Seven tugboats have succeeded in freeing a 579-foot coal-hauling Cleveland-based freighter that was grounded for more than two days in the Trenton Channel portion of the Detroit River near Grosse Ile.  

The McKee Sons ran aground early Friday morning while trying to dock at a DTE Energy Co. site.

The freighter was loaded with 11,900 tons of coal and a crew of 17.  It has a hauling capacity of 29,500 tons.

Coast Guard-Detroit spokesman Lieutenent Justin Westmiller says they don’t know what caused the freighter to run aground, but all systems on board continued to work.  

“There’s no threat to the environment and it’s not leaking any oil or there’s no pollution issues with it,” Westmiller told WWJ Sunday morning.  “There’s no other safety issues that we have right now .  The crew on board is fine.”

The freighter was finally freed just before 4:30 p.m. Sunday.

Efforts to free the vessel were slowed Saturday, Christmas Day, because of a lack of crew members for tug boats.

  1. Joel Stone says:

    Why didn’t you use a phot of the McKee Sons? It is an unusually, and uniquely Great Lakes design. And a shot with the seven tugs around it would have been impressive.

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