Ships allowed past vessel grounded in St. Lawrence River

Ships allowed past vessel grounded in St. Lawrence River
The Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin ran aground just outside the shipping channel west of Cardinal, Ontario. (Source: WWNY)

CARDINAL, Ontario (WWNY) - Seaway traffic is being allowed past a ship that ran aground Sunday evening in the St. Lawrence River between Ogdensburg and Waddington.

Veteran shipwatcher Michael Folsom is monitoring the situation closely. He reports via Twitter that the Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin ran aground just outside the shipping channel west of Cardinal, Ontario.

That puts the Canadian-registered vessel on the Canadian side of Galop Island across from Red Mills in the town of Lisbon.

Folsom reports ships were being allowed to transit the Seaway past the grounded ship by mid-Monday morning. Earlier, all ships between Massena and Cape Vincent were instructed to go to anchorage to await instructions as officials investigated the grounding.

There’s no word about what caused the ship to go aground.

Folsom says the area along the island is known for several high spots with rocks. He says the depth is 20 feet near where the ship is stopped.

According to the U.S. Coast Guard, the vessel is taking on water at a slow rate, but installed pumps are keeping up with the rising water.

The Coast Guard said it's working closely with the St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation and partners as part of an Incident Management Team in response to this incident. The Incident Management Team is currently developing a salvage plan, the Coast Guard said.

The cause of the incident is under investigation.

The Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin is 740 feet long. According to MarineTraffic.com, the vessel is as a self-discharging bulk carrier owned by Canada Steamship Lines.

Canada Steamship Lines said the vessel is carrying iron ore destined for Quebec City.

“There is neither injury to personnel, discharge from the vessel, adverse effects to the environment, nor cargo damage,” said CSL spokesperson Brigitte Herbert in an email. “CSL is currently evaluating the situation and preparing a salvage plan.”

Copyright 2019 WWNY. All rights reserved.