A new US-registered cargo ship, the Mark W. Barker, ran aground in the Detroit River carrying a cargo of salt. The 639-foot self-unloading bulk carrier was en route to Lake St. Clair from Cleveland and was due to arrive in Milwaukee on Friday. The cause of the incident is not yet known, but plans are underway to refloat the ship. The coast guard has reported no injuries, pollution or damage, and the river will remain open to all traffic.
The Mark W. Barker is a new addition to the US-registered fleet and was built by Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. Commissioned in July 2022, it is the first new US-flagged ship to operate in the Great Lakes in 35 years. This incident highlights the potential risks all ships face, no matter their age or experience. The focus now will be on getting the vessel refloated and back on course, while also determining what caused the incident.