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Barge runs aground in Straits of Mackinac (update: Continues undamaged)

720-foot integrated tug and barge, Defiance and Ashtabula, aground in Round Island Passage in the Straits of Mackinac
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The integrated tug and barge, Defiance and Ashtabula, ran aground in Round Island passage between Mackinac Island and Round Island in the Straits of Mackinac on Friday afternoon. Photo U.S. Coast Guard Facebook

NEWS RELEASE
UNITED STATES COAST GUARD
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Update: 7:40 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 22

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. – Coast Guard marine inspectors inspected the vessel Defiance and barge Ashtabula and did not find any damage or sources of pollution related to its grounding that occurred on Friday afternoon. The integrated tug and barge is cleared to proceed on its voyage.

The Coast Guard conducted overflights with a pollution responder on Friday evening and Saturday morning and did not identify any signs of pollution. 

The Coast Guard rescinded the safety zone in Round Island Passage and the waterway is open for all traffic. 

The vessel Defiance and barge Ashtabula departed Cedarville, Michigan and was transiting to its next port of call in Buffington, Indiana when it ran aground, yesterday afternoon. The cause of the grounding is under investigation. 

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Update: 7:15 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 22

SAULT STE. MARIE, MICH. – At 4:31 a.m. this morning, water current freed the vessel Defiance and barge Ashtabula, a 720-foot integrated tug and barge, from the clay bottom in Round Island Passage in the Straits of Mackinac. 

The vessel has not reported any injuries, pollution, or flooding and is transiting to conduct further damage assessments. The Coast Guard conducted an overflight with a pollution responder on Friday evening and did not identify any signs of pollution. Another overflight is planned for this morning. 

The Coast Guard rescinded the safety zone in Round Island Passage and the waterway is open for all traffic. 

The vessel Defiance and barge Ashtabula departed Cedarville, Mich. and was transiting to its next port of call in Buffington, Ind. when it ran aground, yesterday afternoon. The cause of the grounding is under investigation. 

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Original release: 9:15 p.m., Friday, Sept. 21

SAULT STE. MARIE, MICH. – The Coast Guard received a report that the vessel Defiance, a 720-foot integrated tug and barge, ran aground in Round Island Passage between Mackinac Island and Round Island in the Straits of Mackinac, Friday.

The incident was reported to watchstanders in the Coast Guard Sector Sault Ste. Marie command centre at 2:52 p.m. local time.

The Defiance has 97,918 gallons of diesel fuel and 2,917 tons of stone onboard. The vessel is taking precautionary measures to assess any damage and has not reported any injuries, pollution, or flooding. 

The Coast Guard is establishing a safety zone prohibiting the transit of vessels over 100 gross tons through Round Island Passage and prohibiting all vessels from navigating within 200 yards of the ship. 

The vessel departed Cedarville, Mich. and was transiting to its next port of call in Buffington, Ind. when it ran aground. The cause of the grounding is under investigation.

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