The merchant vessel, Calumet, departed Essar Steel in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario and was transiting downbound on the St. Marys River to its next port of call in Brevort, Michiagn, when it ran aground on the north side of Sugar Island at about 11:40 p.m.
The vessel was not carrying any cargo.
The Army Corp of Engineers have conducted an assessment of the river bottom around the vessel, while contracted divers who conducted an initial assessment of the vessel’s stern have determined that it is structurally sound. Divers were expected to survey the rest of the vessel on Friday afternoon.
The owner of the ship, Grand River Navigation, has hired an Oil Spill Removal Organization to place boom near the front of the vessel as a precaution.
The Coast Guard conducted two aerial flights on Thursday and saw no pollution during either flight.
An investigating officer and safety officer from the Coast Guard are on board the Calumet. In addition, a 45-foot response boat from Coast Guard Station Sault Ste. Marie remains on scene to monitor the safety of the vessel and any possible environmental impact. The Coast Guard Cutter Biscayne Bay is scheduled to arrive on Friday afternoon to provide support.
The St. Marys River will remain closed to commercial vessels from the Soo Locks to 6 Mile Point.
Grand River Navigation is finalizing a salvage plan and will present it to the U.S. Coast Guard for review and approval later Friday.
The cause of the grounding is under investigation.
The 19,800 dwt MV Calumet was built in 1973 and is flagged in the United States.