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Canadian Coast Guard en route to trapped ship in Lake Erie

Canadian Coast Guard called in to help free trapped ship


Daniel Martins
Digital Reporter

Saturday, February 21, 2015, 10:20 AM - A ship trapped in the ice on Lake Erie has defied efforts to free it for several days.

The U.S. Coast Guard said Friday the Canadian Coast Guard has been called in to help rescue the freighter Arthur M. Anderson.

The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Bristol Bay has been battling ice as much as 10 feet thick to reach the Anderson, but progress reaching the freighter, trapped off the shores of Ashtabula, Ohio, has been slow. 

The Canadian Coast Guard Ship Griffon was launched to assist, planning to link up with Bristol Bay as it clears a path to Cleveland. The Griffon, a 71-metre ice breaker, will then head to the Anderson and break it free.

CCG Ship Griffon. Image courtesy: Canadian Coast Guard

The Anderson was en route to Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, when it was beset. It's not clear how long the Anderson has been trapped, but the Bristol Bay has been battling the ice for so long, it ran out of food. 45 kg of food was airdropped to the cutter on Thursday night.

The Arthur M. Anderson has a Canadian connection: It was the last ship to make contact with the Edmund Fitzgerald, before it was lost on Lake Superior in 1975.

It's not the only trapped ship. The Windsor Star reports the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Samuel Risley is working to free a ship stuck in the St. Clair River.

That ice isn't getting any thinner. At 96 per cent, Lake Erie is currently the most iced-over of the Great Lakes, and has more ice cover now than it did at the same time last year.

Sources: U.S. Coast Guard | Boatnerd.com | Windsor Star

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