Seaway traffic still closed as freighter remains aground south of Hammond; salvage team aboard
Thursday, May 29, 2014 - 2:30 pm

The Hong Kong-flagged Federal Kavalina remains aground and at anchor after losing its steering Tuesday.

HAMMOND – Ship traffic on the St. Lawrence Seaway remains suspended while teams from the U.S. Coast Guard and the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation oversee the salvage of a disabled freighter aground about 10 miles south of the Town of Hamond.

The authorities continue their investigation of the Federal Kivalina, which ran aground after losing steering Tuesday.

The motor vessel is anchored about one-third of a mile from the Thousand Islands Bridge. There are no reported injuries to the crew and no reported pollution emissions.

A dive team conducted an underwater hull survey Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning and determined the vessel was aground but stable.

A salvage team is on board the freighter and has completed a review of the hull inspection, according to the Coast Guard, which is reviewing the salvage plan. Navigation in the St. Lawrence Seaway remains suspended until vessels can resume safe transits of the area.

Two tug boats from Montreal were en route to assist with the situation and were due to arrive early Thursday afternoon. Coast Guard investigators from Marine Safety Detachment Massena are investigating the cause of the incident.

The Coast Guard and SLSDC were notified Tuesday afternoon of the grounded vessel, a 656-foot, Hong Kong-flagged freighter carrying 23,000 metric tons of canola seeds.

Response crews from Coast Guard Station Alexandria Bay, New York State Parks Police, New York State Police, New York Department of Environmental Conservation, and inspectors from MSD Massena and the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation responded to assist the vessel and its crew.