John B. Aird prepares for Scrap Tow, Lewis J. Kuber renamed

Algoma Central’s John B. Aird arrived in Montreal last week Wednesday under her own power after unloading her final cargo of salt at Ogdensburg and Prescott, Ontario. Although Algoma has made no official announcement, the vessel’s name has been shortened to John B. and her stack markings have been painted out in preparation for an overseas scrap tow. The Aird has had a rather short and uneventful career – she was constructed in 1983 for Algoma Central, and has operated for them since. Although she wouldn’t seem like a likely candidate for the scrapyard, keep in mind that Algoma is building seven new Equinox Class vessels, and is most likely trying to weed out their older vessels so they can be replaced.

In Toledo, Ohio, workers were removing the name from Lower Lakes Towing’s barge Lewis J. Kuber. She will be renamed Menominee. She and her fleetmate James L. Kuber, as well as their tugs Victory and Olive L. Moore, were purchased from the now-bankrupt K&K Integrated Logistics in early 2011. Part of the sale agreement was that the vessels would retain their K&K names for at least five years before Lower Lakes could rename them. With Lewis J. Kuber‘s renaming, new names are also expected for the barge James L. Kuber and their respective tugs. It is also rumored that Lower Lakes will retire the Olive L. Moore, and the Menominee will be pushed instead by the tug Invincible, currently laid up in Sturgeon Bay.

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