St. Lawrence Seaway shipping resumed at 4 p.m. EDT Thursday with 17 delayed vessels able to move out to sea or into the Great Lakes after nearly three days’ delay near the port of Montreal.
The grain-carrying Canada Steamship Lines carrier M/V Richelieu (22,734 deadweight tons) had lost power and run into the Cote Ste. Catherine lock wall at 7:30 p.m. EDT Monday. The vessel was grounded, its fuel tanks were pierced, and up to 200 tons of bunker fuel spilled into the immediate area.
Andrew Bogora, spokesman for Canada’s St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation, said the Cote Ste. Catherine lock was being reopened for traffic at 4 p.m. EDT. Six delayed vessels were ready to move upbound, through the Seaway into the Great Lakes, and 11 were ready to move downbound, out of the Seaway to Quebec City and the Atlantic Ocean.
All 17 vessels should be cleared for their travels by "sometime tomorrow (Friday)," Bogora said. Their speed through the lock and south shore canal would be "reduced," he said.
The Richelieu, which had been tied up at the lock wall, was being removed. Oil in the waters has been "contained into a small area." Cleaning up of the oil-covered banks will continue, but Bogora said he did not know for how long.
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