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Great Lakes Bulk Carrier Spills Diesel into Lake Michigan

U.S. Coast Guard Photo

Great Lakes Bulk Carrier Spills Diesel into Lake Michigan

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 6480
August 4, 2023

A Unified Command consisting of the U.S. Coast Guard and other state and local agencies is coordinating a response to a diesel spill from a commercial vessel in Lake Michigan, approximately 1.5 nautical miles offshore of Manistee, Michigan.

The spill was reported Wednesday from the 612-foot MV Manitowoc, a self-discharging bulk carrier registered in the U.S. The vessel reported a hull breach on its starboard diesel tank with a maximum spill potential of 45,174 gallons of diesel.

At the time of the report, the vessel was at anchor 1.5 nautical miles offshore, northwest of where the Manistee River enters Lake Michigan. A red slick was observed approximately 1.6 miles long by 200 yards wide.

The crew of the vessel transferred diesel from the breached tank and the hole has since been plugged. A A U.S. Coast Guard overflight on Friday morning confirmed no visible sheen.

The Coast Guard and the American Bureau of Shipping have approved a plan for the vessel to transit to Muskegon, Michigan, for permanent repairs. Resources will be made available during transit if needed.

The Manitowoc is owned by Rand Logistics and operated by its subsidiary Grand River Navigation Company.

The Unified Command consists of the U.S. Coast Guard, the responsible party, the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE), Manistee County Emergency Management, Benzie County Emergency Management, Little River Band of Ottawa Indians, Manistee and Benzie County Sheriff’s Offices, and the City of Manistee.

“We appreciate the collaborative efforts of state, local, and tribal agencies, which swiftly and efficiently addressed and continue to monitor the situation,” said U.S. Coast Guard Capt. Seth Parker, the Unified Command’s Incident Commander. “The success of this operation underscores the importance of interagency coordination and our shared commitment to safeguarding our natural resources.”

The cause of the spill is under investigation.

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