Efforts to free freighter suspended

Associated Press


Efforts to free a nearly 600-foot coal-carrying freighter stuck in the Detroit River were suspended Saturday because not enough crew members were available on Christmas to operate tugboats needed to dislodge it, U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Justin Westmiller said.

Westmiller said efforts to free the 579-foot McKee Sons were expected to resume today.

Five tugboats momentarily dislodged the ship about 9 p.m. Friday from where the barge sat in mud in the Trenton Channel, about 18 miles south of Detroit. But as crews were “twisting to get it maneuvered around, it got stuck again” in the channel where rescuers are pulling against 3.5-knot currents, Westmiller said.

Two more tugboats are being brought from Ohio to try to help.

The “lake freighter” owned by Ohio-based Grand River Navigation is in good shape, and there’s no threat to its crew, Westmiller said. The ship was headed from Cleveland to the Detroit Edison Pier when it got stuck about 3 a.m. Friday.