OGDENSBURG — At about 8 a.m. Friday, a second tug departed for the Port of Ogdensburg from Sorel-Tracy, Québec, to assist cargo ship IMKE out of the port. The tug is expected to arrive at the port at 6 a.m. Saturday.
Just before 7 p.m. Thursday, the second tug was called upon to help escort IMKE out of the port. IMKE has been at the port for nearly a week.
The second tug, Duga, flagged out of Canada, is now needed due to the extensive damage IMKE sustained when running aground, he said. The damage has prohibited the ship to depart on its own.
According to veteran ship watcher Michael J. Folsom, movement of IMKE is not likely until sometime Saturday afternoon. Saturday makes one week since IMKE ran aground off the port.
IMKE, flagged out of Malta, ran aground Saturday just off the port. The ship arrived in Ogdensburg on Saturday carrying wind turbine blades for Roaring Brook Wind Farm in Lewis County.
The ship sat in the St. Lawrence Seaway for two days before a call for help was made. The ship was unable to make it to the port on its own, so a tug out of Montreal, Québec, by the name of Ocean Serge Genois was called upon on Sunday for assistance. Before the tug arrived, the ship was able to make it to the port on its own with the help of winches — hauling or lifting devices.
Strong currents and precipitous depth changes makes Ogdensburg a difficult port to approach, Mr. Folsom said. The stern of the ship became lodged in the shallow area parallel to the dock.
According to Mr. Folsom, the tug has been docked across the river in Johnstown, Ontario, waiting for IMKE. Because it’s a Canadian vessel, the tug is able to moor there, Mr. Folsom said in a Facebook message Thursday evening. The border between the United States and Canada remains closed due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
This story will be updated as more information becomes available.