7 ships will winter in the Twin Ports as Great Lakes shipping season ends


Seven ships will be wintering in the Twin Ports this year.

The Soo Locks at Sault Ste. Marie, which connects Lake Superior to the other Great Lakes, are set to close at midnight Friday, which means the lakers are making their way to the Port of Duluth-Superior for winter layup, Duluth Shipping News says.

Two ships are already laid up in the port, and four more are expected to arrive between now and Friday.

The seventh ship – the 1,000-foot "Paul R. Tregurtha" (pictured above) – isn't expected to arrive until next week. The laker is making a few more late-season deliveries of iron ore on Lake Superior before ending the season in the Twin Ports, reports note.

When the Tregurtha arrives, it will mark the official end to the 2015 Great Lakes shipping season, The Associated Press says. The 2016 shipping season will begin on March 25 when the Soo Locks reopen, FOX 21 reports.

The ships will spend the next eight weeks undergoing maintenance and repairs, the Duluth News Tribune says, after a slower-than-expected iron ore shipping season, WDIO reports.

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Lake Superior shipping season ends Wednesday night

The Edwin H. Gott pulled into the Duluth Seaway Port Wednesday morning. It is the final ship of the 2011 season. MPR reports the Soo Locks officially close Wednesday at midnight. The warm weather allowed the locks to stay open three days longer this last year.

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Seven people in the Twin Ports were charged with drug trafficking in State District Court in Duluth Friday, following formal charges against seven others Thursday. The six-month operation by the Lake Superior Drug and Violent Crime Task Force began after authorities noticed an increase in heroin trafficking and overdoses in the Twin Ports.