U.S. Coast Guard investigation underway after vessel collides with underwater object and takes on water in Lake Superior

US Coast Guard District 9

The bulk carrier Michipicoten safely anchored in Thunder Bay, Ontario after battling Lake Superior flooding on June 8.


U.S. and Canadian authorities are investigating after a 689-foot ship collided with an underwater object and began taking on water in Lake Superior, the U.S. Coast Guard said.

The agency responded after the bulk carrier Michipicoten sent out a report at 6:53 a.m. Saturday that it was experiencing flooding as it moved southwest of Isle Royale in Lake Superior.

The merchant ship was carrying taconite, a low-grade iron ore, the Coast Guard said on X.

Half of the ship’s 22-person crew were evacuated from the vessel after the incident, according to a press release. No injuries were reported on board the vessel.

The ship has been anchored in Thunder Bay, Ontario, since Sunday and will be brought into dock once Canadian agencies deem it safe, said Lorne Thomas, chief of the Coast Guard’s Ninth District external affairs division.

The U.S. Coast Guard and Transport Canada will conduct marine accident investigations to determine whether hull damage was caused by the vessel running aground, striking a fixed or floating object, hull failure, or a combination of these elements, according to Thomas.

There is no indication that the navigable channels used by the ship were obstructed, Thomas added.

The ship left Two Harbors, Minnesota, on Friday and was heading to Thunder Bay in Canada, according to MarineTraffic.com.

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