Massena Coast Guard assists in 'refloating' of vessel run aground in St. Lawrence Seaway
Monday, December 30, 2013 - 5:28 pm

MASSENA -- The Massena Coast Guard unit oversaw the successful refloating Sunday of the motor vessel Orsula, which ran aground on the St. Lawrence Seaway Christmas day.

The vessel, a 656-foot Marshall Islands flagged ship, was freed around 5:50 p.m. after running aground near Tibbets Point.

The vessel is making its way through St. Lawrence County to Montreal, escorted by the tug Salvor.

A dive survey was conducted prior to the refloating to inspect the hull of the vessel to ensure safety for the remainder of the vessel’s trip.

The vessel’s class society and personnel from the U.S. and Canadian St. Lawrence Seaway Corporations have cleared the vessel for transit to Montreal.

McKeil Marine was hired by the ship’s company to conduct salvage operations, which included lightening the vessel’s load, which commenced at about 6 p.m. Saturday and was completed at about 6:30 a.m., Sunday.

A contracted oil spill removal organization was on scene throughout the refloating as a precaution, but no pollution, flooding or injury associated with the grounding was reported.

The cause of the incident is still under investigation.

For information call the Coast Guard ninth district external affairs office at 216-902-6020.