MARITIME | BBC Steinhoeft grounding under investigation

The cargo ship BBC Steinhoeft blocks the St. Lawrence Seaway near Montreal after it ran aground on Thursday morning.

A 138-metre long ship which wedged itself in the St. Lawrence Seaway Thursday morning [was] freed.

The operation to unwedge the massive vessel began around 1 p.m. [Thursday] and concluded roughly 25 minutes later.

Tugboats involved in the operation headed out from the Port of Montreal around 12:35 p.m.

The commercial ship became stuck in the seaway between the Jacques-Cartier and Victoria bridges, completely blocking the waterway.

The BBC Steinhoeft, weighing 20,000 pounds (with cargo), was Philadelphia-bound when it ran aground early Thursday.

It was carrying mechanical parts and travelling from Toronto.

At least eight ships had to wait to get through the waterway.

It costs roughly $1,000 per hour that a ship is held up.

Officials haven’t said whether the error was human or mechanical, but Transport Canada is investigating with officials from the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation.

What is clear is that something went wrong, said corporation spokesperson Jack Meloche, who noted, “A ship that size takes a kilometre to stop.”

Officials say the ship could be from Liberia and the crew, comprising roughly 20 people, is mostly Russian.

Since the BBC Steinhoelft is a foreign ship, two Canadian pilots took over navigation through the passage, which is standard procedure.

It means that if cause of the navigational mistake is human error, fault could lie with the Canadian pilots.

Read (and see) more:

http://www.ctv.ca/CTVNews/Canada/20110331/grounded-ship-blocks-traffic-110331/

http://www.theshipwatcher.com/2011/03/former-beluga-fusion-has-second-issue.html

 

 

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