Freighter runs aground near Grosse Ile, shipping halted

December 03, 2020, 8:32 AM

A 500-foot freighter carrying furnace coke ran aground in the Detroit River near Grosse Ile Wednesday, and shipping has been halted as efforts to free it continue.

The Harvest Spirit under its previous name. (Photo: McKiel Marine)

The Harvest Spirit apparently experienced engine trouble, lost power and drifted out of the Livingstone Channel, partially blocking it. Several tugs were trying to pull the freighter off the shoal when work was called off for the night Wednesday evening. The blocked channel created problems for other downbound vessels. 

The Detroit News reports

...The Canadian Coast Guard's Marine Communications and Traffic Services in Sarnia began directing vessels to transit only down the shallower Amherstburg Channel — if operators felt it was safe, she said.

The first vessel to attempt the transit, the cargo ship Gardno, touched bottom while trying to avoid the Harvest Spirit. The Gardno anchored at Colchester in Ontario to assess potential damage, Solski said.

In addition to its cargo, the Harvest Spirit is loaded with 74,000 gallons of diesel fuel. None appears to be leaking as a result of the grounding. 

The vessel's owner, McKiel Marine of Burlington, Ont., reports the Harvest Spirit was only recently launched in the Great Lakes:

The MV Juliana is currently Maltese flagged and is in dry-dock in Europe, preparing for her delivery to Canada. Once her Canadianization and delivery are completed, McKeil’s latest acquisition will be renamed the Harvest Spirit.

The News story is not behind a paywall, and contains some excellent drone photography of the grounding. Recommended. 

Read more:  Detroit News

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