Sunday, January 30, 2005

Unusual Winter Arrival Landed Without Incident

Arrival of the 1,000-foot Paul R. Tregurtha on an unusual mid-winter coal delivery to the Carbide Dock drew respectable crowds of spectators Friday afternoon and a sprinkling of watchers through overnight unloading operations. Assisted by three Coast Guard icebreakers and the harbor tug Missouri, Tregurtha used all but a few hundred feet of harbor channel to complete a 180-degree turn before landing at the Carbide Dock stern first. With Missouri pushing, the huge ship's column bow swept clear of the museum ship Valley Camp to head the ship downriver for her eventual landing. The big ship's stern lay within a few hundred feet of the northern channel boundary during the unusual but smooth turnaround in mid-harbor. Tregurtha arrived in the harbor a few hours earlier than Coast Guard officials estimated, completing her turnaround in broken ice about 5 p.m. Friday. Two Coast Guard tugs broke out a wide swath of harbor ice to allow the turn, then stood by while the Great Lakes Towing tug Missouri did the ship-assist work. Tregurtha landed without incident at the Carbide Dock and began discharging the 43,000 tons of coal aboard by Friday evening. The late-January coal delivery was ordered by Algoma Steel in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. The steel mill apparently ordered the huge delivery as a reserve supply for winter operations. The ship discharged her coal cargo through the night on Friday and emptied her holds by about 9:45 a.m. Saturday. Tregurtha swung out from the city pier at 10:22 a.m. and returned downriver, bound for winter layup in Sturgeon Bay, Wisc. The Coast Guard icebreaker Mackinaw and tugs Katmai Bay and Biscayne Bay accompanied the 1,000-foot Tregurtha downriver for DeTour.

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