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Icy Waters Lead to Collision on Great Lakes [Photos]

Our cold winter has brought ice to the Great Lakes and made travel difficult for ships.

On Sunday morning, that ice lead to a collision between a United States Coast Guard cutter and a freighter, damaging both vessels.

Learn about the collision, which took place west of the Straits of Mackinac, and see pictures taken from a ship which was near the accident.

The USCG Cutter Hollyhock was breaking ice near the Mesabi Miner when the collision happened.

Petoskeynews.com explains:

According to petty officer-second class Levi Read, a public affairs specialist at the USCG District Command in Cleveland, the Hollyhock was breaking ice at approximately 10:45 a.m. while leading the Mesabi Miner, carrying iron ore and bound for Gary, Ind. Upon reaching thicker ice the Hollyhock decreased speed. The freighter was unable to slow its pace with its bow ramming into the Hollyhock’s stern and fantail.”

USCG.com details the damage caused to each vessel:

The cutter’s crew reported significant damage to the stern and fantail, as well as two punctures in the hull about 20 feet above the waterline. The crew of the Mesabi Miner, en route to Gary, Ind., reported a 12-inch crack in the bow about 4 feet above the waterline and said the bow is pushed in about 8 to 12 inches.”

After the collision the Hollyhock returned to St. Ignace. The Mesabi Miner was able to continue on, but not until another USCG cutter could arrive to lead them out of the icy waters.

The Mesabi Miner waited, along with the five other ships it was traveling with, until another cutter could get there to lead them through 14 miles of ice to open water.

One of the those ships waiting with the Mesabi Miner was the Arthur M. Anderson.

Mark Jankoviak is a Wheelsman and was working on the Arthur M. Anderson on Sunday. Below you’ll see the pictures he took after the collision.

(The view from the Arthur M. Anderson.)

Mark Jankoviak

(On the left is the Hollyhock, in the middle is the Mesabi Miner, on the right is the Great Lakes Trader.)

Mark Jankoviak

Read more about the collision.

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