USCG and MST in talks to release bulker as investigation continues

USCG and MST in talks to release bulker as investigation continues

The US Coast Guard (USCG) said on Friday it continues to hold a German owned and operated, Liberian-flagged cargo ship on suspicion of violating US law in the discharge of oily water. It has already been held for a month with the multinational crew of 19 on board.

Amid concerns that the ship, being detained in Duluth, Minnesota, could become trapped by winter ice, the USCG is in discussions with the vessel’s owners, MST, to arrange for it to depart while not impeding the progress of the investigation and any ensuing prosecution.

If the Cornelia does not depart by December 18 it could become icebound, Duluth Port authorities say. Duluth Port is on Lake Superior.

The vessel has been at anchor in Duluth since November 5 and the US attorney’s office for Minnesota has been conducting a criminal investigation into the alleged illegal discharge since November 9.

The Cornelia was carrying steel to Minnesota and plans were for it to leave with an outward cargo of grain.

Donal Scully

With 28 years experience writing and editing for newspapers in the UK and Hong Kong, Donal is now based in California from where he covers the Americas for Splash as well as ensuring the site is loaded through the Western Hemisphere timezone.

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