After nearly two days aground and blocking commercial ship traffic to and from Lake Superior, the freighter Calumet was freed Friday night from a shoal in the St. Marys River east of the Soo Locks.
The U.S. Coast Guard reported the 629-foot Calumet refloated quickly once work got underway, and it was moved to a designated anchorage downriver.
"They're going to anchor it there and do an examination. The Army Corps is going to look at the area of the river where it was grounded and from there, they'll determine if and when they can open up the channel," Coast Guard Master Chief Alan Haraf told the News Tribune.
Earlier Friday, the Coast Guard reported that a dozen vessels were anchored or moored waiting to head south to Lake Huron, and five vessels were waiting to head north to Lake Superior, as the Calumet remained stranded near Sugar Island, Mich. Authorities had closed a section of the river to commercial shipping as a precaution in the wake of the grounding; the river is the only route for vessels to and from Lake Superior.
The Calumet had departed the Essar Steel mill in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, and was heading down the river, having passed through the Soo Locks, to its next port of call in Brevort, Mich., when it ran aground at about 11:40 p.m. local time Wednesday, the Coast Guard reported.