulk grain transport vessel. The remains were uncovered during dredging work in 1961.
1946: BRIG. GEN. M.G. ZALINSKI, built at Lorain in 1919 as a) LAKE FROHNA and later operated inland in the package freight trade as b) ACE, hit the rocks off Pitt Island, British Columbia. The vessel was enroute from Seattle to Whittier, Alaska, with a cargo of army supplies, and sank in 20 minutes. All on board were rescued by the tug SALLY N. and taken to the fishing village of Butedale.. The hull was located in June 2011 and is upside down.
1960: CHICAGO TRIBUNE and SHENANGO II were both damaged in a collision in the St. Clair River off Marysville.
1973: FRANK R. DENTON and FEDERAL SCHELDE (i) collided in the St. Marys River with minor damage to both ships. The former was scrapped at Ashtabula in 1985-1986. The latter began Seaway service when new in 1968, returned as b) C. MEHMET in 1977 and was delivered to the scrappers at Nantong, China, on March 16, 1999.
1998: ANDROS TRANSPORT, a Fortune Class cargo ship, first came through the Seaway in 1978. Flooding occurred in the engineroom in the Caribbean off Trinidad as d) GRIGOROUSSA on this date while traveling in ballast. The crew of 15 were removed and the ship was towed into Port au Spain. It was declared a total loss, sold to Mexican shipbreakers, and arrived at Tuxpan, under tow for dismantling on December 4, 1998.
Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Mike Nicholls, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series
Birchglen headed to Aliaga for scrapping
9/27 - The bulk carrier Birchglen (ii) departed Montreal under her own power on Sept. 25, 2015. The destination was Aliaga, Turkey, where the vessel will be broken up for scrap. It currently shows an ETA for Aliaga of Oct. 17. This is the first of three ocean/laker sisterships to be dismantled. The other two continue to serve on the Great Lakes as Spruceglen (ii) and Kaministiqua.
Birchglen was built at the Govan Shipyard in Govan, Scotland. The ship was christened Canada Marquis on April 15, 1983, and it departed for the Great Lakes on July 11. The new carrier was upbound in the Welland Canal for the first time on July 23.
Canada Marquis, and her sisterships, were designed to carry a good payload on the Great Lakes while having deep-sea capabilities. This allowed the vessel to operate year around for much of its career.
The ship joined the Misener Transportation Co. fleet and often carried grain from Great Lakes elevators direct to overseas destinations. The 730 foot long by 75.95 foot wide vessel was registered at 21,549 gross tons.
During the first winter, Canada Marquis carried coal from Sydney, NS, to Santos, Brazil, and then loaded grain in Argentina and Brazil for Bremen, West Germany. It also took grain from Quebec City to Tilbury, England, before returning to Seaway service.
The following fall, Canada Marquis loaded grain on the lakes for Leningrad, Russia, and topped off at Baie Comeau for the trip overseas. It arrived for discharge on Jan. 2, 1985. It followed this voyage carrying European grain from Hamburg to Leningrad.
In Dec. 1985, Canada Marquis cleared Toledo with grain for Seaforth, England, and then hauled more European grain to Leningrad before returning to the Great Lakes with a cargo of Swedish steel. On Nov. 26, 1987, Canada Marquis was anchored off Trois Rivieres, QC, when it was struck by the Yugoslavian freighter Split and sustained damage to the port bow.
On Sept. 12, 1988, Canada Marquis was unloading steel at Chicago when the crane collapsed, resulting in damage to the hatch combings and punching a hole in the tank tops. Then, on March 17, 1990, the vessel was rammed from behind by the tanker British Tay when heavy ice stopped forward movement in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The trailing vessel was not as quick to halt its forward momentum. After being repaired at Lauzon, QC, Canada Marquis was placed under the flag of the Isle of Man.
In 1991, this ship joined Fednav as b) Federal Richelieu and made it first trip through the Welland Canal on April 13, 1991. But later in the year, the vessel was resold and registered in the Philippines for Maple Shipping. It continued on charter to Fednav but the name was changed to c) Federal Mackenzie (ii).
Federal Mackenzie was also a regular Great Lakes trader and, on Dec, 7, 1991, loaded the first cargo of sunflower seeds at Superior, Wis., since 1988.
Federal Mackenzie ran aground in the St. Lawrence, not far from Contrecoeur, QC, on July 14, 1993, and had to be lightered to P.S. Barge No. 1 before floating free. There was no hull damage.
On April 10, 1999, this ship was the first deep-sea trader to Duluth-Superior for the season and it took on soybeans for Naantali, Finland. It continued to trade in and out of the lakes carrying various cargoes including flax seed and corn, potash, sand and steel.
The name was changed to d) Mackenzie in 2001 when the ship moved under M. & N. Shipping Corp. with Panamanian registry. It was back through the Seaway for the first time under this name on June 21, 2001, with steel for Hamilton and Burns Harbor. On the second inland voyage later in the year Mackenzie brought sugar to Toronto.
The ship was resold to Canada Steamship Lines late in 2002 and renamed e) Birchglen (ii) at Montreal on March 7, 2003. The latter was upbound in the Welland Canal for the first time on April 2, 2003.
During the winter of 2003-2004, the ship made two trips with bauxite from Amazon River docks to Port Alfred, QC.
On July 10, 2010, Birchglen made history by carrying the largest cargo of windmill components into the Great Lakes. These came aboard at Gros Cacouna, QC, and were stored on deck and in the cargo holds. They were delivered to Burns Harbor, Ind., and were to be used in a windmill farm near Bloomington, Ill. It was reported that the voyage saved the use of 402 highway trucks.
Birchglen operated through the 2014 season and then tied up at Montreal. No work could be found to keep the ship in service and it remained idle until its departure for overseas on Sept. 25.
This is not the first former member of the C.S.L. fleet to end its days at the Turkish scrapyard that has a good reputation for being environmentally friendly. Previous company ships to be broken up at that location have included Fort Chambly, Georgian Bay, Manitoulin, the former French River as Nova, the former Winnipeg (ii) as Algontario, Halifax, Saguenay (iii), and Richelieu (iii), as well as their deep-sea self-unloaders CSL Bergen, CSL Shannon and CSL Tiber.
Door County Maritime Museum launches tower campaign
9/27 - Sturgeon Bay, Wis. – The Door County Maritime Museum has launched its largest fundraising campaign since the construction of its waterfront museum in Sturgeon Bay nearly 20 years ago.
Calling it a “major step forward,” the museum is expanding its Sturgeon Bay facility with a one-of-a-kind 11-story tower that will serve both as an observation platform for the community’s harbor as well as additional space for an array of state-of-the-art exhibits for all ages.
The campaign “Reaching New Heights in Our Maritime Heritage” will ultimately produce an addition that will promote northeastern Wisconsin’s shipbuilders and maritime-related businesses as well as the world’s most extensive navigable waterways system.
The Sturgeon Bay facility is one of three facilities operated by the museum, the others are open seasonally at Cana Island and Gills Rock. Sturgeon Bay’s museum was first housed in the former Roen Steamship Company offices until the current 20,000 square foot waterfront building opened in 1997. Since then hundreds of thousands of visitors have visited the museum with its emphasis on shipbuilding, lighthouses, marine innovation and the more recently added Great Lakes tug John Purves.
The project will allow the museum to take a major step towards 21st century modernization, joining a growing trend among museum across the country.
The project addresses two major shortcoming with the current building – space and self-sustainability. The new floor plan would increase retail space for an expanded museum store that is key to sustainable development.
While the expansion project will include an expanded lobby and museum store, the highlight will be the elevator ride to the 10th floor observation deck with its 360-degree view of Sturgeon Bay. Guests will be able to see downtown Sturgeon Bay to the north and south as well as seeing commercial and recreational boat traffic in the harbor.
From here, visitors will have a simulated lighthouse experience by climbing the spiral staircase to the 11th floor beacon enclosure and open observation deck. The museum sees the tower project as another piece in the city’s waterfront redevelopment, significantly impacting the economy of the local and greater Door County community.
Door County Marine Museum
Lookback #679 – Ogdensburg stranded near Blanc Sablon, QC, on Sept. 27, 1991
Always a barge, the Ogdensburg had a variety of duties after its days of hauling rail cars back and forth across the St. Lawrence between Ogdensburg, N.Y. and Prescott, Ont.
The 290 foot long vessel was built at Lorain, Ohio, and completed in Oct. 1930. It was ordered by the Canadian Pacific Car and Passenger Transfer Co. and was able to carry up to 21 rail cars on its three sets of tracks.
The tug Prescotont pushed Ogdensburg across the St. Lawrence until it was transferred to Windsor in 1971. It broke loose there on Feb. 1, 1973, but was retrieved and resumed service. In later years it was used to carry containers.
McKeil Marine purchased Ogdensburg in 1988 and they brought the barge to Hamilton late in the year. It headed down the Seaway, tow of J. Manic, on July 27, 1991, for Newfoundland service across the Strait of Belle Isle.
It broke loose while loaded with heavy construction equipment and stranded 24-years ago today near Blanc Sablon, Que. The hull was ripped open and the ship settled on the bottom. After a successful salvage, the ship was towed to Hamilton and rebuilt as a floating drydock for Heddle Marine. The first customer was the Hamilton Transfer.
Today in Great Lakes History - September 27
September 27, 1959: The West Neebish Channel, through which downbound traffic normally passes, was temporarily closed to permit dredging to the maximum Seaway depth of 27 feet. Two-way traffic was instituted in the Middle Neebish Channel until dredging was completed.
On 27 September 1877, the HIPPOGRIFFE (wooden schooner, 295 tons, built in 1864, at Buffalo, New York) had just left Chicago for Buffalo, loaded with oats, on a fine day with clear weather. The crew saw EMMA A. COYNE (wooden schooner, 155 foot, 497 tons, built in 1867, at Detroit, Michigan) approaching from a long way off loaded with lumber. The two vessels' skippers were brothers. The two schooners collided about 20 miles off Kenosha, Wisconsin. The COYNE came along side and picked up the HIPPOGRIFFE's crew a few minutes before that vessel rolled over and dove for the bottom.
The CITY OF GENOA arrived with the first cargo of iron ore for the new factory at Zug Island, reported The Detroit Free Press on September 28, 1903.
The H. M. GRIFFITH experienced a smoky conveyor belt fire at Port Colborne, Ontario on September 27, 1989. Repairs were completed there.
ROGER M. KYES proceeded to Chicago for dry-docking, survey and repairs on September 27, 1976. She struck bottom in Buffalo Harbor September 22, 1976 sustaining holes in two double bottom tanks and damage to three others.
GEORGE M. HUMPHREY under tow, locked through the Panama Canal from September 27, 1986, to the 30th on her way to the cutter’s torch at Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
The tanker IMPERIAL COLLINGWOOD (Hull#137) was launched September 27, 1947, at Collingwood, Ontario by Collingwood Shipyards Ltd. for Imperial Oil Ltd., Toronto, Ontario. Renamed b.) SEAWAY TRADER in 1979, sold off the Lakes in 1984, renamed c.) PATRICIA II, d.) BALBOA TRADER in 1992.
September 27, 1909 - The ANN ARBOR NO 4 entered service after being repaired from her capsizing at Manistique, Michigan the previous May.
On 27 September 1884, WALDO A. AVERY (wooden propeller, 204 foot, 1,294 gross tons) was launched at West Bay City, Michigan. Her construction had been subcontracted by F. W. Wheeler & Co. to Thomas F. Murphy.
On 27-29 September 1872, a big storm swept the lower lakes. On Lake Huron, the barges HUNTER and DETROIT were destroyed. The tug SANDUSKY rescued the 21 survivors from them. The schooner CORSAIR foundered off Sturgeon Point on Saginaw Bay at 4 p.m. on Sunday the 29th and only 2 of the crew survived. The barge A. LINCOLN was ashore one mile below Au Sable with no loss of life. The barge TABLE ROCK went ashore off Tawas Point and went to pieces. All but one of her crew was lost. The schooner WHITE SQUALL was sunk ten miles off Fish Point -- only one crewman was saved. The schooner SUMMIT went ashore at Fish Point, 7 miles north of Tawas with two lives lost.
1911: The water-logged wooden steamer THREE BROTHERS was beached off South Manitou Island, Lake Michigan. The cargo of lumber was salvaged but the 23-year-old vessel was left to rot.
1912: The wooden steamer GEORGE T. HOPE, loaded with 2,118 tons of iron ore, foundered in Lake Superior near Grand Island when it began leaking in heavy weather. All on board were saved.
1934: SASKADOC departed Erie, Pa., for the short run to the Welland Canal with 7,500 tons of coal and the hatches left open. The vessel encountered a storm on the lake, developed a list and arrived 11 hours late.
1943: NORMAN B. MACPHERSON, a small canaller in the Upper Lakes fleet, went aground on Hammond Shoal in the American Channel of the St. Lawrence near Alexandria Bay, N.Y.
1969: OPHELIA was a Great Lakes caller before the Seaway opened. The West German freighter also made 16 trips inland from 1959 to 1964. It was under Greek registry when it was abandoned off Sibu, Sarawak, with a fire in the engine room, on this date in 1969. The vessel was enroute from Sibu to Kuching, China, and the hull drifted aground as a total loss.
1991: OGDENSBURG was built as a barge to ferry rail cars across the St. Lawrence between Prescott and Ogdensburg. The vessel had joined McKeil as a regular deck barge in 1988 and broke loose in a storm on this date in 1991 while working off Blanc Sablon, Q.C. carrying heavy construction equipment. Refloated, the hull was towed to Hamilton and became one of three former railway barges rebuilt as a floating drydock.
Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Max Hanley, Russ Plumb, Mike Nicholls, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.
U.S.- flag carriers lose nearly $250,000 waiting 20 days for MacArthur Lock to reopen
9/26 - Cleveland, Ohio – The 20-day closure of the MacArthur Lock at Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, cost U.S.-flag Great Lakes vessel operators nearly $250,000.
A misalignment of the miter gates forced the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to close the lock on July 29 and it remained out of service until August 17. During those 20 days, U.S.-flag lakers were delayed 77 times for a total of 6.5 days. The cargos delayed topped 1.8 million tons.
“The lengthy failure of the MacArthur Lock adds more urgency to our efforts to build a second Poe-sized lock,” said James H.I. Weakley, president of Lake Carriers’ Association.
“The MacArthur Lock is 72 years old and the Poe Lock is 46 years old. We must renew this vital infrastructure. Most of the iron ore that feeds our steel mills transits the Soo Locks. Likewise for the low-sulfur coal that generates electricity at many Great Lakes powerplants. Without shipping through the Soo Locks, industrial America will be brought to its knees.”
Seventy percent of U.S.-flag carrying capacity on the Lakes is restricted to the Poe Lock by the length or beam of the vessel. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers acknowledges the Soo Locks are the single point of failure for the Great Lakes navigation system. Congress has authorized building a second Poe-sized lock, but the project has not moved forward because a flawed study puts its benefit/cost ratio below 1.0.
“Everyone knows the assumption that the railroads could absorb the 60 million tons of cargo the Poe Lock handles each year is off base,” added Weakley. “Furthermore, many steel mills lack rail access, so without Great Lakes shipping, that industry and others would all but cease to exist.”
Weakley stressed the solution is very simple. “A new, better-focused study must be conducted so this vital infrastructure project can move forward. At the behest of Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), the Corps revisited the assumptions included in its original economic analysis of the project, and its findings should prompt a full re-evaluation of replacing the MacArthur Lock with a Poe-sized lock.”
Lake Carriers’ Association
More layoffs planned at Keetac taconite operations
9/26 - Duluth, Minn. – More employees at U.S. Steel's Keetac taconite operations in Keewatin will lose their jobs in another round of layoffs unveiled this week.
Some of the plant's 412 union workers had remained on the job since U.S. Steel announced it was idling the plant last March. The company now has informed state officials, as required by law, that employees who had been kept on for maintenance projects over the summer will be laid off in October.
"U.S. Steel has advised employees that its Minnesota Ore Operations Keetac plant will continue to be temporarily idled due to our current inventory levels and the company's ongoing adjustment of its steelmaking operations throughout North America," the company said in a statement this week. "The ongoing operational adjustments are a result of challenging market conditions that reflect the cyclical nature of the industry. Global influences in the market, including a high level of imports, unfair trade and reduced steel prices, continue to have an impact.
"The company has issued Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) notices related to the temporary idling. The WARN notices advise that layoffs would commence on or after Oct. 11."
State Rep. Tom Anzelc of Balsam Township called it "another blow" to the mining industry.
"We are all very concerned and especially worried about the future of Keewatin Taconite," he said. "It's more bad news and we will continue to have bad news until the worldwide market stabilizes and prices go back up to a reasonable level."
The Keetac workers will join their fellow workers on layoff in what has been a bad year for the Iron Range. Workers at Cliffs Natural Resources' United Taconite as well as Mesabi Nugget and some Magnetation plant employees remain on layoff.
Most workers at U.S. Steel's Minntac operations are said to be back to work after summer layoffs.
Duluth News Tribune
Lookback #678 – Our Son lost in heavy weather on Sept. 26, 1930
By 1930, the wooden schooner Our Son was among the last Great Lakes built ships of this type still operating in the bulk trades. It got caught in a storm 85 years ago today and sank in Lake Michigan about 40 miles WSW of Big Sable Point.
The 190 foot long schooner was built at Black River, Ohio, and completed by Capt. Harry Kelly in 1875. It worked in a variety of trades during its 55 year career and was owned by Winand Schlosser at the time of its loss. The ship could handle up to 1,000 tons of iron ore or 40,000 bushels of grain.
A cargo of pulpwood was on board in what proved to be the final voyage of Our Son. It had been loaded for the Central Paper Co. dock at Muskegon, MI when hit by heavy weather.
All on board Our Son were picked up by the crew of the William B. Nelson. The steamer circled the stricken vessel three times pouring oil on the seas to calm them before all seven sailors on board were saved. The captain of the William B. Nelson received a Gold Medal from the U.S. Congress for his heroism.
The William B. Nelson will be remembered by some under its later name of c) Ben E. Tate. This latter ship lasted until scrapping at Bilbao, Spain, in 1969.
Charlot had an interesting Great Lakes connection
The Charlot made only a one-way trip into the Great Lakes. It came upbound through the old St. Lawrence Canals as scrap metal in the holds of one or more barges. Their destination was River Rouge, Mich., for melting down and recycling into new automobiles for Henry Ford. The latter had purchased a number of similar ships, too large for the old canal system. They were broken up at U.S. East Coast shipyards and loaded into other smaller ships he also bought for scrap and towed them to his steel plant at River Rouge.
Charlot had been built by the Submarine Boat Co. at Newark, N.J. The 335 foot, 8 inch long by 46 foot, 3 inch wide vessel was ordered by the U.S. Shipping Board but not completed until March 27, 1919. By then the war was over.
Charlot served on saltwater routes and had a capacity for 5,200 tons. It cleared Philadelphia for Hamburg, Germany, on May 25, 1921, but had to put into St. John's, Newfoundland, due to a malfunctioning feed water pump. It departed there on June 8 but ran into a massive iceberg in thick fog the next day and limped back into port with a mangled bow and in leaking condition.
The U.S. Shipping Board sent the Bannack to reload the cargo for Hamburg. The work was completed in early July and Charlot headed to New York for repairs while Bannack sailed overseas.
There is no evidence Charlot ever sailed after that. The vessel was laid up at Philadelphia when sold to Henry Ford in Aug. 1925, and taken to Chester, Pa., for scrapping on Jan. 12, 1926. It was then sent, as cargo, for its most unceremonious trip into the Great Lakes.
Skip Gillham, from Newsnow, with research assistance from Paul Denby and Bill Schell.
Today in Great Lakes History - September 26
September 26, 1930, the schooner OUR SON, launched in 1875, sank during a storm on Lake Michigan about 40 miles WSW of Big Sable Point. Seventy-three year old Captain Fred Nelson the crew of OUR SON were rescued by the self-unloader WILLIAM NELSON.
September 26, 1937, the Canadian Seaman's Union signed a tentative wage contract. Sailors would continue a two watch system (working 12 hours every 24 hours) and be paid the following monthly wages: Wheelsmen and Oilers - $72.50, Watchmen and firemen - $67.50, Second Cooks - $52.50, deckhands and coal passers - $50.00, porters - $45.00, Chief Cooks on the Upper Lakes - $115.00, and Chief Cooks on Canal boats $105.00.
September 26, 1957, Taconite Harbor, Minnesota loaded its first cargo of 10,909 tons of taconite pellets into the holds of the Interlake steamer J. A. CAMPBELL.
On 26 September 1892, JOHN BURT (3-mast wooden schooner, 138 foot, 348 gross tons, built in 1871, at Detroit, Michigan) was carrying grain in a strong northwest gale. Her rudder broke and she was blown past the mouth of Oswego harbor and was driven hard aground. Two died when the vessel struck. The U.S. Lifesaving Service rescued the remaining five crewmembers. The vessel quickly broke up in the waves.
CHI-CHEEMAUN cleared the shipyard on September 26, 1974.
H. M. GRIFFITH was christened on September 26, 1973 at Collingwood for Canada Steamship Lines.
C.C.G.S. GRIFFON (Hull#664) was launched September 26, 1969 by Davie Shipbuilding Ltd., Lauzon, Quebec for the Canadian Coast Guard.
ROGER M. KYES returned to service on September 26, 1984; she had grounded off McLouth Steel and ended crosswise in the Detroit River's Trenton Channel a month before. She was renamed b.) ADAM E. CORNELIUS in 1989.
The BELLE RIVER was sideswiped by the Liberian FEDERAL RHINE, of 1977, at Duluth on September 26, 1985. Both vessels received minor damage.
On 26 September 1914, MARY N. BOURKE (wooden schooner-barge, 219 foot, 920 gross tons, built in 1889, at Baraga, Michigan) was docked at Peter's Lumber Dock in St. Mary's Bay, 15 miles north of St. Ignace, Michigan. The crew was awakened at 9:30-10:00 p.m. by smoke coming from her hold and they escaped. The BOURKE burned to the waterline and the fire spread ashore, destroying the dock and a pile of lumber.
At 3 a.m., 26 September 1876, the steam barge LADY FRANKLIN burned while moored near Clark's dock, about three miles from Amherstburg, Ontario in the Detroit River. One life was lost. This vessel had been built in 1861, as a passenger steamer and ran between Cleveland, Ohio and Port Stanley, Ontario. In 1874, she was converted into a lumber freighter, running primarily between Saginaw, Michigan and Cleveland. The burned hull was rebuilt in 1882.
1979: MAHONI, an Indonesian-registered freighter, went aground on the west coast of Taiwan and was abandoned by the crew. The ship was refloated in June 1980 and sold to Taiwanese shipbreakers for scrapping at Kaohsiung. It had been a Seaway saltie as b) CLARI beginning in 1968 and returned as c) ARNIS in 1970.
Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Russ Plumb, Mike Nicholls, Ahoy & Farewell II, Father Dowling Collection, and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.
Lookback #677 – Former Truth bombed and damaged on Sept. 25, 1980
The Norwegian vessel Truth was built at Uddevalla, Sweden. It was launched on April 14, 1956, and completed the following October for deep-sea service on behalf of Kr. Knutsen. The 469 foot, 4 inch long vessel was registered at 8,737 gross tons and had a carrying capacity of 12,600 tons deadweight.
Truth was an early visitor to the St. Lawrence Seaway coming inland to the Great Lakes in 1961, the third year of operation for the magnificent new waterway.
The ship operated for another decade until, in 1971, it was sold and registered in the Somali Republic under the name b) Harmony. It became c) Cretan Harmony, with registry in Cyprus, in 1974 and d) Kimberley, same flag, in 1976.
A sale to the Endeavour Bay Shipping Co. Ltd. in 1977 placed the ship under Greek registry as e) Laky. It had the misfortune of being a victim of the war between Iran and Iraq a few years later. The vessel was bombed by aircraft at Umm Qasr, Iraq, 35 years ago today and became a total loss. While the remains may still be there, I suspect they were eventually broken up for scrap or towed away for the same fate.
Today in Great Lakes History - September 25
In tandem tow, MENIHEK LAKE and LEON FALK JR. arrived at Vigo, Spain, on September 25, 1985. The MENIHEK LAKE was scrapped at Vigo, and the FALK was towed to Gijn, Spain, for scrapping.
HENRY C. FRICK departed Bay City on her maiden voyage on September 25, 1905 and rammed and damaged the Michigan Central Railroad Bridge at Bay City.
On 25 September 1869, COMMENCEMENT (2-mast wooden schooner, 75 foot, 73 tons, built in 1853, at Holland, Michigan) was carrying wood in her hold and telegraph poles on deck from Pentwater, Michigan, for Milwaukee when she sprang a leak 20 miles off Little Sable Point on Lake Michigan. The incoming water quickly overtook her pump capacity. As the crew was getting aboard the lifeboat, she turned turtle. The crew clung to the upturned hull for 30 hours until the passing steamer ALLEGHENY finally rescued them. COMMENCEMENT later washed ashore, a total wreck. 1922: AUBE, on her first trip back under this name, went aground off Carleton Island, while carrying 65,000 bushels of grain. Tugs released the stranded vessel the following day.
1978: FRANQUELIN (ii) went aground in the Seaway below Beauharnois. Once refloated, the ship went to Canadian Vickers in Montreal for repairs and was caught there in a labor dispute.
1980: DERWENTFIELD, a British-flag freighter, first came through the Seaway in 1975. The ship grounded on this date as c) CAVO ARTEMIDI off Brazil, while enroute from Vitoria, Brazil, to Rotterdam, Holland, with a cargo of pig iron and broke in two as a total loss.
Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.
Port Reports - September 24
Marquette, Mich. – Rod Burdick
Grand Haven, Mich.
Oswego, N.Y. – Ned Goebricher
Bill proposed to ban shipment of crude oil on Great Lakes
9/24 - Lansing, Mich. – The environmental threat to the Great Lakes posed by the transport of oil on and underneath its waters has prompted two Michigan’s U.S. senators to craft a bill aimed at reducing the likelihood of a catastrophic spill.
The legislation calls for a ban on tankers and barges transporting crude oil through the Great Lakes, but U.S. Sen. Gary Peters, D-Bloomfield Township, said Wednesday no crude oil is currently being shipped through the lakes.
The bill also requires a “top-to-bottom” review of the region’s pipeline system. Oil pipelines, particularly a pair that run beneath the Straits of Mackinac, have become a hot-button issue since a rupture of a pipeline near Marshall five years ago resulted in the largest in-land oil spill in U.S. history.
The Pipeline Improvement and Preventing Spills Act — announced Wednesday by Peters and Debbie Stabenow, D-Lansing — would have no immediate impact on the region’s pipelines. Conservation and environmental groups have called for the Mackinac pipelines, operated by Alberta-based Enbridge Energy, to be shut down.
The company also operates the pipeline that ruptured near Marshall in 2010, sending hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil into the Kalamazoo River.
“...Michiganders know all too well that a pipeline break can have devastating consequences for our environment and our economy,” Peters said Wednesday. “One can only imagine what a disaster it would be for a similar oil spill to occur in the Great Lakes, the world’s largest system of fresh surface water.
“This commonsense legislation will help us prevent an oil spill in the Great Lakes, whether it’s a tanker accident or a pipeline leak in the Straits of Mackinac, so that we can protect and preserve this ecological treasure for generations to come.”
The bill also attempts to address what Stabenow and Peters identify as problem areas in spill response planning — preparing for cold weather conditions and the effectiveness in doing oil clean-up in fresh water. Both legislators said U.S. Coast Guard officials have indicated that the region is not prepared for a major spill during winter.
“Given the fact we’ve had nearly complete ice coverage over the Great Lakes the last two seasons ... if you had an spill or break in the middle of winter, it’s difficult to clean up given the currents in the Straits of Mackinac,” Peters said. “How would you clean that up?”
The proposed legislation also:
• Calls for adding all areas in the Great Lakes where pipelines cross open water to the federal government’s list of High Consequence Areas — triggering tighter criteria for new pipeline installations.
• Requires federal studies evaluating the risks posed by pipelines in the Great Lakes and proposing alternatives for the two lines in the Straits of Mackinac.
• Covers an assessment and improvement of oil spill response plans.
• Requires providing more information and transparency on the risks posed by pipelines.
“Another pipeline break like the one that dumped a million gallons of oil into the Kalamazoo River would be devastating for our Great Lakes, waters and wildlife,” Stabenow said in the release. “This bill requires a thorough review and plan to minimize risks and prevent catastrophic oil spills.”
Earlier this month, Gov. Rick Snyder called for the creation of a Pipeline Safety Advisory Board to “ensure safety, upkeep and transparency of issues related to the state’s network of pipelines.”
“While pipelines are an efficient way to deliver necessary energy to power our homes, our communities and our economy, pipeline spills also have negatively impacted our natural resources in the past,” Snyder said in a statement. “We remain fully committed to protecting our Great Lakes and natural resources, and this board will be charged with continuing the important work of safeguarding our environment while ensuring safe, affordable and reliable energy.”
Attorney General Bill Schuette also addressed rising concerns over pipelines in July. He released the findings of a pipeline task force convened the previous year that included a ban on heavy crude oil being transported through Enbridge’s Mackinac pipelines.
The company, however, said it had no plans to ship heavy crude through those lines. An Enbridge spokesman said the submerged pipelines carry only light crude oil and natural gas liquids.
This week, the U.S. Coast Guard, along with local, state and federal officials, will conduct an emergency response drill simulating an oil spill in the straits.
Port of Monroe getting $3M state loan for dredging, other improvements
9/24 - Monroe, Mich. – State officials have announced approval of a loan for improving access and activity at the Port of Monroe on Lake Erie.
The Michigan Economic Development Corp. said Tuesday that the Michigan Strategic Fund is loaning up to $3 million to the city of Monroe to dredge the River Raisin and make other upgrades to the port. The project aims to expand trade routes and cargo opportunities at the port that serves as a gateway to the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway.
The project will get $3.6 million in local and school tax revenue for brownfield redevelopment. That will be used to repay the state.
Officials say the improvements are designed to attract new cargo opportunities and benefit the port's existing tenants. They include DTE Energy and Ford Motor Co.
Lookback #676 – Bayton damaged at Canadian Lakehead by explosion on Sept. 24, 1952
The bulk carrier Bayton joined the Mathews fleet in 1922 and moved to the Colonial Steamship Co. of Capt R. Scott Misener in 1933. Mathews had gone into receivership on Jan. 8, 1931, and the ship saw brief service, in the grain trade under charter to Toronto Elevators, in 1931,1932 and 1933.
Among the 1932 cargoes was a trip to Chicago to load soybeans for transshipment through the old canals. When Bayton unloaded at Port Colborne on April 19, it was noted as the first shipment of soybeans into that elevator.
Bayton was loading grain at Pool 4A in the Canadian Lakehead 63 years ago today when the structure exploded. The blast rained large chunks of concrete down to the deck of the unsuspecting freighter, resulting in damage to the ship and injuries to the crew. One person died.
The ship was repaired and continued to sail for Misener until June 1966. Its last cargo was a load of coal from Ashtabula to Hamilton. When the vessel arrived at Port Colborne, on June 6 , it was retired due to engine problems, shaft damage and bow dents. Bayton was towed to Ramey's Bend on July 2 after being purchased by Marine Salvage.
Bayton was resold for use as a breakwall at Burns Harbor, Indiana. It departed under tow of the tugs Atomic and Amherstburg, on Sept. 9, 1966, and was sunk, with other vessels, during the construction project.
When its work was completed, the remains of Bayton, reported to have been broken in two while on the bottom, were raised and broken up for scrap.
Today in Great Lakes History - September 24
The EDMUND FITZGERALD's first cargo of taconite pellets was loaded September 24, 1958 at Silver Bay, Minnesota for Toledo, Ohio.
The PERE MARQUETTE 22 entered service September 24, 1924.
In early morning fog on the St. Clair River on September 24, 1962, the J.L. REISS was hit three glancing blows by U.S. Steel's SEWELL AVERY. The AVERY had lost control just below Robert's Landing and crossed the channel from the Canadian side and struck the REISS, which was proceeding slowly by radar on the U.S. side.
On September 24, 1952, the CHARLES L. HUTCHINSON entered service. This vessel was renamed b.) ERNEST R. BREECH when it was sold to the Ford Motor Company in 1962, and it was renamed c.) KINSMAN INDEPENDENT, when it was sold to Kinsman Lines in 1988. Sold Canadian in 2005, and renamed d.) VOYAGEUR INDEPENDENT. She sails today as the motorship e.) OJIBWAY.
On September 23, 1991, J.W. MC GIFFIN rescued several people in a 24-foot pleasure craft off Presque Ile State Park. The group had been disabled since the day before. They were taken aboard the McGIFFIN and their boat taken under tow. The MC GIFFIN was rebuilt with a new forward section and renamed b.) CSL NIAGARA in 1999.
September 24, 1924 - The PERE MARQUETTE 22 arrived at Ludington, Michigan on her maiden voyage.
On 24 September 1902, H.A. BARR (3 mast wooden schooner, 217 foot, 1,119 gross tons, built in 1893, at W. Bay City, Michigan) was in tow of the saltie THEANO with a load of iron ore in a storm 30 miles off Port Stanley in Lake Erie. She broke her towline in giant waves and foundered. THEANO rescued her crew.
On 24 September 1879, the tug URANIA was towing the schooner S V R WATSON into Sand Beach at about noon when the schooner struck the tug amidships, cutting a hole in the hull and sinking her in three fathoms of water. No lives were lost.
1901: M.M. DRAKE was towing the schooner barge MICHIGAN across Lake Superior when the latter began to sink. The steamer came alongside to take off the crew when a towering wave bashed the two vessels together resulting in heavy damage. Both vessels went down, but all except one sailor were rescued by the passing ships NORTHERN WAVE and CRESCENT CITY.
1915: WESTERN STAR ran aground on Robertson Rock, Georgian Bay, while enroute to Little Current with a cargo of coal. The ship was badly damaged and early attempts to refloat the freighter failed. It was not released until September 18, 1917, and was rebuilt at Detroit. The ship returned to service as b) GLENISLA in 1918 and was scrapped at Hamilton as c) PRESCOTT in 1962-1963.
1937: NEEBING foundered with the loss of 5 lives in western Lake Superior while towing the barge COTEAU in a heavy storm. The crane-equipped ship was approaching the Nipigon Strait, with a load of gravel for Red Rock, ON at the time. Nine sailors were rescued.
1947: MILVERTON, downbound with a cargo of coal, and TRANSLAKE, upbound with crude oil, collided near Iroquois, ON. The latter got caught in the current and veered to port resulting in the collision. The former, one of the few oil-burning canal ships, had the fuel lines rupture, caught fire, drifted downstream and grounded at the head of Rapide Plat. The ship burned for two days and 11 sailors were killed. Despite the heavy damage, MILVERTON was refloated, repaired and later sailed as c) CLARY FORAN and d) FERNDALE (i) before being scrapped at Hamilton in 1963.
1952: BAYTON was loading at Pool 4A Elevator at the Canadian Lakehead when there was an explosion at the elevator and chunks of concrete rained down on the deck of the Colonial Steamship Co. (Misener) steamer. One person was killed and nine more were injured.
2008: DRAGOMIRESTI was a Romanian freighter that first visited the Seaway in 1992 to load a food aid cargo in Thunder Bay for Sudan & Yemen. The ship was driven aground as j) CHUN JIANG, about 22 miles from Macao in Typhoon Hagupit. The crew were removed by helicopter.
Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Max Hanley, James Neumiller, Jody Aho, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.
Foreign Steel, Vessel Repairs, and a Broken Lock Combine to Cut U.S.-Flag Lakes Float 10 Percent in August
9/23 - Cleveland, Ohio – Continued high levels of steel imports, coupled with three large vessels idled for repairs and a lengthy closure of the MacArthur Lock at Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, cost U.S.-flag Great Lakes fleets more than 1.1 million tons of cargo in August. The fleet moved 9.9 million tons of raw materials in August, a decrease of 10.3 percent compared to the 11 million tons hauled a year ago.
The iron ore trade was most affected by steel imports and vessels being out of service. Shipments totaled just 4.3 million tons, a decrease of 22 percent compared to a year ago. It takes on average 1.5 tons of iron ore to make a ton of steel in a blast furnace, so with foreign steel corralling more than 30 percent of the market, a downturn was inevitable. Also, the three large vessels idled for some or all of the month are active in the ore trade and have a combined per-trip capacity of more than 200,000 tons. One of the idled vessels returned to service on August 28. The other ships did not sail again until September 19.
Coal shipments were also affected by the temporary loss of carrying capacity. Two of the idled 1,000-footers also regularly work the coal trade. Each can carry more than 60,000 tons per trip, so their temporary lay-ups were a factor in the 12-percent dip in coal loadings.
Limestone was the bright spot in August. Shipments in U.S. bottoms totaled more than 3 million tons, an increase of 14 percent compared to a year ago.
The failure of the MacArthur Lock at Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, on July 29 also impacted the month’s totals. The lock did not reopen until August 17. More than 70 cargos in U.S.-flag lakers totaling 1.6 million tons were delayed more than 150 hours by the closure during August. Vessels are already operating at their most efficient speed, so most of those 150 hours cannot be recouped.
Year-to-date U.S.-flag carriage stands at 52.4 million tons, an increase of 6 percent compared to the same point in 2014, but a decrease of 1.5 percent compared to the 5-year average for the January-August timeframe.
Lake Carriers’ Association
Port Reports - September 22
Buffalo, N.Y. - Brian W.
OSHA cites U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for safety violations
9/23 - Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. – Saying he welcomes another set of eyes at the Soo Locks, Area Engineer Kevin Sprague of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers indicated the necessary corrections are already underway following a U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) inspection.
OSHA issued a notice on Monday of 23 violations following the inspection earlier this year. The list included a lattice boom crawler and barge mounted crane in disrepair, dangerous confined space hazards, improperly secured scaffolds, guard floor openings, stairways lacking handrails and improperly stored gas cylinders. The citations also address shortcomings in fire extinguisher training, sling, crane and other equipment inspections, inadequate protection from operating machinery parts and inadequate respiratory protection.
"We'll have them all corrected," said Sprague. "We're looking at this as a positive. We want to improve and we welcome that third set of eyes.'
OSHA. In a press release announcing the citations, noted the March 2015 inspection at the Soo Locks was the first of its kind at the facility.
The OSHA press release went on to note that penalties are not imposed upon federal agencies that are found in violation. It further added that the recent violations would have cost a private-sector operation nearly $125,000.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has 15 business days from receipt of OSHA's notice to comply, request an informal conference with the area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Sprague observed that some of the violations date back to the time of construction, when there were fewer rules and regulations to govern what went on inside the facility. For example, the lack of a stairway handrail was found on a short — three-to four step landing.
He further indicated that other violations were easily corrected such as modifying the storage of gas cylinders and conducting fire extinguisher training.
"We do operate under our own safety manual," said Sprague of the safety precautions that have been in place for decades. "We try to comply with all of the rules all of the time."
Soo Evening News
Whistles on the Water Saturday in St. Clair
9/23 - St. Clair, Mich. – The annual Whistles on the Water steam whistle blow will be Saturday from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. at Palmer Park in St. Clair.
Whistles on the Water is an annual event along the St. Clair River that loudly celebrates Michigan's maritime history. Over 100 steam whistles, many from ships that serviced ports in the St. Clair River and Lake Huron, will be blown throughout the day, sharing the sounds of a past when lake and river travel was powered by steam.
Kids and kids-at-heart are welcome to take a turn blowing a whistle.
This event takes place at the north end of Palmer Park in downtown St. Clair. Seating is available.
The St. Clair community has built a custom trailer that includes a portable steam boiler and equipment needed to blow steam whistles. Collectors and museums will bring historic ship whistles to the event; many have not been heard in years.
Tickets Still Available for Great Lakes Maritime Institute Annual Dinner
9/23 - Tickets are still available for the Annual Dinner of the Great Lakes Maritime Institute, which will be held on Sunday, October 4, 2015 at the Blossom Heath Inn in St. Clair Shores. (Note: The reservation deadline has been extended to September 27).
Guest speaker David Coleman will make a presentation regarding whaleback steamers on the Great Lakes. Also, author Patrick Livingston will be on hand to sign his new novel "A Day at Bob-Lo" which will take readers back to a perfect summer day at Detroit's favorite island playground. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.glmi.org.
Lookback #675 – Former Fernleaf and Aalsum detained by war on Sept. 23, 1980
The 1980s war between Iran and Iraq led to a number of ships being detained or outright attacked during the conflict. Several had Seaway connections including one that came to the Great Lakes under a pair of names.
Fernleaf had been built at Tonsberg, Norway, and was launched on Sept. 29, 1964. It was completed in Feb. 1965 and made three trips through the Seaway that first season. The 541 foot long member of the Norwegian flag Fernley & Eger fleet was back inland again in 1967.
The bulk carrier was sold to Dutch flag interests and renamed b) Aalsum in 1973 and was a Seaway trader as such in 1974.
On Dec. 22, 1977, Aalsum ran aground at Rimouski, QC after having loaded lumber, for Belfast, Northern Ireland. The ship was released, with the aid of the tug Leonard W., on Christmas Day.
Aalsum moved to Panamanian registry as c) Iniciativa in 1978 and did not return to the Great Lakes. It was detained at Basrah, Iraq, 35-years ago today, and held captive during the conflict. The ship was listed as a total loss in Dec. 1981 and was reported on fire on April 26, 1982.
The hull was released in 1993 and, while renamed d) Dolphin V. and registered in the United Arab Emirates, this was only for convenience. Following a sale to Pakistani shipbreakers, the vessel arrived at Gadani Beach on Dec. 27, 1993, and was broken up by Ahmed Maritime Breaker (Pvt) Ltd. in the weeks ahead.
Updates - September 23
Saltie Gallery updated
with pictures of the Amur Star, Atlantic Patriot, BBC Mississippi, Blacky, Eva Schulte, Fivelborg, Industrial More, Med Arctic, Nordana Emma, Palabora, Palau, and Victoriaborg.
Today in Great Lakes History - September 23
September 23, 1922, the 306-foot NEPTUNE loaded the first Head-of-the-Lakes cargo of pig iron at Zenith Furnace, Duluth, Minnesota. The 5,000 tons of malleable pig iron was delivered to Buffalo, New York.
September 23, 1975, HERBERT C. JACKSON lost power while upbound on Lake Superior. She was towed back to the Soo by the USS straight decker D.G. KERR.
September 23, 1952, the steamer CHARLES L. HUTCHINSON became the first boat christened at Cleveland since the early years of World War II. The 644-foot HUTCHINSON, Captain T. A. Johnson, was the new flagship of the Pioneer fleet and one of 35 boats in the three fleets operated by Hutchinson & Co. Renamed b.) ERNEST R. BREECH in 1962, c.) KINSMAN INDEPENDENT in 1988. Sold Canadian in 2005, and renamed d.) VOYAGEUR INDEPENDENT. She sails today as the motorship e.) OJIBWAY.
On 23 September 1910, the BETHLEHEM (steel propeller package freighter, 290 foot, 2,633 gross tons, built in 1888, at Cleveland, Ohio) was carrying general merchandise when she went ashore in a gale on the SW side of S. Manitou Island in Lake Michigan. Lifesavers and the crew unloaded her over several days. Although battered by several storms while ashore, she was eventually pulled free and repaired. She lasted until 1925, when she was scrapped.
The scow WAUBONSIE was launched at the Curtis yard in Fort Gratiot, Michigan on 23 September 1873. 1935: HURRY-ON was a Great Lakes visitor in 1934 when it loaded bagged flour at Port Colborne. The ship was lost off Port Hood Island, near Judique, NS, after developing leaks and a list. The lifeboat swamped twice and five were lost.
1961: CRYSTAL JEWEL, inbound for London in thick fog, was in a collision with the B.P. Tanker BRITISH AVIATOR. The captain was seriously injured and his daughter was killed. The vessel first visited the Great Lakes in 1960 and was enroute from Duluth to London with a cargo of grain at the time of the accident. The vessel grounded and, after being released, was taken to Rotterdam where the entire mid-ship superstructure was replaced. The ship made many more trips through the Seaway and returned as b) MELTEMI in 1970. It was scrapped at Busan, South Korea, after arriving as d) TETA on July 17, 1979.
1980: FERNLEAF first visited the Seaway in 1965 and returned as b) AALSUM in 1974. The ship was detained at Basrah, Iraq, in 1981 as c) INICIATIVA on this date in 1980 and declared a total loss in December 1981. It was salvaged in 1993 and renamed d) DOLPHIN V but perhaps only for a trip to the shipbreakers. The vessel arrived at Gadani Beach December 27, 2003, and dismantling began at once.
2000: Vandals attacked the museum ship NORGOMA at Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., breaking windows, light fixtures and setting off fire extinguishers, leaving an estimated $15,000 in damage.
Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Russ Plumb, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.
News Archive - August 1996 to present
Return to Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping
Comments, news, and suggestions to: firstname.lastname@example.org
- 2015 Boatnerd.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Due to frequent updates, this page will automatically reload every half hour