Great Lakes' longest ship set free after running aground in Duluth

Author:
Updated:
Original:

People in Duluth got an unexpected show Saturday as the longest ship on the Great Lakes failed to turn, getting stuck near Bayfront Festival Park.

The 1,013.5-foot Paul R. Tregurtha, an Interlake Steamship Company laker, was hauling a full load of coal when it ran aground just after 3 p.m. and was freed by two tugboats about four hours later, the Duluth News Tribune reports.

"[The freighter] was making the turn to go under the [Aerial Lift Bridge], but it didn’t turn,” Adele Yorde, a spokeswoman for the Duluth Seaway Port Authority, told the newspaper. “It went straight toward Bayfront Park.”

Interlake Steamship hasn't said what caused the freighter, which is called the "Queen of Lakes," to miss the turn, but eyewitnesses told Northland's News Center the ship was trying to avoid a smaller watercraft in the shipping channel.

"I heard it blow its horn at least eight times to most likely warn people near the shore," Jeremy O'Connor, who works at the Great Lakes Aquarium in Duluth, told the Star Tribune.

The ship came to rest about 50 feet from shore. Onlookers said the bow thrusters were churning, but it appeared to be stuck, the newspaper notes. Tug boats freed the freighter around 7 p.m. The ship is being inspected in the Port Terminal, WDIO says.

There were no injuries and no signs of pollution, according to reports. The ship's position probably didn't impede traffic in the harbor and didn't affect lift bridge operations, Yorde told the Duluth News Tribune.

Interlake Steamship spokesman Tom Whynne said the ship has only gotten stuck twice in the eight years he's worked for the company – the last time was in 2012 in the St. Mary's River, the Duluth News Tribune says. According to Duluth Shipping News, the Tregurtha comes to Duluth about once a week and almost always loads coal.

Saturday's incident drew many spectators. Here's a sampling of tweets:

Next Up

Screen Shot 2021-07-27 at 7.28.06 PM

Slain Red Lake officer identified as husband, father-of-four

Police say he was shot while responding to a report of a suicidal male who possibly had children the house.

Go Fund Me - Adam Richard Johnson

Remains in Mississippi mark 4th discovery of man's dismembered body parts

Officials on Tuesday confirmed the remains found July 4 are those of Adam Johnson.

Facebook - GoGo dog stolen vehicle -  St. Paul Police Department

Missing dog GoGo found dead in owner's stolen vehicle 3 days later

The vehicle was reported stolen with GoGo inside on July 18

Flickr - face masks covid pole - Ivan Radic

The 14 MN counties with 'substantial or high' COVID-19 transmission

The CDC says everyone in these areas should wear a mask in indoor public places.

Pexels - woman grocery shopping mask covi

CDC: Masks recommended in places with 'substantial or high' transmission

This new guidance applies to everyone, regardless of vaccination status.

Screen Shot 2021-07-27 at 1.10.29 PM

WATCH: Vikings Live with Matthew Coller: Welcome to training camp

Vikings Live with Matthew Coller is a new Vikings show that streams Tuesdays.

YouTube - Minnesota DNR - watering tree

Tips for watering trees during severe drought, sprinkler restrictions

How can you keep your valued trees healthy? Just follow these simple steps.

police tape, crime scene

Minnesota saw record number of murders in 2020, BCA says

The BCA released its annual Uniform Crime Report on Tuesday.

Flickr - Red Lake Nation sign - Ken Lund

Red Lake police officer fatally shot on Tuesday

The officer was reportedly shot near Redby.

ambulance

Child dies, driver critically injured in crash on I-90 in Faribault County

The crash happened at approximately 11:24 p.m. Tuesday.

Related

Duluth cyclists halfway on Great Lakes journey

Kris McNeal, 26, and Zach Chase, 25, are heading back to Minnesota after passing the 3,000-mile mark on their mission to encircle all five of the Great Lakes. The University of Minnesota Duluth graduates started their 5,300-mile trek in May and plan to return home in early August. The Duluth News Tribune notes the two men also made a 1,700-mile bicycle trek along the West Coast in 2008.