San Francisco: Canadian bulker Mississagi, which grounded in Michigan’s St Mary’s River last Wednesday, was outside the designated shipping channel when the accident happened, according to US Coast Guard investigators on Tuesday.
The 603-ft bulker, carrying a load of stone, grounded in shoal in Potagannissing Bay about four miles east of De Tour Village. It was stuck for three days before offloading about 2,000 of its 17,000 tons of cargo onto a barge.
Only then was it deemed possible to refloat the vessel which was successfully accomplished on Saturday by Great Lakes Towing Company.
The USCG is still trying to determine why the Mississagi (15,787 dwt, built 1943) was outside the lanes when it grounded.
Officials say the ship suffered a surprising lack of physical damage during the grounding. Investigators found that no fuel, ballast water or other contaminants leaked into the water when the ship ran aground.
The ship was transiting downbound the St. Mary’s River from Bruce Mines, Ontario.