Saturday, August 18, 2012

St. Marys River Report Like No Other

American Integrity anchors awaiting the opening of the Rock Cut.


American Integrity had to sit all night.

46 hours later American Integrity finally underway down the St. Marys River

Our neighbor's sea plane is landing even with the ship out front. 
We have had a few days here on the St. Marys River so filled with action.  It started with the grounding of the Paul R. Tregurtha which I wrote about earlier this week.  The PRT is the longest Great Lakes freighter at 1, 013.5 feet long.

The Rock Cut  is a narrow channel in the St. Marys River that was actually cut through rock to provide a shipping channel many years ago.  It is an engineering marvel worth visiting.  But this week the Tregurtha ran aground just above the Rock Cut.  Two tugs were able to get her off the mud and back into the shipping channel.  I interviewed a fellow boat lover who was there to observe the re-floating and I'll tell you his story later.

Once the Tregurtha was underway, the Corps of Engineers came in to clear up the bottom.  There was damage to the channel from the grounding and the work required to get the Tregurtha on her way.

The American Integrity, another 1,000 footer was required to anchor in the Hay Lake Anchorage area right in front of our cabin.  She sat there from 3:30 am on August 15th until 1:15 pm on August 17th.

Once the river system was reopened we expected life to return to the quiet days we normally enjoy here.  But at 10:00 pm last night (August 17) we heard a transmission on the marine scanner.  The Algosoo had issued a mayday call while in the Rock Cut.  She had lost both engines and that caused her to hit the wall of "The Cut".  But she quickly got one engine restarted and proceeded down the river to where she could be checked for damage.

Once again the Rock Cut was shut down.  The Corps had to come down and survey the walls of the Cut for damage before any boats were allowed to traverse through.  Two boats-the Presque Isle and the Sam Laud dropped anchor out front and spent the night.  The Cut was found to be safe and river traffic resumed between 5 and 6 AM this morning.

These events remind me that shipping on our St. Marys River is really complicated and dangerous.  The boats and their crews that pass by here make it look easy but it takes a experienced and knowledgeable crew to navigate from Lake Superior to Lake Huron.

1 comment:

Charlotte said...

Thanks for sharing this "event" with us. I would have loved to be there in person. I love watching the freighters whenever we are in the UP. Which is nearly often enough.