Detained Bulker Could Get Trapped by Ice on Great Lakes

by Ship & Bunker News Team
Tuesday December 8, 2015

General cargo ship Cornelia may be trapped in the Great Lakes by impending winter ice if not released from its current legal detention by authorities in Duluth, Minnesota on Lake Superior, Maritime Executive reports.

The vessel, which was detained as part of a pollution investigation by the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) and the U.S. District Attorney, is said to have been at anchor since its arrest on November 5 and has until December 18 to depart.

The USCG has commented that negotiations are currently underway for "a security agreement that would permit the vessel to depart the port while simultaneously protecting the integrity of the investigation and the interests of the vessel's crew members."

Stephen Sydow, a Duluth-based ship's agent, says that the continued detention of the vessel could depend on the settlement between the vessel owners and U.S. authorities for the dollar amount of a fine.

"We're like everyone else — waiting here to see when the issue is going to be resolved and when the ship can move on," said Paul Gourdeau, executive vice president of Fednav, a Canadian dry bulk operator hired to manage the vessel's passage through the St. Lawrence Seaway.

The vessel is reported to be under charter from Germany-based operator MST Mineralien Schiffahrt Spedition und Transport GmbH (MST), having transported steel to Minnesota before its detention, and currently loaded to deliver grain to either Italy or Tunisia.

The vessel is said to have a 19-person crew on board, including Czech, Ukrainian, Filipino, and Croatian nationals, all of which are reported to now have expired shore leave passes.

If the Cornelia cannot make a departure before the December 18 deadline, it is reported that the vessel's cargo will be offloaded and the vessel tied at dock for the winter at a daily expense to the owners.

In January, Ship & Bunker reported that U.S.-based Interlake Steamship Company (Interlake) had postponed its plans to use liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunkers for Emissions Control Area (ECA) compliance, and instead will turn to scrubbing technology and HFO.