Fednav bulker refloated

Authorities in the US have refloated a handysize bulker that grounded in the St Lawrence Seaway on Christmas day.
USCG image of the Orsula, which is managed by Fednav.

USCG image of the Orsula, which is managed by Fednav.

According to the US Coast Guard (USCG) the 407-gt tug Salvor (built 1963) is escorting the 34,200-dwt Orsula (ex- Federal Calumet, built 1996) to Montreal but it’s unclear if repairs will be needed.

A spokeswoman tells TradeWinds there was “minimal damage” to the vessel’s hull and propeller even though an initial assessment performed by a team of divers had determined the damage was what a statement described as “severe”.

While an investigation into the cause of the incident is ongoing the USCG noted the operator of the bulker, its master and crew are unlikely to face penalties unless property was damaged or the casualty was the result negligence.

Authorities say the Orsula was transporting more than 20,000 metric tonnes of wheat from Duluth, Minnesota to Montreal when it ran aground near Tibbetts Point, New York at the entrance of the St Lawrence Seaway just days before it was due to close for the season.

The salvage operation was conducted by McKeil Marine with the assistance of the USCG. While the vessel’s bunker fuel was lightered to a barge before it could be refloated the spokeswoman was not sure whether some of the cargo was removed as well.

Authorities say the bulker did not pose a risk to commercial traffic and claim no pollution, flooding or injuries associated with the incident were reported but admit a contractor that specialises in oil spill removal was called to the scene as a precaution.

The Orsula is managed by Canadian bulker operator Fednav, owned by an affiliate of Atlantska Plovidba of Croatia, flagged in the Marshall Islands, classed by Det Norske Veritas and maintains protection-and-indemnity coverage with the UK P&I Club, according to Equasis.

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