By George Wharton
Great Lakes Fleet Page Vessel Feature -- Melissa Desgagnes
This smaller general cargo vessel was launched as the Ontadoc(2) for N.M.Paterson & Sons Ltd., Thunder Bay, Ontario on January 10, 1975 with her first sailing on April 24, 1975. She was built by Collingwood Shipbuilding Co., Ltd., Collingwood, ON and is powered by two 2000 horsepower V-12 cylinder Allen diesel engines giving her a rated service speed of 12 knots. Her 4 hatches feed into 4 compartments and can carry 7000 tons at her mid-summer draft of 25 feet 3 1/2 inches. Since she was constructed with deep-sea capabilities, she has carried cargos to Holland and the Canadian Arctic. In 1989, she was equipped with 2 15-ton cranes to better serve Canadian Arctic communities.
The vessel was sold to Desgagnes Transport Inc., Quebec City, PQ in June of 1990 and was renamed Melissa Desgagnes at that time. In April of 1993, she was noted to have run aground in the St. Lawrence Seaway west of the Eisenhower Lock while carrying wheat from Windsor, ON to Newfoundland.
Her owners keep the Melissa Desgagnes busy handling cargos such as pig iron, coal, wheat, aluminum ingots, and steel to and from various Great Lakes and Atlantic seaboard ports.
Overall dimensions Length 355'00" Beam 49'00" Depth 30'06" Capacity 7000 tons Diesel engine 4000
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