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WindHawk
10-07-2004, 01:48 PM
Thursday, October 7, 2004
Great Lakes freighter almost hits sea wall
By Chris Sebastian / Port Huron Times Herald

PORT HURON — A Canadian Great Lakes freighter came within a foot of hitting the sea wall south of the Blue Water Bridge after engine failure caused the vessel to drift toward the Port Huron riverfront.

The crew of the 600-foot Mississagi dropped anchor on Monday to slow the ship and regain control as the self-unloading freighter came alongside the St. Clair River sea wall and the several dozen people who gathered to watch.

The Mississagi was northbound, approaching the bridge, when witnesses noticed it push toward the shore.

The ship’s crew sounded its emergency horn and dropped its anchor, its bow coming within one foot of the sea wall. The crew restarted the engine and headed into Lake Huron, where the ship’s crew would investigate the engine problem.

“He was coming straight for us,” said Jeff Seim, 40, of Port Huron. “The current was taking him right into the wall.”

The ship had just left Sarnia with no cargo en route to Meldrum Bay, Ontario, said Lawrence Swift, Canadian Coast Guard spokesman. He didn’t know if there would be an official investigation.

None of the 20-member crew reported injuries. The crew didn’t know why the engine stopped, Swift said.

The last commercial vessel to hit the Port Huron shore was in December 2002.