A few weeks ago after visiting the Sandstone Ice Festival we drove to Duluth. When we arrive in Duluth one of the first things I check is to see if there is any ship activity. I could see one ship coming into Duluth but it was quite a ways out and seemed to be moving at half speed. I also noticed that the icon displayed on the Marine Traffic website was a combination of red and green. I had never seen this before.
I watched it move slowly toward Duluth and finally expanded the image which showed two ships one the CSL Assiniboine and the other the tug Leonard M. As it neared Duluth my wife and I drove down to Canal Park to see what was going on. It was dark by the time the two ships arrived. We were lucky we drove because it took a long time for the ships to come through the ship canal. We sat in the car during a bitterly cold night. As the ships came closer other cars including Duluth based ABC News arrived to record the arrival.
As the ships prepared to enter the harbor one of the Great Lakes Towing Tugs went out to assist. The Leonard M was towing and the other tug was attached to the back of the CSL Assiniboine by a tow line to help keep the rear of the ship in line with strong winds and good swells on the lake.
It turns out that the CSL Assiniboine hit, what was believed to be, a submerged buoy while traveling on the St. Marys River in Thunder Ban. It has to be towed all the way down to Duluth and moved to the Fraser Shipyards for repair.
This was probably a once in a lifetime event. Unfortunately took place after dark and the photo conditions were not ideal. I would have loved to see it come in during the day.