Monday, December 11, 2006

A tugboat owned by a Minnesota company remains stuck in sand and silt along the Lake Superior coast. Seneca, owned by Zenith Tugboat Co. of Duluth, Minn., is grounded about 20 miles east of Grand Marais. "It's silting in fast," said Franz VonRiedel, captain of the Susan Hoey, an 88-foot tugboat that had been towing the Seneca on Dec. 2 when it broke loose in a whirling winter storm. VonRiedel, his crew, and the ice-crusted Susan Hoey sought refuge in the Grand Marais harbor.
Tugboat Seneca
They headed toward Crisp Point in search of the Seneca, which was last seen drifting east. A Coast Guard crew spotted the Seneca about 8 miles west of Crisp Point. The Susan Hoey arrived soon afterward. "We couldn't get to within five hundred feet of it," VonRiedel said Tuesday. "It's a salvage operation now."
Tugboat Seneca
Cmdr. Reed Stephenson, the marine safety officer for that area, said Coast Guard officials have yet to decide whether to attempt to pull the tug off the sand or undertake the tricky oil removal job with Seneca in place. "We are looking at every proposal and option presented. Nothing is off the table," he said.

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