As many probably know by now, the 1,004-foot American Spirit ran aground in the Duluth harbor yesterday afternoon while attempting to depart. The ship was carrying a full load of iron ore pellets from the CN dock, and was just about to enter the ship canal when she veered off course and started heading for the seawall to the left of the bridge. The ship dropped her anchors in an attempt to stop, however her bow made contact with the sandy harbor bottom. American Spirit was brought to an abrupt halt about 30 feet off the seawall, with her stern blocking the entrance to the harbor. She remained aground throughout the evening, and was finally freed around 10:00 p.m. by the rising tide. Once she was free, the Spirit backed to the Husky Energy dock, where she underwent numerous inspections. The vessel was cleared for departure, and left Duluth just after 9:00 a.m. on Monday, bound for Indiana Harbor to deliver her cargo. (Photo above taken by Mark Nicklawske, courtesy of Perfect Duluth Day)
U.S. Coast Guard vessels inspected the area around the grounded vessel on Sunday afternoon to ensure that the ship wasn’t leaking fuel (photo courtesy of Duluth News Tribune).
This photo, from Dennis O’Hara of Duluth Harbor Cam, shows just how close the vessel actually got to the seawall. Dennis also put together a video with drone footage of the grounded ship that is worth checking out.