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Taken yesterday from the Thousand Islands Bridge, looking upstream at the freighter Federal Kivalina, which had lost steering as it approached the bridge yesterday afternoon. Photo: Emmett Smith
Taken yesterday from the Thousand Islands Bridge, looking upstream at the freighter Federal Kivalina, which had lost steering as it approached the bridge yesterday afternoon. Photo: Emmett Smith

Freighter aground at Thousand Islands Bridge, salvage team on the way

Update 4:37 p.m.: The Federal Kivalina, a Hong Kong-flagged freighter carrying canola seeds, lost steering just upriver from the Thousand Islands Bridge yesterday.

Last night and this morning, a team of divers determined that the boat had run aground but is stable.

"Since then a salvage team actually arrived on the scene this afternoon," said Nancy Alcalde, director of public relations for the St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation. "They are reviewing the hull inspection as well as the water and weather conditions and are developing a plan for the safe removal of the vessel."

Two tugboats are on their way Montreal. The St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation and the Coast Guard have to figure out where they'll take the 656-foot freighter.

Shipping remains suspended until further notice.***

A Hong Kong-flagged freighter is anchored just upriver from the Thousand Islands Bridge, after it lost steering earlier yesterday. The Associated Press reports that shipping is suspended this morning.

There are no reported injuries to the crew and no reported pollution at this time.

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Reported by

Martha Foley
News and Public Affairs Director

According to a Coast Guard press release, a Jefferson County dispatcher notified a Coast Guard watchstander in Buffalo about 2 p.m. of a freighter adrift near Wellesley Island and the bridge.

A crew from Coast Guard Station at nearby Alexandria Bay, and a Marine Safety Detachment from Massena responded.

The captain of the Federal Kivalina, a 656-foot freighter carrying canola seeds, reported losing steering as the ship was transiting the Seaway near the bridge. The crew dropped three anchors to slow its drift.

The Thousand Islands Bridge was shut down for about 10 minutes as a precaution while the vessel was still adrift.

According to the press release, issued just before midnight last night, response crews from the local Coast Guard station, state Parks Police, State Police, the Department of Environmental Conservation, and inspectors from MSD Massena and the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation were either on scene or en route.

There are 22 crewmembers aboard the freighter. They will remain on board as long as the situation does not worsen.

Coast Guard Cmdr. Dan Jones, chief of response for Coast Guard Sector Buffalo, said "The safety of the crew and the environment are our main concerns."

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