The grounding of the Paul R. Tregurtha ship in St. Marys River, Michigan, United States
|This article is part of the CoalSwarm coverage of coal transport accidents|
At approximately 3 am on August 15, 2012 the Paul R. Tregurtha ran aground in the outbound channel of the St. Marys River, just North of the Neebish Island Ferry crossing, near Sault Ste. Marie in Michigan. The ship was laden with approximately 56,000 tonnes of coal.
After running aground, the stern then pivoted and grounded on the opposite side of the channel, completely blocking the approach to the Rock Cut in the Lower St. Marys River.
The ship reportedly suffered extensive hull damage which was blamed on pilot error. “The long and the short of it was, [the pilot] started his turn too late," said Bob Dorn, senior vice president of Interlake Steamship Co., which owns the vessel. The ship blocked the shipping channel delaying eleven other ships for a day.With assistance from the U.S. Coast Guard, at approximately 6 a.m. on August 16, two tugs moved the stern of the ship into the middle of the channel. This enabled salvage experts to successfully raise the ship’s bow by filling stern voids which reduced the amount of forward weight on the rocks, and hence refloat the vessel.
It was reported that the Tregurtha suffered “significant damage” to the hull and to its port rudder. Repairs to the hull took approximately three weeks to repair the damage. The ship was out of operation for 30 days.
Articles and resources
- "1,000-foot coal freighter stuck in St. Marys River", The Detroit News, August 15, 2012.
- Casey Conley, "Largest laker runs aground bow-to-stern, blocking St. Marys River", November 8, 2012.
- "Salvage Experts Refloat Grounded Vessel in St. Marys River", World Maritime News, August 19, 2012.
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