Grounded freighter freed from Detroit River shipping channel

Published 6:45 am Saturday, December 5, 2020

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DETROIT — A 500-foot (152-meter) freighter that became stuck and blocked a Detroit River shipping channel has been freed.

The Harvest Spirit was refloated Thursday afternoon, the U.S. Coast Guard said in a release.

The vessel lost propulsion Wednesday morning and ran aground in the Livingstone Channel on the Canadian side of the river, about 19 miles (30 kilometers) south of Detroit.

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Some Great Lakes shipping traffic was slowed. Another ship struck the bottom while trying to avoid the freighter. That contributed to a logjam of cargo-hauling vessels along the waterway.

The Coast Guard said 18 people were aboard the Canadian-flagged Harvest Spirit, After being freed, the freighter anchored Thursday night on the Canadian side of the river while awaiting inspection. The Coast Guard initially said the vessel was anchored on the U.S. side.

The freighter is carrying about 10,000 metric tons of furnace coke and about 74,000 gallons (280,120 liters) of diesel fuel. There were no reports of pollution from the freighter, officials said.

The Livingstone Channel has been reopened.