Seaway traffic suspended, help on the way as grounded freighter in Seaway sits near Hammond
Wednesday, May 28, 2014 - 5:42 pm

A dive team conducted an underwater hull survey of a disabled freighter Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning and determined the vessel was aground near Hammond in the St. Lawrence Seaway but is stable.

Incident responders from the U.S. Coast Guard and the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation are overseeing the salvage and investigation of the freighter that lost steering Tuesday while transiting the Seaway, according to the Coast Guard.

The freighter was anchored after the crew determined its disability. There are no reported injuries to the crew and no reported pollution releases, according to the Coast Guard.

A contracted salvage team was reported to be en route. They will review the hull inspection report as well as weather and water conditions as they develop a plan for safe removal of the vessel. The salvage plan must be reviewed and approved by the Coast Guard.

Investigators from Coast Guard Marine Safety Detachment Massena are investigating the incident.

“The Coast Guard continues to work with our partners to minimize the impact of the grounding on the Saint Lawrence Seaway region,” said Cmdr. Dan Jones, chief of response for Coast Guard Sector Buffalo. “The safety of the crew, public and environment remains our top priority.”

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

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.