Paul R not in a good place

“She’s definitely moving” from the tug/boat radio at 6:15 pm
6:18; “just swing a little, not so much moving away”
See Coast Guard statement below
6:29 big storm approaching
tug Kentucky at her bow; tug Minnesota on the stern
7:00 She is free and on her way to tie up at the Port Terminal
Coast Guard responds to Paul R. Tregurtha grounding
DULUTH, MN – Coast Guard marine safety unit (MSU) Duluth is responding to the U.S. laker Paul R. Tregurtha which ran aground near the Duluth-Superior harbor entrance off of the Bayfront Festival Park in Duluth, MN at approximately 3:20 P.M. on September 20, 2014. The Coast Guard is currently monitoring the situation and will board the vessel to determine the cause of the grounding and inspect if any damage occurred. There are currently no reports of injury or signs of pollution at this time. The cause of the grounding is currently unknown and will not be released until the investigation is complete.
The Paul R. Tregurtha, trying to depart the Duluth harbor, did not negotiate the turn toward the Aerial Lift Bridge. These pictures were taken about 4 pm on Saturday, September 20, 2014. She went aground sometime in the hour before the pictures were taken.


  1. this clipped from the duluth news tribune:
    Tom Wynne, a spokesman for the Ohio-based Interlake Steamship Co., which owns the laker, said the Tregurtha was able to extricate itself under its own power with help from a couple of tugboats at about 7 p.m. Saturday, about 3½ hours after it failed to negotiate a sharp turn on its approach to the Aerial Lift Bridge.
    “It was just the bow that was aground on a soft bank,” he said, explaining that the crew shifted ballast water to the aft of the ship.
    “They were able to lift the bow by sinking the stern,” Wynne said.
    As for what caused the freighter to veer off course Saturday, Wynne said: “We have nothing concrete at this time, but the captain said the ship didn’t respond as he expected when they started their turn toward the bridge.”
    Wynne noted that the bridge approach requires a sharp turn in sometimes unpredictable current. He also said the Tregurtha encountered another complication shortly before it ran aground. A pleasure boat anchored in the middle of the shipping channel prompted the captain to blow a danger signal, Wynne said. The pleasure boat subsequently responded by picking up anchor and moving out of the way, he said.
    “This incident happened in close proximity to when our vessel ran aground, but the captain didn’t have to make evasive maneuvers or anything,” Wynne said, stating that he does not view the unexpected encounter as a fundamental cause of the mishap.

  2. Thanks for the pic,Two Great Lakes tugs, tug Kentucky at her bow; tug Minnesota on the stern 10,000 a hour. dam

  3. Paul Badovinac says:

    Has there been any up-dated info on the Tregurtha mishap? Or are they still investigating.


  4. Paul Badovinac says:

    WOW; As stated, probably a small craft or in situations such as this, you sometimes hear that there was a problem with steering (failed).
    Great pictures Ken.


  5. Hooray for the G-tugs! Great shot of that one with white water at the stern and smoke at the stack, looks like they had to work hard!

  6. Jill Edwards says:

    Watched it happened…. Never thought I would ever see that! Looking at it now from hotel, it is at Port Terminal.

    • Jill,
      Did you see what may have caused this? Lots of speculation going on. I heard there was a small craft that was avoided…

      • Jill Edwards says:

        Hi Nancy, sorry I didn’t see this earlier! Back from vacation now….I didn’t see anything in the lane coming towards the bridge… Checked all my pics too. Maybe the smaller boat was back further before the bouys. Glad the Tregurtha wasn’t damaged!

  7. Great Job Ken,
    As usual your pictures really captured the moment – not just the technical side, but also showing the people who had this event in their “backyard” so to speak. Loved your shots with the event going on…with Paul T. there in the background.


  8. Jill from Alabama says:

    Oh, my goodness!

  9. moving!

  10. Holy cow! She really got close to the shore. The Balloon Festival folks got an unexpected surprise!

  11. This is truly a tragedy of mythical proportions…
    Unless no one is hurt and they pull it out tomorrow.
    The end.

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