Canada’s Transportation Safety Board (TSB) has found slow crew reaction was a contributing factor when a bulker ran aground in the St Lawrence Seaway in Quebec in April 2015.
The TSB finding, released on Tuesday, said the 2014-built CWB Marquis was anchored when it was struck by an ice floe which pushed it out of the Pointe Fortier anchorage area until it grounded near Beauharnois, about 35km southeast of Montreal.
The TSB found that the Marquis’ crew did not respond promptly when the ship began dragging anchor after the ice floe contact. They then took too long to raise the anchor, leading to the grounding.
The incident caused no injuries, nor any pollution and the vessel sustained only minor damage. It took two tugs to refloat.
TSB’s report also found deficiencies in a vessel traffic management plan developed by the Seaway Management Corporation Maritime St. Lawrence (SLSMC). Shortcomings included: a failure to account for fast ice (ice attached to the shore or the bottom of the river) immediately outside the anchorage area; failure to consider forecasts of high winds; and deployment of an assisting icebreaker above Beauharnois locks, too far from the anchorage area.
After the incident Algoma Central Corporation, the Marquis’ management company, said in future it would secure at available lock approach walls instead of anchoring in the vicinity of ice.