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News stories tagged with "shipping"

Brian Wood at the helm. Photo: David Sommerstein
Brian Wood at the helm. Photo: David Sommerstein

A peek inside Seaway master control

Several hundred giant freighters slip through the St. Lawrence Seaway every year. They're guided by vessel traffic controllers from a squat building on top of the Eisenhower Lock in Massena.

The master control room looks straight out of Star Trek. Half a dozen big flat screens show computerized displays of real-time traffic along the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario.

This "Heard Up North" feature first aired last June.  Go to full article
The Federal Kivalina was aground and at anchor for over 2 days and stopped shipping on the St. Lawrence. Photo: Emmett Smith
The Federal Kivalina was aground and at anchor for over 2 days and stopped shipping on the St. Lawrence. Photo: Emmett Smith

Shipping resumes on the St. Lawrence Seaway

Shipping has resumed through the St. Lawrence Seaway, after salvage crews moved a disabled freighter that was aground near the Thousand Islands Bridge to Wellesley Island.

The St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation reports that 15 ships were backed up over the two days since the Federal Kivalina lost steering Tuesday.

Save the River says that divers confirmed a two-foot long gash in the freighter's hull.

The Coast Guard could only confirm that the freighter was received "mild damage." The Coast Guard approved a salvage plan for the ship early yesterday afternoon.  Go to full article
The Federal Kivalina remains grounded near the Thousand Islands Bridge. Photo: Emmett Smith
The Federal Kivalina remains grounded near the Thousand Islands Bridge. Photo: Emmett Smith

Seaway shipping suspended pending efforts to free grounded freighter

Shipping traffic remains suspended along a stretch of the St. Lawrence Seaway as salvage efforts get underway for a freighter grounded between Alexandria Bay and Clayton.  Go to full article
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.  Go to full article
The <em>Robinson Bay</em> breaks Seaway ice back in 2001. NCPR file photo: Lisa Lazenby
The Robinson Bay breaks Seaway ice back in 2001. NCPR file photo: Lisa Lazenby

Shipping hampered by ice on St. Lawrence Seaway

CLAYTON, N.Y. (AP) Huge chunks of ice are causing problems on the Saint Lawrence Seaway even though the shipping season started two weeks ago.

Canadian Coast Guard ice cutters were trying to disperse ice clogging the shipping channel Tuesday as several ocean-bound cargo vessels waited to pass through.  Go to full article
The crew of Coast Guard Cutter <em>Neah Bay</em>, homeported in Cleveland, works to keep the <em>CSL Laurentien</em> moving during an escort in eastern Lake Erie March 27, 2014. Photo: courtesy USCG
The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Neah Bay, homeported in Cleveland, works to keep the CSL Laurentien moving during an escort in eastern Lake Erie March 27, 2014. Photo: courtesy USCG

Relentless winter's ice delays St. Lawrence River shipping

Three U.S. Coast Guard cutter vessels are to help with annual ice-breaking operations in Thunder Bay's harbour on Lake Superior--the far end of the St. Lawrence Seaway.

Canadian Coast Guard crews and their icebreakers are leading the effort after the harsh winter produced what are being called "unusually heavy and persistent" ice conditions.

The annual opening of the Seaway is one of the signs of spring in the North Country. But as with pretty much everything this year, winter is still having its way with the calendar.

The Seaway is holding its opening ceremony to welcome commercial ship traffic between the Great Lakes and the Atlantic Ocean this morning near Buffalo. But it's had to delay the opening of the St. Lawrence River part of the Seaway for three days until Monday due to ice.

David Sommerstein joined Martha Foley to discuss the annual debate over the Seaway's opening date.  Go to full article
Bulk carrier Orsula aground off Tibbetts Point. Photo: USCGS
Bulk carrier Orsula aground off Tibbetts Point. Photo: USCGS

Why did the freighter Orsula run aground?

Update, Tuesday 10:50: As of 8 this morning, shipwatcher.com reported the Orsula and other ships still moving through the Seaway, and that the season would be extended.

***

The bulk freighter Orsula had been expected to clear the St. Lawrence Seaway before the Seaway closed. The freighter carrying 20,000 tons of wheat from Duluth, Minn., to Europe, is headed out to sea after running aground on Christmas Day off Tibbets Point near Cape Vincent. The vessel was freed Sunday night around six o'clock.  Go to full article
A Seaway freighter passes under the bridge near Massena in December 2012.  Photo: David Sommerstein.
A Seaway freighter passes under the bridge near Massena in December 2012. Photo: David Sommerstein.

Seaway tonnage down 11%

The St. Lawrence Seaway is still trying to dig itself out of a recession slump. After posting a 4% tonnage increase last year, shipping between Great Lakes and foreign ports is down 11% so far this year.

Seaway officials were hoping to build on last year's gains. But a weak global steel market is dragging down demand for iron ore from the Midwest. And Canadian grain is increasingly going by train to the West Coast on its way to Asia.  Go to full article
Herring fisherman and president of the North Shore Commercial Fishing Association, Steve Dahl, says the commercial fishing industry on Lake Superior is doing better than ever, but experts predict fish populations will shift due to warming waters. Photo by Doug Fairchild, courtesy of the Minnesota Sea Grant Institute
Herring fisherman and president of the North Shore Commercial Fishing Association, Steve Dahl, says the commercial fishing industry on Lake Superior is doing better than ever, but experts predict fish populations will shift due to warming waters. Photo by Doug Fairchild, courtesy of the Minnesota Sea Grant Institute

A chilly Lake Superior warms up

We kick off our week-long series In Warm Water: Fish and the Changing Great Lakes with a look at Lake Superior.

It has long been the coldest and most pristine Great Lake. Its frigid waters have helped defend it from some invasive species that have plagued the other Great Lakes. But Lake Superior's future could look radically different. Warming water and decreasing ice are threatening the habitat of some of the lake's most iconic fish.  Go to full article
U.S. Seaway Administrator Betty Sutton, at Seaway Administration in Massena Tuesday. Photo: David Sommerstein.
U.S. Seaway Administrator Betty Sutton, at Seaway Administration in Massena Tuesday. Photo: David Sommerstein.

New Seaway chief seeks economic, green balance

Shipping on the St. Lawrence Seaway generates billions of dollars for the Great Lakes economy in the U.S. and Canada. But it also opened the door to damage from invasive species and forever changed the shape and ecology of the St. Lawrence River itself.

The new U.S. chief of the St. Lawrence Seaway is making her first visit to Massena this week. Betty Sutton is touring the Seaway's two locks on the St. Lawrence River, the vessel traffic control room, and meeting with many of the Seaway's 135 employees in Massena.

Betty Sutton's very first appointment in Massena was a sit-down with David Sommerstein.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story (and the audio version) refer to the Seaway Administration position as a seven year term.

That is no longer the case, as Nancy Alcalde, SLSDC spokeswoman, points out. In 2002, The Appointment and Efficiency Streamlining Act of 2011, P.L. 112-166, made this position an appointment "at the pleasure of the President". It is also no longer subject to U.S. Senate confirmation.  Go to full article

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