NANTICOKE Casualty in Great Lakes : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

From Lloyd's List Oct 18

London, Oct 18 - A press report, dated today, states: Bulk carrier Nanticoke (22706 gt, built 1980) was caught yesterday morning by a combination of current, wind and low water levels while departing Anderson's "K" elevator in Toledo and became sideways to the river channel despite the best efforts of her crew. At the time one tug was standing by the vessel and a second tug responded immediately to the master's request. This morning she was still blocking the channel, with both anchors down. The Coast Guard reports the vessel is not aground, just sideways in the channel.

The 730-foot vessel fills most of the river that is about 800-feet wide at this spot. Loaded to a 24-foot draft, Nanticoke is effectively a dam in the river. Nanticoke's stern was near the east bank of the river and her bow was near the Anderson's grain dock. She had apparently dropped her stern anchor in an attempt to stop swinging, it was lying close to shore approximately 30 feet upriver.

The Great Lakes Towing tugs Illinois and Louisiana were first on scene to help the Nanticoke. The Gaelic tug Susan Hoey joined the effort later yesterday morning followed by the Montana shortly after noon. With four tugs pushing they were unable to move the Nanticoke due to the strong current and low water levels. Yesterday afternoon the tug Louisiana moved around the bow of the Nanticoke to the south side of the river to a position where it could pull on the vessel. This move was made all the more dangerous because the raging current of the river was now forced into a 50-foot opening between the bow of the Nanticoke and the shore. After securing a line, the Louisiana in concert with the other tugs tried to free the Nanticoke with no effect.. All tugs remained at station-keeping power in an effort to keep the CSL vessel from moving further down river and into the railroad bridge.

Shortly after 2000, local time, Gaelic's big 3,000 horsepower tug Roger Stahl arrived from Detroit. She moved into position near the stern of the Nanticoke and began working with the other tugs. The combined horsepower of the tugs on scene now topped 10,000 but they were still unable to move the Nanticoke. The Montana moved to take up position on the south side of the Nanticoke where the tug Louisiana was pulling from.

This move would take the tug through the raging current across the Nanticoke's bow in the choked-off channel. As soon as the bow of the Montana hit the current, she was spun sideways and tossed hard into the stone bridge abutment. The current carried her out of the channel and into the shallow waters north of the bridge. She was able to free herself but quickly went to moor downriver to check for damage. During this time, the Louisiana, which was upriver was disabled by a large tree that became jammed between her propeller and her rudder. At the request of the Nanticoke's master, all vessels went to station-keeping to wait for the arrival of Great Lakes Towing's big 4,000 horsepower tug Triton.

The Louisiana pulled along side the Nanticoke, attached a line from the Nanticoke to the tree, and the tree was then pulled loose with a winch.

Gale force winds on Tuesday (Oct 16) and Wednesday led to a 41 inch drop in the water level adding to the normal current. The water level at 1400 yesterday was at minus 7 inches below datum. The winds were expected to die down last night, when that happens the water levels will begin to rise to normal levels. Through out the day the Nanticoke's managers were in constant contact with Coast Guard and Port of Toledo officials.

The Nanticoke stopped about 20 yards from the vital CSX Railroad Bridge. Train traffic was able to continue with no delays. Once the Nanticoke is freed it will proceed to a near by dock to be inspected by the US Coast Guard and then sail to its next port. The river bottom in this area is mud but there is concern that there may be damage to the rudder after being stuck in the mud. Local boaters say there is only 13 feet of water where her stern is, the Nanticoke is drawing about 24 feet. The Coast Guard has closed the portion of the Maumee River affected by the Nanticoke and this will delay other vessels heading to load at Toledo's grain elevators.

For Nanticoke casualty in Great Lakes, click on:- Click on "News Channel" on menu on left side of page for news.

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-- Rich Marsh (, October 21, 2001


Oct 20 - A press report, dated today, states: Bulk Nanticoke remained stranded early this morning, as crews work to lighten the vessel by offloading cargo onto barges. Last night they had offloaded only 1,200 tons and the vessel was resting on muddy river bottom. The pace of the salvage efforts will quicken this morning as the tug Atlantic Cedar arrives on scene in the early morning hours.

-- Rich Marsh (, October 22, 2001.

London, Oct 21 - After unloading one more barge of soybeans yesterday morning, the assembled tugs began to move bulk Nanticoke at 0900 hrs. G tugs Louisiana and Montana were pulling on the stern, the Gaelic tug Susan Hoey and G tug Illinois were pushing on the bow, and Gaelic's Roger Stahl, G tug Triton, and Purvis Marine's Atlantic Cedar push on the stern.

Nanticoke slowly began to move up river against the current. As the stern began to move up stream, Nanticoke's bow slid closer to the NS Railroad Bridge, but a quick adjustment in the pushing angle kept her clear. As she neared the Anderson's dock on the west side, from where she had departed on Wednesday, she came around. Orders were change to take her to the ADM dock on the east side of the river. Within an hour she was in the channel and another half an hour she was tied up at ADM. By noon, the tugs were released. Three G tugs stayed with Nanticoke and a fourth still had the loaded barge under control. Shortly after bulk Frontenac left the ADM dock where she had been trapped since Wednesday and headed out to the lake. By 1400 hrs Nanticoke was moving back to the Anderson dock to reload. Nanticoke was cleared to sail down to the TWI dock in the Maumee River later that day. After another inspection at TWI she will be cleared to depart for Quebec. The vessel's owners, Canada Steamship Lines, and managers thanked all those involved for their assistance during the event. Their professionalism and cooperation resulted in a serious situation being handled in a timely manner with no injuries and no environmental or physical damage to the surrounding area.

-- Rich Marsh (, October 22, 2001.

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