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Cargo ship aground again near Muskegon

Posted on April 26, 2023

Crews spent hours Monday working to free a 767-foot-long cargo ship that ran aground near the Muskegon channel in west Michigan, almost exactly a year after a similar incident.

The Kaye E. Barker had been approaching the harbor “at a slow speed” when it grounded just off the Muskegon outer breakwall around 10 a.m., the Interlake Steamship Co. said in a statement on Facebook.

The vessel was loaded with approximately 25,408 net tons of stone from Meldrum Bay, Ontario, at the time, Interlake Steaming Co. said.

“The lake bottom has been surveyed, and it has been confirmed that there is sand around the vessel,” company officials said on Facebook.

“No injuries have been reported. There has been no pollution or any harm to the environment. Additionally, there does not appear to be any damage to the vessel. Interlake is working diligently with its internal response team to free the vessel.”

Reached for further comment Monday night, a company representative said she had no additional updates.

The company is based in Middleburg Heights, Ohio. According to its website, the ship was built in Toledo in 1952 and can carry about 26,000 gross tons of cargo.

Monday’s incident followed another grounding on April 28, 2022, as the ship was heading inbound toward Muskegon with a load of stone aggregate.

That prompted the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to expedite Muskegon Harbor dredging, the agency announced in June.

Survey results showed considerable shoaling in the outer harbor, affecting the harbor’s commercial navigation, the Corps of Engineers said in a statement.

A contract worth nearly $1 million was awarded to King Co. Inc. of Holland to dredge an estimated 126,500 cubic yards of material.


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