Veteran ‘Laker’ Refloated Near Mackinac Island – Update

american spirit bulk carrier
Screen grab via YouTube

Update: The 1978-built American Spirit freighter has been refloated and cleared to continue to its next port of call after running aground Thursday in the Straits of Mackinac, the U.S. Coast Guard said Friday afternoon.

The vessel was refloated Friday morning and inspected by Coast Guard marine inspectors and American Bureau Shipping surveyors while anchored in St. Ignace, Michigan.

The MV American Spirit was transiting to Gary, Indiana, with 64,800 tons of iron ore when it was pushed by strong winds against the south side of the channel by strong winds. No pollution or flooding resulted from the grounding or from the refloating operations, the Coast Guard said.

Original: While carrying 64,800 tons of iron ore, the self-unloading bulk carrier American Spirit ran aground in the Straits of Mackinac on Thursday evening, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

The 1004 foot-long ship was transiting through the Round Island Passage between Mackinac Island and Round Island when strong winds pushed the ship out of the channel and on to the muddy/sandy bottom.

Currently, the vessel has reported no injuries, pollution, flooding or damage. The vessel is currently not blocking the channel or impeding traffic.

The vessel is owned by American Steamship Company and is twin-screwed powered by two Pielstick 16-cylinder, four cycle, heavy fuel-burning diesel engines. The ship also has a 1,000 hp bow thruster.

“Sector Sault Ste. Marie will continue to work through the night with the crew of the American Spirit to develop a safe salvage plan,” said Lt. j.g. Derek Puzzuoli, public affairs officer at Sector Sault Ste. Marie. “Marine inspectors will continue to carefully monitor the vessel’s condition until it has been refloated.”

Watch the American Spirit sail through the passage near Sault Ste. Marie in 2011: