SAULT STE. MARIE (WWJ) – Authorities say a 629-foot ship that ran aground on the north side of Sugar Island Wednesday has been re-floated.

The cargo vessel Calumet was re-floated Friday at approximately 8:50 p.m. after the Coast Guard approved a salvage plan submitted by the vessel’s owner.

The St. Marys River, which had been closed to commercial vessel traffic from the Soo Locks to Six Mile Point following the grounding, was reopened at 9:30 p.m. Friday after the Army Corp of Engineers surveyed the bottom of the river in the vicinity of the grounding and found that no debris was obstructing the channel.

After the Calumet was refloated by offloading ballast water, it then sailed under its own power to anchorage near Lake Nickolet where it underwent an exterior and interior examination. No warping, indentations, or other damage to the hull was found.

There were no injuries during the incident or salvage operations. The U.S. Coast Guard conducted a sunrise search on Saturday for any signs of pollution and no impact to the environment was found.

There are seven vessels waiting to transit upbound and downbound on the river. Delays to commercial traffic on the St. Marys River is expected to cease Sunday.

The Calumet left a steel facility in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, and was heading to its next port when it ran aground late Wednesday. The cause is still under investigation.

The river, which links Lake Superior and Lake Huron, is closed to commercial vessels from the Soo Locks to 6 Mile Point.


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