Archives for May 31, 2016

Coast Guard continues to work with the Roger Blough

The Roger Blough ran aground Friday, May 27, 2016 in Whitefish Bay in Lake Superior. Information and pictures below, courtesy of US Coast Guard Sector Sault Ste. Marie, in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. They are ordered from first to most recent
May 27, 2016
Coast Guard crews and the Aids to Navigation Team  from Sault Ste Marie, and the air crew from Air Station Traverse City, Michigan responded. Coast Guard pollution responders, vessel inspectors and marine casualty investigator arrived on board the vessel to assess vessel damage and crew safety. The Coast Guard has dispatched the cutter, Mobile Bay, a 140-foot ice breaking tug out of Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin to assist in on-going response operations. The Coast Guard is currently monitoring the situation and overseeing future salvage operations.
May 28, 2016
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Throughout the night, U.S. Coast Guard boat crews conducted hourly exterior draft readings of the vessel while the crew of the Roger Blough also conducted interior soundings to the tanks each hour through the evening. Based on the stabilized draft readings and tank soundings, the flooding appears to be under control. Plans to safely remove the Roger Blough from the reef have begun. A U.S. Coast Guard Dolphin helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City, Michigan, was launched to provide aerial photos but was diverted due to dense fog.
May 29, 2016
The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Mobile Bay (below, right),  enforced a 500 yard safety zone alongside the motor vessel Roger Blough to protect passing vessels from potential hazards associated with salvage operations. Sault Ste. Marie Vessel Traffic Service has also increased its measures on commercial traffic to ensure the safe passage of shipping near the safety zone.
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The Roger Blough activated its vessel response plan, taking precautionary measures to ensure safety of the the environment. This includes coordination with their oil spill response organization to deploy oil containment equipment as well as underwater dive surveys to more effectively assess the damage and unground the vessel.
“All indications thus far seem to reveal that the damage is in the forward section of the vessel and all fuel tanks are in the rear section,” said Ken Gerasimos, a representative of Key Lakes Inc., the operating company of the Roger Blough. “No fuel tanks are connected to the outer skin of the ship.”
A Coast Guard Auxiliary aircrew conducted an overflight of the area Sunday morning and reported no signs of pollution.
The chance of a fuel spill remains minimal and flooding on the Blough remains stable. The crew remains in good condition.
The National Transportation Safety Board is scheduled to arrive on Monday, May 30, to assist the Coast Guard in the investigation into the cause of the grounding.
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May 29, 2016

Plans continue to progress to safely free the Blough from Gros Cap Reef in conjunction with Canadian partners and company representatives.

May 30, 2016
Responders placed a protective boom around the stern of the Blough strictly as a preventative measure around the location of the Blough’s fuel tanks.
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The motor vessel Edgar B. Speer (above) safely passes the 500 yard safety zone around the motor vessel Roger Blough.
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Lt. Gordon Gertiser, a marine inspector with U.S. Coast Guard Sector Sault Ste. Marie, inspects the engine room for possible damage aboard the motor vessel Roger Blough, May 30, 2016, in Lake Superior.
 

Vlieborg, Anderson pass in the Duluth harbor

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The Vlieborg (above) arrived this morning (May 31, 2016) at 6:25 as the Arthur M. Anderson was departing, passing each other in the Duluth harbor. This is the second visit of this version of the Vlieborg; she was also here in November, 2012 (the year she was built) to load beet pulp pellets.  Notice the ladder hanging down from the deck of the Vlieborg and also her direction, as if she, like the Anderson, is departing. The Vlieborg is in the harbor for inspection by local grain officials and other port personnel. When that is complete, she may go out to the anchorage, stay where she is or go over to CHS to load grain. Today’s weather, cold, with high winds and rain, may keep her there; going out to the anchorage in this wind may not be the Captain’s first choice, and grain is not loaded when it is raining. This was the 6th visit to the Twin Ports for the Anderson this season. She loaded iron ore pellets at the CN.