Effort started to free freighter aground in St. Marys River

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SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. (AP) -

The U.S. Coast Guard says it has approved plans by owners to refloat a 629-foot Great Lakes freighter aground in the St. Marys River.

Officials say Grand River Navigation Inc. plans include off-loading ballast to refloat the vessel named Calumet. The effort is to get underway late Friday.

The Coast Guard says once the vessel is refloated, it will be towed to a designated anchorage in Lake Nickolet for exterior and interior hull examinations.

The Calumet left a steel facility in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, and was heading to its next port when it ran aground late Wednesday. The cause is under investigation, and no injuries were reported.

A Coast Guard Cutter is on the scene to assist in enforcing a safety zone around the vessel and monitor the stability and potential environmental impact of the grounding.

The river between the U.S. and Canada along Michigan’s eastern Upper Peninsula is closed to commercial vessels from the Soo Locks to 6 Mile Point.

Copyright 2017 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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