A tug-barge combination vessel ran aground in the Round Island Passage amid strong winds during the afternoon of Friday September 21st, prompting the US Coast Guard to create a safety zone around it to keep other ships away. The tug was Defiance (IMO 8109761) and the barge Ashtabula. They ran aground in the Straits of Mackinac, between Mackinac Island and Round Island “The vessel departed Cedarville, Michigan and was transiting to its next port of call in Buffington, Indiana when it ran aground. The cause of the grounding is under investigation,” the USCG said.
Early the following morning the water current freed the pair from the clay bottom. The USCG conducted an overflight with a pollution responder on Friday evening and did not identify any signs of pollution.
Defiance was carrying 97,918 gallons of diesel fuel and more than 2,900 tons of stone, the military said.
The safety zone surrounding the ship prevents any vessel over 100 gross tons from going through the Round Island Passage. It also keeps any vessel from coming within 200 yards of the tug/barge combo. The tug and barge pairing worked largely on a circuit between Tampa Bay and the Lower Mississippi River. They were created to work together as a self-unloading bulk carrier.
1982-built, USA-flagged, 871 gt Defiance is owned and managed by Grand River Navigation Co Inc of Traverse City, Michigan, USA. It is entered with North of England Club on behalf of Grand River Navigation Co.