Bulk Carrier Safely Escorted After Flooding in Lake Superior

The 689-foot bulk carrier Michipicoten has safely anchored in Thunder Bay, Ontario, after combating flooding in Lake Superior. U.S. Coast Guard Photo
The Canadian-flagged M/V Michipicoten, a bulk carrier carrying taconite, was safely escorted to Thunder Bay, Ontario after significant flooding in Lake Superior. The US Coast Guard responded to a distress call, successfully reducing the ship's list from 15 to 5 degrees. All crew members were safely evacuated, with no reported injuries.
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The Canadian-flagged M/V Michipicotena, a 689-foot bulk carrier carrying taconite, encountered significant flooding in Lake Superior on Saturday but was safely escorted to Thunder Bay, Ontario. The distress call was received by the US Coast Guard in the Northern Great Lakes sector after the crew reported an unexpected collision with an underwater object causing the ship to take on water. Despite initial concerns of capsizing due to a 15-degree list, pumps onboard reduced the list to 5 degrees, mitigating the risk.

The US Coast Guard coordinated with the National Park Service to respond to the situation, dispatching two helicopters from Traverse City Air Force Base and a rescue boat from Bayfield Air Base to assist. To ensure the crew’s safety, 11 members were evacuated from the Michipicoten to a National Park Service boat. Fortunately, no injuries were reported among the crew, and the US Coast Guard is working with Canadian authorities to investigate the cause of the flooding and assess any further damage to the bulk carrier.

The M/V Michipicotena, a self-unloading River-class cargo vessel built in 1973 and operated by Rand subsidiary Grand River Navigation Company, was involved in the incident. The US Coast Guard has since concluded its response to the accident and continues to monitor the situation closely. An ongoing investigation will seek to determine the cause of the flooding and evaluate any potential damage to the vessel.

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