Bulk carrier that ran aground in Michigan River is refloated

Self-discharging bulk carrier American Courage (IMO 7634226), an elderly 617ft lake freighter that ran aground in the St Clair River during the morning of November 7th, generating much local attention, was successfully refloated around about 12 hours later, with the help of towing vessels from Great Lakes Towing.

By November 8th the vessel was anchored north of Marine City, Michigan, in the St Clair River. It docked early the next day at Marine City itself. There were no injuries to crew members or those that responded and no pollution was observed or reported.

The Coast Guard Aids to Navigation Team Detroit will verify the proper position of all aids to navigation affected and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will conduct an underwater survey to verify channel depth and to determine if there are any impacts from the grounding.

The lake freighter is one of 10 self-unloading bulkers operated by Grand River Navigation, a division of Rand Logistics. Along with its Canadian sibling company, Lower Lakes Towing Ltd, the operation has a combined fleet of 16 vessels.

The more than 40-years old American Courage had been en route from Stoneport on Lake Huron to Marine City when the grounding occurred.

A Coast Guard spokesperson told WWJ Newsradio that they believed the vessel “missed their turn and got stuck on the edge of the shipping channel.” The USCG said that the vessel was loaded with 20,000 tons of stone.

The USCG said a full investigation will be undertaken to determine why the vessel grounded. After it is refloated, it will be inspected for damage.

1979-built, USA-flagged, 11,688 gt American Courage is owned and managed by American Steamship Co of Williamsville, New York State, USA. It is entered with Steamship Mutual (Americas Division) on behalf of American Steamship Co. As of November 11th it was moored at Ashtabula, Ohio, USA.