A day after being permitted to dock in Duluth Harbour, German cargo vessel Cornelia has been allowed to leave the Lake Superior port, according to the Associated Press.
Events have been moving suddenly for the 576-foot, Liberian-flagged bulker, which had been detained at anchor outside Duluth by the US Coast Guard (USCG) for nearly six weeks on suspicion of illegally discharging oily water at unspecified sites.
Talks between USCG and the ship’s operators MST Mineralien Schiffahrt led to the Thursday breakthrough whereby Cornelia (24,516 dwt, built 2000) will be able to depart the Minnesota Great Lakes port just in time to beat winter shipping shutdowns on the lakes.
A Friday departure allows the vessel to reach the Welland Canal between Lake Erie and Lake Ontario before it closes on December 26.
Beyond that, ocean-bound ships like the Cornelia need to clear the locks in Montreal before the St Lawrence Seaway System closes on December 30.
Cornelia had already loaded its cargo of grain when it was detained outside Duluth. That journey to a destination in Tunisia should resume around noon on Friday when the Cornelia is expected to depart.